Buffalo Springfield Again
Though the brilliant supergroup-before-their-time Buffalo Springfield were very much on their way commercially after their 1966 debut, they’d already begun to splinter by this follow-up the next year. It’s a beautiful thing, too, because you hear tensions rise in the tunes, both internally and externally (Nam-era culture in Los Angeles); it gives the songs poignancy. Yet despite the somewhat problematic recording process (Neil Young was out the door, and bassist Bruce Palmer was absent for most of the sessions due to drug charges), this album is cohesive and worthy of uninterrupted listens from start to finish. Highlights include Furay’s dobro-enhanced “A Child’s Claim to Fame” (a country rocker that foreshadows Furay’s future in Poco), Neil Young’s gorgeous and majestic “Broken Arrow” and “Expecting to Fly” (both feature haunting arrangements by Jack Nitzsche), Stephen Stills’ guitar-hyped psych rockers “Blue Bird” and “Rock & Roll Woman” (the latter features an uncredited cowrite by future Stills partner David Crosby), and the album’s hit: the driving and sexualized Stonesy anthem “Mr. Soul,” which Young said he penned in all of five minutes.