The Buffalo Springfield have once again produced a musically and vocally interesting album. The songs on this album are not always as distinctive as those on their first effort, but they are done well. What Buffalo Springfield Again though obviously lacks is cohesiveness.
Diversity is an advantage but some times goes too far and becomes disunity. This album sounds as if every member of the group is satisfying their own musical needs. Each of them have produced songs in their own bag. Together there is no blend, only a rather obvious alienation among the compositions.
Richie Furay has produced some pretty compositions that are suitable for his voice: “Sad Memory” and for Dewey Martin, the drummer, which comes off as an affected attempt at the Tamla-Motown sound with a touch of Otis Redding.
Neil Young, a very capable and original guitarist, should be strongly commended for his composition, “Mr. Soul,” a gutsy contemporary blues. The song hangs together well. His second composition, “Broken Arrow,” is an attempt at the latest trend in contemporary song writing — the Beatle-esque freak out. The song is over six minutes long. It goes through changes of tone, rhythm, instrumentation, and vocal quality. The song begins with the screams of fans and a rather raspy vocal of “Mr. Soul” and moves to a slower tempo and a different song. Although he incorporates some excellent string tracks and piano tracks, the song, nevertheless, is unsuccessful. It doesn’t hold up, it becomes tiresome and loses impact.
Steve Stills’ songs and arrangements dominate the album. “Bluebird” is an earthy, original bluesy number with great drive. At the end of the track Stills changes the style turning it into a sort of folky, banjo-picking tune. In “Rock and Roll Woman” the group is at its vocal best and the instrumental track is perfectly coordinated.
Buffalo Springfield Again is hardly a failure. Far from it. It is simply a very good, but not great, second effort by a highly talented group.