280 of 1001 Albums: Stephen Stills’ Manassas

I’m not sure why, but Stephen Stills’ Manassas reminds me of a 70s sitcom. Perhaps, it’s the album cover? With what sounds like some of his very staple folk, and other genres such as blues fused in, Stills brings an album packed full of songs from all backgrounds of life. I’m still not sure I’m really into Stills though.

“Fallen Eagle” is what gave me some hope that I could finally enjoy Stills. I enjoy the bluegrass vibe with the strings that were included on this one. The vocals aren’t the strongest in the world to me, but it seems to set up a different path of the album after this song, which leads us into another heavily country sounding song, “Jesus Gave Love Away For Free”. If you like The Byrds in their later years, or The Flying Burrito Brothers, then these two songs, and most after them will probably be more up your alley.

Songs like “Both of Us” sound completely different than the ones mentioned though. They sounded heavily 70s, with what reminded me at times of more of a bluesy, funk sound. I’m not saying it was actually funk, it just had that tone sometimes. With this being a double album I guess he just decided he could put an array of sounds on it. I much prefer everything after “Fallen Eagle” though. I think “Colorado” had some good moments also that made it worth listening to.

The diversity of this album is strong. I can’t say I had much that stood out to me, but once he switched gears into more of the folk and country album I felt more at home with the sound than before. I have a feeling this won’t be the last I hear from Stills though, so hopefully I continue to warm up to him, and I hope he grows in the sound he established with this one.

Rating 3 of 5.

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