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Albums Reviews

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

Déjà Vu Live
(Three stars)

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Sep 09, 2008

The highlight of this soundtrack to CSNY: Déjà Vu, Neil Young’s film about the group’s 2006 Freedom of Speech Tour, comes after Young sings ”˜Let’s Impeach the President’ to an Atlanta audience that suddenly divides like Congress, equally booing and cheering. The performance proves that material from Young’s Living With War, an indictment of the Bush regime, wasn’t just aimed at the converted. Young’s songs are the true rocket-launchers on Déjà Vu Live. His squiggly guitar blasts also act as the gunpowder that fires older tunes like Graham Nash’s ”˜Military Madness,’ Stephen Stills’ ”˜For What It’s Worth’ and CSNY staples such as David Crosby’s ”˜Wooden Ships’ and ”˜Déjà Vu.’ The trio’s harmonies provide a blanket of old-hippie warmth for Young’s raw protest songs, even as Nash goes on a Woodstock nostalgia trip, warning the crowd not to “eat the brown acid.” The voice of youth might be missing from the soundtrack, but it’s there in the film: The most poignant moment comes when 24-year-old Iraq War vet Josh Hisle jams with Young on a song the Marine wrote, singing, “I’m sick of calling this [war] essential/’Cause I’ve shot their sons and I’ve watched their mothers cry.”

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