Each of the three fever-induced songs Young wrote for “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” is a standout track separate from the other. Each crackles with the energy of the moment, draws the listener into that feverish afternoon when Neil Young wrote the songs and showcases the collaborative magic between Young and Crazy Horse.
“Cinnamon Girl,” the album opener and Young’s personal favorite, is a rocking, bouncy jam with soft cymbals and four-on-the-floor clapping. As quoted by Far Out Magazine, Young says he “wrote this for a city girl on a chipping sidewalk coming at me through Phil Ochs eyes playing cymbals. It was hard to explain to my wife.”
“Down by the River” is a nine-minute trance track with a straightforward verse-chorus structure that loops as Young and Company’s solo and riff over it. Young wrote and performed the track on one of his favorite guitars, “Old Black,” a 1953 Gibson Les Paul he bought for $50 in 1967, as Ultimate Classic Rock puts it.
“Cowgirl in the Sand”, the closest album, resembles “Down By the River” by being a longer track (10 minutes). It also has a looping structure that allows each band member to take turns playing phrases in addition to its basic chord progression. “Cowgirl in the Sand” is full of melancholy and nostalgia, while “Down By the River” is more of a happy folkloric celebration.