CSN were known for their harmonies. So it’s plenty revelatory and a bit odd to hear these songs pulled away from their natural strengths and stripped to their essential core. “Music Is Love” features Crosby, Nash and Neil Young, but most of these well known tracks are presented in bare acoustic guitar or piano renditions with the songwriter handling the lead vocal that the others would eventually use to sculpt their accompaniment. Crosby’s “Almost Cut My Hair” and “Déjà Vu” are five and six minutes of dark moods and brooding acoustic guitar chords, while Stills’ “You Don’t Have To Cry” is merely a minute and a half of a brighter time. There’s nothing unexpected here, no sudden breaks of character. This isn’t the sound of young, inexperienced songwriters trying out new, untested ideas but merely seasoned pros providing professional blueprints to take to heart. “Long Time Gone” between Crosby and Stills is the one cut that adds a complete band arrangement with percussion but it cries out for the yet uncommitted Nash to join the ensemble to complete the picture.

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