Stephen Stills 2

Stephen Stills 2

Back in the early ‘70s, Stephen Stills was one of pop music’s true renaissance artists. Both with and without partners David Crosby, Graham Nash and Neil Young, his creative output was prodigious, veering from stark acoustic folk pieces to elaborate rock productions, and Stephen Stills 2 overflows with musical ideas. He offers a bittersweet semi-waltz in “Change Partners,” rocks out with genuine fire on “Marianne,” and delivers some tasty guitar finger-picking on “Singin’ Call.” Also of merit are “Fishes and Scorpions” (a moody reflection on astrology featuring Eric Clapton on guitar) and “Nothin’ to Do But Today” (riding on a spiky, funk-tinged track reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix). More problematic are overproduced numbers like the horn-fattened “Ecology Song” and the ponderously arranged “Bluebird Revisited.” It must be said though that Stills' rough-yet-supple vocals and versatile fretwork are outstanding throughout, redeeming even so-so songs.

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