Release Date: Oct 21, 2016
Record label: Groundup Music
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Despite a career characterised by collaboration, recent years have seen David Crosby taking centre-stage more than ever. Considering the 18 years that passed between his first and second solo LPs, this follow-up to 2014’s Croz would suggest that he’s enjoying something of a creative purple patch. Lighthouse sees Crosby at his most stripped-back; rather than attempting to update his sound to suit the times it feels as if he has distilled it, leaving something akin to Essence Of Crosby, despite being crafted in cahoots with Michael League of Snarky Puppy.
As a whole, Lighthouse doesn't reach the creative level of its 1971 inspiration. "Paint You a Picture," co-written by the singer with Marc Cohn, suffers from the former's generic melody. It hangs a poignant poetic lyric out to dry -- Laurance's piano fills almost rescue it, but not quite. Throughout, there's a sameness in tempo and production values that results in a pleasant but blurry dream effect.
There’s always been a bemusing disconnect between David Crosby’s art and persona. On record, he often sounds suspended in a haze, caught between folky introspection and steely defiance, but he can come across as cantankerous crank. Recently, he’s been apt to vent his spleen on Twitter, where he maintains one of the best celebrity feeds going, and also in candid interviews where he doesn't hide that he’s feuding with former bandmate Neil Young and is so financially strapped that he’s had to sell his schooner and that he considers purchasing a Tesla an indulgence.
Lights twinkle, flicker, blaze, and sparkle throughout David Crosby's finest solo album since his melancholy 1971 masterpiece If I Could Only Remember My Name. A subtly cohesive set of tunes reflecting Crosby's politics, spirituality and emotional maturity, Lighthouse is an unusually robust late-career move radiating inventive musicianship, relaxed self-assurance and gently cantankerous autumnal wisdom. ("Shame on me for thinking I could be someone who could be free," he chides the political forces of darkness in "Someone Other Than You.