Neil Young: After The Gold Rush (Reprise) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

Neil Young

After The Gold Rush

Reprise

Dec 21, 2009 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


For people who can't stand Neil Young, who find his voice grating, his guitar screechy and disjointed, After the Gold Rush is the album they should most definitely avoid. Young detractors can also point to the issues with "Southern Man" since, well, Lynryrd Skynyrd already did (and who wouldn't want to be on that side of that argument?). There isn't another album quite so quintessentially Neil Young as After the Gold Rush, where he felt so comfortable and confident in his own skin.

It was, after all, Young's forceful presence in Crosby, Stills, and Nash that had driven the band to new artistic and commercial heights. The influence of that experience can be heard in "Only Love Can Break Your Heart," one of Young's most tender songs. Young also had the cockiness to create an entire song with the two most rockinest of instruments, the piano and the flugelhorn, and then lend it the added attention of making it the title song.

Throughout, Young and his backing band (which included a young Nils Lofgren) keep a tight leash on the tunes. Every note is so precisely controlled, each moment so carefully orchestrated (literally and figuratively) that After the Gold Rush stands as an interesting counterpoint to the previous year's Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, which seemed to be a barely constrained show of force. Matured after only a year's experiences (a year that included the aforementioned CSNY stint and a little concert called Woodstock) Young returned to his solo career with a stricter sense of craft. This ushered Young into a larger, more pop-oriented world, one that would see him score a huge album and a number one hit two years later. (www.neilyoung.com)

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