A nother change of partners, this time inheriting part of former Manassas-mate Chris Hillman’s backing band with new members Donnie Dacus, Russell Kunkle, and Leland Sklar. Stills (the album) is mellow country-rock with some bittersweet guitar pickin’, high harmonies and an occasional flash of teeth. New guitarist Dacus is given a good share of the spotlight (he’s even featured on the back cover with Stills), cowriting a couple of tracks and slipping in several nice leads. Although Stills’ Columbia recordings (of which this is the first) marked a decline in product, it’s a pretty subtle decline here. The record includes a lot of music, some of it very good (“As I Come of Age”) and some of it no more than a soulful standing in place (“My Angel”). You have yet to read a positive account of this record, which makes me wonder what critics expected. While might give the nod to Illegal Stills, this record has too many good qualities to dismiss out of hand. There’s an earthy spirituality in Stills’ music that invites comparison to Neil Young, the Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell, and Crosby & Nash. He may not reach their high plateaus here, but a cool vibe underpinned by muscular playing makes the time pass quickly.