Neil Young

Neil Young

Reprise

Dec 16, 2009 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Neil Young's first solo album after the breakup of Buffalo Springfield is pretty stunning to listen to 40 years after its release, especially in such pristine remastered form. Young's career has been so fruitful and he's maintained such a distinctive persona that hearing the guitar solo in "I've Been Waiting for You" conjures up a montage of images and eras; it's like watching Forrest Gump in that one keeps asking how one man found himself in the middle of so muchfrom Woodstock to Kurt Cobain's suicide note, and everything in between.

Neil Young came out in 1968, and serves as the aural transition between Buffalo Springfield and Crazy Horse. Even though Young's guitar has always sounded like no one else's, there's a tactile difference as large as LSD and battery acid. Somewhere, Young found a jagged edge to tear at his notes. Neil Young has its fair share of both, but leans heavily on the quieter, more introspective side, such as the stately "String Quartet From Whiskey Boot Hill" or the staple "The Old Laughing Lady."

Some forgotten tracks, such as the gorgeous "Here We Are in the Years," come as a real surprise. The debt owed to Young by such recent artists as Midlake and Fleet Foxes reveals itself even more starkly. Perhaps that's why a 40-year-old album hasn't lost any of its electricity. (www.neilyoung.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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