Déjà Vu (50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition)
The second album from the folk-rock era’s most successful supergroup (with Neil Young the added attraction), Déjà Vu reflects the sounds and sentiments of the times with a collective acumen, despite the group’s fragile ego balance. Graham Nash’s “Teach Your Children” and “Our House” express the idealistic and optimistic goals of the late ’60s, while David Crosby’s “Almost Cut My Hair” represents the paranoiac edge from which the drug scene dangled. Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” is given the definitive treatment, with scraping guitars and carefully constructed harmonies replacing her gentle piano figures. Stephen Stills’ influence is noticeably passive, contributing the album’s modest opener “Carry On” and the low-key acoustic “4 + 20.” Stills mostly serves the arrangements with tasteful guitar and harmonies. Neil Young, however, makes his presence felt, whether it’s coaxing stronger performances from Stills or contributing his own rough-hewn guitar lines to the bucolic bliss. “Helpless,” the album’s desolate, aching ballad, stands out, as do the underrated “Country Girl” suite and “Everybody I Love You.” This edition of Déjà Vu includes demos, outtakes, and other alternate versions.