Buffalo Springfield Song Reviews
Buffalo Springfield (1966)
Read the full review:
For What It's Worth 9.5/10
It's hardly worth denying that this isn't a classic. Not that I would want to! The melody is instantly memorable and that's not because I used to hear it in those CD compilation commercials from the late '90s. The melody is great, and it gave something to those freaking hippies to whistle under their breath! This guitar is wonderful as well!
Go and Say Goodbye 8.5/10
Hey, Buffalo Springfield likes The Byrds! Not that there's anything wrong with that. This is a nice enough imitation. The jangly guitar tones are done rather well although it's pretty obvious they weren't quite as skilled as that group. The arrangments just aren't as crystal clear or complex as The Byrds would have it. I really like the melody, though... It's pretty catchy. The country bumpkin undertones also gives this bit of a unique edge.
Sit Down I Think I Love You 9/10
Here is another enjoyable song. The melody is entirely decent and even memorable. It's Beatles-esque, though it's not quite *that* catchy. The guitars are very nice --- particularly one twinkly guitar we hear in the background. It's hard to deny that this song isn't derivative, but who cares when it's so fun? (Oh, and these lyrics --- what are they about, L-O-V-E??) This is a great pop song. Yeah, that's right. POP. Who knows what was with that weird ending where Stills slowly drops the "you" off ... huh??? Yeah, that didn't really work, did it?
Nowadays Clancy Can't Sing 8/10
Not too bad, though it's not that memorable. I really don't like the melody and I can't imagine anyone for a moment wanting to whistle it... Well, songwriter Neil Young will get better for sure! It goes back and forth between a 4/4 regular country-esque ditty and a herky-jerky 3/4 waltz. I mean, I guess the time signature change was an interesting idea. I just get the feeling that Young wasn't too sure what he wanted to do, but I can tell he wanted to do something other than ordinary cliches. That enormously simple harmonica line strikes me in particular. Yes, he's an inspired songwriter, but that's only mildly apparent here. Lucky he wasn't even sure enough about himself to be a lead singer ... Granted, I don't think a lot of people with a voice like that would be sure enough about themselves to be a singer.
Hot Dusty Roads 8/10
A pretty boring pop number. It's pretty sloppy and nothing about it really compells me. Musically, this seems to be a slowed down version of a typical British Invasion song except with certain country-western undertones. It's nice that this was one of the original bands to combine country with rock, but --- I guess it's arguable if that was intentional or not.
Everybody's Wrong 7/10
This doesn't do much for me to be honest. I like certain aspects of it --- the chord progression seems to be well-used, which is important because I don't think the melody is that great. I sort of respect it, but I'm yawning anyway. The Byrdsian guitars pale in comparison, but they're well-used here.
Flying on the Ground is Wrong 9/10
The nicest thing about this track is that twinkly guitar we get to hear. I also like the melody although it's not particularly original --- and writer Neil Young isn't doing much original exploring with melody or chord progressions. But this thing has an undeniable charm and energy --- ah yes, there you are, Neil Young.
Another Young composition. It's hardly worth arguing that this melody doesn't work wonders. This song reminds me of a cheesy old children's song, and I always question these songs... Again, everyone has to start somewhere, and this isn't bad. The melody is enjoyable in the sense that you can mildly nod your head to it and then not mind that you'll never hear it again ever in your life. If you think this is a great Neil Young song, then I must think you don't like him very much... Come on, I'm not even a fan...
Do I Have to Come Right Out and Say it 8/10
This is a little boring, but I can take it. There's a certain atmosphere about it that I like. There's a lot of charm to it even though the melody's pretty bland. I guess it's no surprise that this is also an early Neil Young song.
Much more guitar-heavy than the previous tracks, which I can appreciate. I'm not sure who's playing the guitar, but I suppose this band doesn't contain its fair share of guitar legends for no good reason. They do their rip-roaring solos the best they could back then! It's mostly show, but you can have fun when guitar players show off even without much discipline. I'm not a fan of the song itself though... It's just based on a generic R&B chord progression, and the melody isn't anything special.
Out of My Mind 8/10
Again, there's another charming Neil Young song. But it isn't so special. The melody doesn't do anything for me. I wish it would, because I love good melodies above everything else, but I'm not going to lie to you! The instrumentation is rather sloppy, but again the charm sort of wins me over. It's the aspect that Neil Young can't actually make a sucky song, because he's Neil Young and nothing else. That doesn't automatically mean he always makes great songs....... And these are such early works anyway. It's not like I'm undervaluing "Cinnamon Girl."
Pay the Price 8/10
An upbeat Byrdisan tune that's difficult to dislike. But I'm going to have to point to the frankly boring melody that really misses that boat. I like the energy of it at least. It's too easy for me to space out while it's playing, which is a quality I *never* like to hear...
Read the full review:
Mr. Soul 9.5/10
It's funny that this sounds so much like The Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction," but then I read on Wikipedia that it was written as a variation of that song. What's wrong, Neil Young? You can't write your own awesome riff? Eh whatever, I've heard worse rip-offs in my day! And this is a great song anyway. Naturally, the riff is very catchy, and Young's vocal melody is quite good. My favorite aspect of the song is the trade-off psychedelic soloing in the instrumental interlude is really fun... Ha!
Child's Claim to Fame 8/10
Here's a country-rock ditty from Richie Furay, isn't bad. I like the flow of the song, and the melody is alright if overly simple. The guitar work peppering it up is undoubtedly the finest aspect of this --- and frankly it's still kinda boring.
Stephen Stills' contribution now completes the songwriters' trifecta! So, what's the deal with this song, anyway? It's a cross between psychedelia and jazzy ballad, and there's this silly guitar tone that just plays without changing its tone throughout it. It's kind of a funny song, but it fails to actually capture me. I like the jazzy piano noodling, though, and the melody is rather appropriate.
Expecting to Fly 9.5/10
This starts with a creepy and quiet orchestral build-up in the most psychedelic fashion. Some classical violins begin to play, and then there's the acoustic guitar, and Neil Young starts to sing. The atmosphere of this song is quite enchanting, and I like the instrumentation here. I'm surprised to hear this after just coming off of their rather thin debut album. The melody is OK, and I like his chord progressions.
This is alright... It's middle-of-the-road as far as songs seem to have been going, but I like their instrumentals. The guitar noodling is very well done, and it's no wonder it's actually more of the showcase of the song than the melody. The melody isn't memorable whatsoever, though, so the guitar noodling isn't really, either. They bring in a banjo in the last half of the song (without doing anything to improve the melody), and I like that sound! (The banjo is an awesome instrument!!!)
Hung Upside Down 8.5/10
A nice old Beatlesesque ballad ... That bass guitar is melodic in a very Beatles way. The bland melody certainly isn't that Beatlesesque, but I guess nothing is unless it's from The Beatles!! The song sounds solid, well-structured and fully developed. The instrumentation is wonderful --- they usually know how to vary sounds to keep the experience interesting.
Sad Memory 7/10
Here is Furay's second foray into songwriting on this album, and it's easily the most boring song of the album so far. I don't have anything against songwriters just strumming an acoustic guitar and singing, but the melody should at least be somewhat engaging. There's some electric guitar piddling in the "distant background," but that's not really enough. To make matters worse, the lyrics are trite.
Good Time Boy 7/10
It is an upbeat though sterile rocker written by Foray and the gruff vocals from drummer Dewey Martin take over! I like his vocals, but that doesn't do a whole lot for the mediocre songwriting. They bring in some session horn musicians to keep the swing... hm...
Rock 'N' Roll Woman 8/10
This is so rocking that I guess it proves that women can't rock! (Hey, it's not me being sexist, it's Stephen Stills!) That riff they use is pretty sterile and their attitude is QUITE wimpy! I can't say that listening to this is a bad experience or anything, because there's some nice guitar noodling through this, and the development is interesting. But --- well, it's unmemorable.
Broken Arrow 8/10
And they let the Supreme Being's six-minute collage ends the festivities. It begins with some audience screaming and a sound snippet of "Mr. Soul." That all stops suddenly, and Young starts to sing the "Broken Arrow" ballad. He recycles his idea to change intermittently between 4/4 and 3/4 time that he tried earlier in "Nowadays Clancy Can't Sing." That all completely ends, and we hear audience noise. An organ begins to play "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and then it fades out into a psychedelic void... OK... that was pointless. The "Broken Arrow" ballad pops up again --- and ya know, that's not a bad ballad at all. That all suddenly stops again, and there's a drum roll that starts up and then fades back into the psychedelic void. Why he has to reuse a gimmick again that didn't work the first time is kind of silly. And, *HMMM* the "Broken Arrow" ballad starts for the third time. The final minute consists of some jazzy noodling... And then some heartbeats (sort of going Pink Floyd there) and that's it. So, let me tell you what I think of this song. I like the "Broken Arrow" melody nicely. But the development is as awkward and clunky as it gets. Not that I don't appreciate Neil Young's creativity, but he should leave that kind of thing to the innovators. (I'm fully expecting him to smite me now...)
Last Time Around (1968)
Read the full review:
On the Way Home B
A nice opener, indeed! Itís a straight-ahead, mid-tempo rocker with a quasi-stale melody and standard instrumentation. Itís a Neil Young song though he doesnít sing on itÖ He seemed to have been either restraining his creativity or he was saving it for his 1969 solo album! This is absolutely nothing special, and the only thing I can say I particularly like about it is the simple violin two-thirds the way through.
Itís So Hard to Wait C-
Cheese-Whiz! Whatzis??? This seems like a sort of half-witted jazz-pop tune except a lot more boring. By gollyÖ
Pretty Girl Why B
Probably because she thinks youíre ugly, and youíre not wealthy yet!!! Well, this is a fine song anyway that features a forgettable melody and a very Ď60s sort of sound effect. Leave it to Stephen Stills to not break the mold! OK, but I like the bass guitar. I always like the bass guitar, though.
Four Days Gone B-
Yes, itís likable! Mediocre, but likable. Yeah, you probably guessed it. Itís another Stephen Stills song. The melody is good enough to be likable at the present, but it leaves no impact whatsoever. Blah!!
Carefree Country Day D+
Jim Messina, the bassist, wrote and sang this one, which makes sense considering itís not very good. The melody was obviously lifted from some old jazz tune and the bandís playing like they donít care. This mellow vibe is done so well that Iím getting sleepy! Oh, maybe this is finally a cure for my insomnia! If I only didnít have to concentrate on this typing!!
Special Care B+
Stephen Stills writes so many songs that itís a shame he canít write too many good ones! Eh, what am I complaining about? I like this one. Heck, it might even have a genuine ďeffect.Ē The melody isnít that great, but at least it features some of his guitar licks.
The Hour of Not Quite Rain B
Couldnít you just title this track ďMuggy for a Bit?Ē Why do you hippies always have to make everything so complicated? Ö Enough of my petty dissenting! This is one of the albumís more constructively diverse tracks! The orchestral arrangements with the violins, flutes, oboes, horns, etc. (plus, a drum kit) are posh! But I like that sort of thing! The only kink is the melody, which is dead-dull. They might have taken a moment to develop an atmosphere (the mere presence of a full orchestra doesnít constitute atmosphere), but Iím complaining too much! I appreciate this!!
Yup; fuzzy guitar and an upbeat rhythm. Definitely more up their alley, it seems. Leave all that posh nonsense for the likes of The Moody Blues. Good old whatís-his-face penned this likable tune with a slightly-more-memorable-than-forgettable melody.
I Am a Child A-
Well you shouldnít be smoking pot, then! Ö Hey, this song is pretty good! Not that crazy about the harmonica sound at the beginning, but at least it has a nice melodic idea. What ensues is a rather pretty Neil Young tune. Itís nothing complex (and it lacks a real ending), but simplicity is all it seemed to need.
Somehow, Richard Furay let a marginally catchy melody slip through the cracks. Heck, give me that over Stephen Stills whose songs are increasingly sounding like clones! The carnival instrumentation bits were nice though far from stimulating. EhÖ I never expected to be that stimulated by this group, anyway!
Uno Mundo B
Stills delivers his typical songwriting but with a Latin vibe! Hey, this is the reminder I needed that Os Mutantes is a much superior band! Ö Alright, I appreciate this song, but it needed more spice.
Kind Woman C-
Thatís it? Why are there die-hard fans of this group?? This is one of the most boring and bloated tunes of the album. It would have been nice if there were hooks in the melody or anything beyond this uninspired, country music pandering instrumentation. Well, the melody is boring because this is a Furay song! Oh, the backing band is skilled but theyíre sleepwalking again. Gotta wake up!!!
Movie Reviews | Short Stories | Message Board | Contact Me