Young's former cohorts Crosby, Stills & Nash had better stick with the oldies; the enthusiasm they display on this new album serves only to underscore how threadbare their material has become. The liveliest songs here, like "Camera," have a hothouse floral flavor that smacks of Jimmy Buffett. But, oh, those nursery-rhyme lyrics: "Wish I were a camera/I wish it all the time/It gives my eyes a reason/It gives my life a rhyme."
The trio has gone from raffish to Raffi-ish. The melody and delivery of "These Empty Days" is so jejune that it sounds like the theme for a rainy day in Mister Rogers' neighborhood. Most of all, CS&N badly need to have their creaky jargon updated. In "Bad Boyz" Stills decries an urban environment in which so many young people are "packin' heat." Whoa, somebody call Broderick Crawford.
The singers can still create some intricate (though rarely pretty) harmonic textures, as they prove on a drearily dutiful cover of the Beatles' "In My Life." But for a trio with such a glorious heritage, this music sounds awfully strained. (Atlantic)