Sunday, April 30, 2006

Even though I can't remember the last time I was really, really crazy about a new Neil Young record, and that includes Prairie Wind, (which still leaves me unmoved months later) I still care enough to notice that he's back with a new one and is getting some hype because it's apparently strongly anti-Bush and anti-war. I seem to recall our Neil was a big supporter of the Reagan administration, which was almost as despicable as our current one but now almost seems benignly naughty in comparison...but hey, one thing long-time fans have learned, if anything, is not to expect consistency from the erstwhile Bard of Topanga County.

Part of this hype machine is a website where you can go listen to a stream of this new album, which I'm listening to even as I type, and I can tell you two things right off the bat: one, the lead cut "After the Garden" is as melodic as anything he's done since perhaps Ragged Glory, and like that elpee has its drive and that Ol' Black gnarrrg guitar sound. Two, I really, really wish Neil would get over larding his tunes with group vocals for him to shout bromides over, and that he would take that horn section and put it back in cold storage. Still, that lead cut sounds good, and I'm going to give the whole thing a good long listen.

Also, here's the requisite blog and MySpace site.

Edit: After listing to the whole thing once through, two tracks stood out (and there were at least a couple more which I liked): "Families" and especially the mournful, almost "Don't Be Denied" (from Time Fades Away- put that G-darn album out on CD, Neil!)-ish "Roger and Out".

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