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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Chrome Dreams II Reviews

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A roundup of Chrome Dreams II reviews. Some excellent. Some good. Some mediocre.

Got an opinion? Drop a comment.



"Neil Young Reconciles His Opposing Sides" - Village Voice by Richard Bienstock:
Chrome Dreams II, on which various Neils commingle to an extent not heard on record since perhaps 1989's Freedom, immediately comes off as the 61-year-old artist's freshest effort in years, even as it's steeped in Young-ian oddball mythology: The "II" in the title is in deference to the Loch Ness monster that is Chrome Dreams, an unreleased late-'70s "album" that has been credited as the original home of now-classics like "Powderfinger" and "Like a Hurricane." But Young is also nodding to more verifiable history: The new record is front-loaded with three '80s-era tunes ("Ordinary People" in particular has, in the ensuing years, been deified by Neil-philes), while the backing musicians gathered here are alumni of past Young bands the Stray Gators, the Bluenotes, and of course, Crazy Horse.

"'Chrome' At Last!" - Entertainment Weekly by WILLMAN, CHRIS (via BNB):
"Maybe branding this one a follow-up to something that officially doesn't exist is the 61-year-old firebrand's waggish way of telling faithful followers that even though he controversially charges as much as $260 for a ticket nowadays, he's still the incorrigible kook they know and love. But there's serious intent to the titular in-joke too: He's signaling to fans that in the grooves, where it counts, he's back in Classic Neil mode."

Crawdaddy! - Reviews - Neil Young by Denise Sullivan:
Chrome Dreams II may just be Young's own version of Dylan's rejuvenating Time Out of Mind.

Young calls it an album about the human condition, though more specifically, he delves into the desire for communion with a higher self, and perhaps even a force outside the self. Could it be God? If you’ve ever gone looking for the divine in Neil Young's songs, you'd probably find evidence of it in his holy visions of natural beauty, love, and family — Young's stock in trade when he isn't staring into the abyss.

Atheist and agnostic Young listeners, consider yourselves forewarned: Chrome Dreams II just might make a believer out of you.

"Neil Young Is Full of Shit" - Seattle Weekly by Brian J Barr (This is actually much better than the title suggests! Great graphic with this review and definitely worth the click):
"Prairie Wind suggested Neil had come close to God in his post–brain surgery years, and the seven new tracks on Chrome Dreams II do nothing to refute that."

Glide Magazine Reviews By Jason Gonulsen:
"“Shining Light,” “The Believer,” Spirit Road,” “Dirty Old Man,” and “Ever After” all represent something different that Young has tried over the past few years; there are moments in any song that will remind one of Are You Passionate, Prairie Wind, or Sleeps with Angels, and there will be difficult moments in this stretch for any Neil Young fan. It’s here in the heart of Chrome Dreams II where the listener has to polish off what he or she likes and move on to the real treat of album, “No Hidden Path,” which is quite possibly the best song Young has recorded in the 21st century. I don’t want to tell you it’s better than “Change Your Mind,” “Love and Only Love,” or “I’m The Ocean,” but its 14-and-a-half minutes do what no other Neil Young song has done in quite a while: it’s strong where it should be weak, soaring when it should be taking a rest; yes, it’s ok to get excited."

New York Magazine:
Following "Southern Man" and "Old Man," the track "Dirty Old Man" completes Neil Young's song trilogy about men who've made questionable life choices.

Toronto's NOW review (via BNB) by Tim Perlich:
"As the years pass, Young seems progressively more prone to settle for mediocre ideas and hammer away at them longer, stretching them out with pointless guitar wank (and there's loads of it here) that some fans might actually enjoy."

UK Times Online by Pete Paphides:
"The sense of a man in the middle of some great cosmic audit finds its match on The Believer. Here, Young hints at an Earth-centred mysticism that takes flight on the concluding starlit rapture of The Way and Spirit Road. As sundry Crazy Horse alumni chug out a messy, kinetic riff on the latter, Young celebrates the nomadic urges of the song’s youthful protagonist. You want it to go on twice as long, but it conks out gloriously at six minutes."

On Rust: Early thoughts on CDII (spoiler) a track by track rundown by Pontus:
"It's really to early to say, but right now I'd rank this one as one of the two strongest Neil albums since the early 90's."

"For Neil Young, some songs never sleep" -- chicagotribune.com by Greg Kot:
"'I don't know where I'm goin'/Show me now, I'm waiting to see you,' Young sings on 'Shining Light.' It's a question Young has been trying to answer his entire career, and the sense that he can't settle down, that he flits from style to style like a moth lost in a light bulb factory, is the key to his appeal, and also the root of his failures."

From Neil Young News: Chrome Dreams II Reviews comment by Andrew:
"I gotta say, after reading two dozen or so rather mixed reviews, listening to the tracks on myspace, reading the lyrics, and so on... I wasn't expecting alot from this album... but let me tell you that it absolutely floored me. I honest to god love every track, and I think it could be my favourite Neil album since Harvest Moon or Ragged Glory. (I said the same for Prairie Wind, but this blows PW out of the water too, in my opinion). Not a perfect album, but flawed in the same sort of endearing way that American Stars N' Bars and Hawks and Doves are flawed... as opposed to Living With War flawed. The record has such a beautiful vibe to it. Very mysterious, melancholy kinda thing... similar to the original Chrome Dreams, in my opinion."

Slant Magazine Music Review by Jimmy Newlin:
Since the This Note's For You period, ["Ordinary People"] has long been a bootlegger's fave. Like much of Young's '80s output, it's an angry, sprawling diatribe about the problems of the inner city, Reaganomics, materialism, and so forth, dressed up as an apocalyptic vision. The song is compelling—thanks in no small part to the presence of the Blue Note Horns—but it's 15 minutes too long and 19 years too late. Some critics have quipped about the song's reference to "Lee Iacocca people," but I'm more struck by Young's imagining of "people [getting] drugs to the street all right/Trying to help the people." I'm not saying it's for better or worse, but pop culture's portrayals of drug use has become far more realistic in the nearly two decades since this song was written: Think Eminem's descriptions of vicodin, or the representations of crack use on The Shield or in Half Nelson. The song's G-rated images of "dealers" and "the streets" captures the outrage that followed the crack explosion of the '80s, but it also captures the cluelessness of that era's white liberal indignation. To include it on a new album—as opposed to a rarities compilation or something to give it a sense of temporal context—reinforces what some of us feared when the 9/11 anthem "Let's Roll" came out: Neil's turning out to be a bit of a square.

Metacritics Reviews:
Observer Music Monthly
Backed with the gusto of big horns, Young's guitar is once again a thing of wonder on this track, now slashing and burning, now playing transcendent dance riffs.

Mojo
An album of great emotional depth and uninhibited artistry. [Nov 2007, p.96]

Amazon.com
What we have here is easily Mr. Young's finest work in years, one that erases the memory of his well-intentioned but anemic 2006 protest album, "Living with War."

Entertainment Weekly
It is his most enjoyable and well-rounded one in, like, an eternity.

Boston Globe
The veteran rock 'n' roller manages a few neat tricks on this sprawling head-spinner.

The World Wide Glen: Welcome to My Thoughtmare (review has some cool graphics):
"So on its surface, Chrome Dreams II is a mixed bag that feels like one of those notoriously 'in-between' Neil Young albums I alluded to earlier. Some are calling it his best in years, although I'm not really sure I'm quite ready to go there yet. What I will say is that there is at least a little bit of every element here that has made Neil Young such an enduring artist over the years."

Macalester College Weekly -"Better to burn out: Neil Young's new record, "Chrome Dreams II" by Jon Bernstein:
The song titles alone tell the story quite nicely: tracks like "Shining Light," and "The Believer" assert the power of simple faith. Young spends the majority of the album dealing with his belief, and searching for some sort of ultimate sense of relief. "Show me the way, and I'll follow you today," Young pleads in the second to last track, "No Hidden Path," and in the very next song and album finale, "The Way", we're left with a children's choir singing almost mockingly that they indeed "know the way," and that they're kind enough to "show the way, to get you back home, to the peace where you belong." We're left in a sense of soothing ease, knowing that Young (with the help of the Young People's Chorus of New York City) will give us a way to find comfort and harmony at home.

After all, "there comes a time when you settle down", but "Chrome Dreams II" shows that even when you're settled, there's always more drifting to be done.

Eye Weekly by STUART BERMAN:
"Following the conceptual grandeur of Greendale, the post-aneurysm introspection of Prairie Wind and the flash-mob protest of Living With War, Chrome Dreams II arrives as the first Neil Young album in many harvest moons without any real unifying logic or purpose. Named as the sequel to a mid-'70s album that he never released, it thus plays like a grab bag of leftovers, split evenly between grunge grunts (“Dirty Old Man”), ersatz soul (“The Believer”) and folkie harmonica honks (“Beautiful Bluebird,” a veritable rewrite of Harvest's “Out on the Weekend”). But all that appears to be mere window dressing to prop up “Ordinary People,” a brass-blasted holdover from the late-'80s Bluetones era (complete with Lee Iacocca namedrop) that, in its unwaveringly repetitive nine-verse/18-minute sprawl, is either the most tedious or the most intensely passionate or the most hilariously audacious thing Neil's ever done. (Of course, he's earmarked it as the single.)"

Things I'd Rather Be Doing:
While "Ordinary People" is getting the most ink thanks to its 18-minute length and the fact that it's a leftover from the This Note's For You album, the last two tracks are the most meaningful for me. "The Hidden Path" is a 14-minute rambler that wouldn't sound out of place on one of Young's lesser Crazy Horse discs. But it's message, particularly in the lyric "Show me the way and I'll follow you today" perfectly sets up the next track, not so coincidentally called "The Way." There, Young is joined by a chorus of children who share the fact that they know "the way:" "We'll show the way to get you back home to the peace where you belong."

I've heard a lot of people give lectures recently who all point to the extraordinary differences between the current generation of young people and those preceding, my generation included. While most of us probably thought that we would be the generation to save the world from the ills foisted upon it by previous ones, we never seemed to get around to it. By all indications, this generation, which has grown up with unprecedented technology and the knowledge that things like global warming and religious-based strife are givens, is ready to do something about all of it. It has been heartening to hear about this, and I can only hope that these lecturers are right.

Young seems ready. While "The Hidden Path" might meander, it seems like a not-so-hidden aural metaphor for the aimless drift his generation and those that followed have found themselves on. They all wanted to change the world, but things never work out the way you planned. In frustration, his guitar wailing away in the background, he asks to be shown the way. On the next track, the children reassure him: We know the way. It's the kind of spiritual moment that Young has flailed about in search of for a few albums now. From the overreaching bombast of Greendale to the sweet but unfocused Prairie Wind, he always just missed the mark. He doesn't do so here with his most inspired music -- I long ago conceded the fact that while Young will always make albums worth hearing, the chances of him making another truly great album, more than a decade after his last, are slim -- his aim and his execution, coupled with geopolitical events, have rendered this one as meaningful as anything he's done despite the limitations.

From Stereophile by Robert Baird:
Whatever your feelings about either of Young's stylistic personalities, the combination of both on one record is brilliant. What's most undeniably impressive about Chrome Dreams II is the proof it offers that Neil Young is one of the few rock musicians of his generation who has not only survived, but thrives.


As for Thrasher's thoughts on CDII? On first listen, "Ordinary People", "Spirit Road" and "No Hidden Path", totally floored us. But we weren't expecting everything to floor us nor should we and that's OK. Afterall, how many times can someone turn out masterpieces like "Hurricane", "Cortez" or "Change Your Mind"? However, "No Hidden Path" has the potential to be in the upper tiers of all out jams.

It took us a little while to get our ears wrapped around TFA, TTN, & OTB upon release in the '70's. It took years to really appreciate the '80's work. We're still coming around on albums like AYP and S&G. But, hey, we loved Greendale & LWW from the get go, so go figure? The point being that it often takes awhile to truly appreciate what Neil's trying to do and the music to resonate. CDII is a mixed bag with '80's and '00's songs, but we somehow have a feeling that 10 years out this one will hold up too, pass the test of time and age well. The themes on the new songs are cohesively woven around the power of love, spiritual healing, and the divine unknown

And that all makes for a mighty fine Neil album, IMHO.

But what do we know? Last we checked, Chrome Dreams II was #24 #22 #19 #10 on the Amazon Best Sellers Listing.

Got an opinion? Drop a comment.

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31 Comments:

At 10/17/2007 11:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Thrasher:

I posted this on Rust--you may want to watch out for it.

Sound Opinions will review both CDII and the new radiohead on the next program. Syndicated on
NPR.
See: http://www.soundopinions.org/
You can download podcast after a week.

For a hint how it may go, here is the Chicago Sun Times review: http://tinyurl.com/266c4j

Also, all are invited to Chicago Rustfest 11/12-13!
http://tinyurl.com/2eaejm

-Chicago

 
At 10/18/2007 02:50:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved it!

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=U2EK0P5R

 
At 10/18/2007 08:24:00 PM, Blogger Book'em Productions said...

Of course I loved OP, and thought this would be the albums finest moment. But now hearing it all, I think maybe Spirit Road or Dirty Old Man may beat it out. Glad the reviews are worth of what Neil means to me, to us all. I have the free copy coming from the ticket sales, but I couldn't wait; I just plunked down the 9 bucks on Rhapsody!

 
At 10/19/2007 11:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have ordered the new album.I can't wait to hear Ordinary people !
Callie ( to the north )

 
At 10/19/2007 06:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got my copy in the mail, heard it online yesterday and I can say I dig the first 3 songs, Spirit Road, and the last 2 songs for sure. The rest is still up in the air. I'm digging the art and pictures, first time in awhile he's put full page pictures in there where you can actually see what they're doing while recording.

Anyone else think this is called Chrome Dreams 2 because it's a collection of songs without a set style or theme? I read somewhere he trashed the first one after Carole King said it was just a collection of songs, not an album. Just a thought.

Also, whats he holding on the back cover in the doorway? CD1?

$killit

 
At 10/20/2007 07:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought my copy of "Chrome Dreams II" at a "Saturn" chain store (in Germany) yesterday. It came with a free bonus CD including "Broken Arrow" (recorded live at the Riverboat Toronto 1969). It's a single-track CD inside a paper sleeve. The front-cover says "A Selection From NYA Performance Series Volume I The Riverboat". Now if you order Chrome Dreams II at the "jpc" mailorder you will get a free CD with "The Old Laughing Lady". Slightly bizarre release philosophy, but cool anyway. I've played CDII at least 5 times already and I really like it a lot. There's at least 5 tracks that already stand out and deserve to be called "classic".

 
At 10/20/2007 11:31:00 AM, Anonymous Simpson said...

You can listen to the full album on Rhapsody and I must say "No Hidden Path" is by far my favorite. Then "Ordinary People" and "Dirty Old Man." Check them out! Can't wait 'till this Tuesday!

 
At 10/21/2007 01:15:00 AM, Anonymous Andrew said...

I gotta say, after reading two dozen or so rather mixed reviews, listening to the tracks on myspace, reading the lyrics, and so on... I wasn't expecting alot from this album... but let me tell you that it absolutely floored me.

I honest to god love every track, and I think it could be my favourite Neil album since HM or Ragged Glory. (I said the same for Prairie Wind, but this blows PW out of the water too, in my opinion). Not a perfect album, but flawed in the same sort of endearing way that American Stars N' Bars and Hawks and Doves are flawed... as opposed to Living With War flawed.

The record has such a beautiful vibe to it. Very mysterieous, melancholy kinda thing... similar to the original Chrome Dreams, in my opinion.

The highlights for me are BOXCAR, OP, Shining Light, No Hidden Path, BBB... but damn. I can tell this is going to be one of those albums where all of the songs are a favourite at some point.

NHP is great. It's like a 14 minute long solo groove with lyrics... as opposed to a real song. Very hypnotic. The guitar work is very reminiscent to EKTIKW, but anyone expecting a Down By The River will be disappointed.

The mixed bag approach is very refreshing. Something I've really missed without realizing it, I think. I really hope he continues to make records like this, rather than go back to the one-style approach.

Sorry for the long rambling. I just needed to pour my thoughts out somewhere.

Can't wait to hear some of this stuff live.

 
At 10/21/2007 03:24:00 PM, Blogger heywally said...

Neil's music has always been about the great songs and melodicism that he writes with - I don't believe anyone in the rock world has written so many great songs. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any great songs on this recording so I guess I see it as Neil's weakest recording in a while - I think there's a reason some of these songs were never released before. There is some nice electric guitar work in here though in some of the extended jamming. Disappointed.

 
At 10/21/2007 11:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just saw his concert in spokane and it was amazing. Neil is the life in music, making everything come alive when he steps out on the stage.

I also caught his painted hat that says Neil on it. how much do you guys think thats worth? Not that I would ever sell it.

 
At 10/22/2007 04:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chrome Dreams II was just posted on metacritic.com. That site merges the reviews together and comes up with a cumulative scor, which can be pretty useful.

See http://www.metacritic.com/music/artists/youngneil/chromedreams2

I've got tix to the Boston show on Sun, Dec 2 and should be getting my CD in the mail any day now.

 
At 10/23/2007 03:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just listened to the album a couple of times.
It's a truly good album, I like every songs in it...but man...I always thought Beautiful bluebird was an alternate version of Sail Away..! lol

 
At 10/23/2007 01:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just listened for the first time - put the CD in my walkman and went walking on a beautiful fall day in Minneapolis. It's a good album with good songs, executed well. It has honest feeling in it - dealing a lot with what a man (like me) faces when you know that there are way fewer days ahead of you than behind and you wonder what it's all about - is there any meaning in any of this? It has a lot of the feeling of Prairie Wind in it.

I can't say I'm going to be putting it in my Neil rotation. Given my drothers, would I listen to Chrome Dreams II or On the Beach? There's nothing in this album that speaks to me like "My troubles are all meaningless, but that don't make them go away". Neil is coming from a different place now, and we gotta respect that. He's not at that stage in life where he can write "red means run son" or even "ordinary people".

 
At 10/23/2007 02:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anonymous, who wrote:

"He's not at that stage in life where he can write 'red means run son' or even 'ordinary people.'"

I think the lyric, "I'm living with war in my heart every day..." is proof Neil is on top of his game as much as ever. People don't yet fully appreciate LWW's place in the pantheon of war protest songs. Can anyone name an entire album dedicated to speaking truth to power?

I can. It's called Living With War.

 
At 10/23/2007 05:43:00 PM, Blogger Christopher Lane said...

I just picked up my copy at BB. Not Riverboat disc. What gives???

 
At 10/24/2007 07:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've listened to CDII about 20 times now,and I still say it's one of his bottom 5 records of all time.maybe bottom 3.
Lets put it this way, nobody is gonna become hooked on Neil or become a Neil Young fan listerning to this CD. Alot of us love Neils music for so long, that it's easy to try and like it........ but this CD does very little for me.
Quite boring for a Neil record actualy.

 
At 10/24/2007 10:25:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the comment about LWW - Neil was as "vital" and hanging it out there on that record as he has ever been. It holds up amazingly well for a broadside.

CDII is a different kind of record. Neil can do both (and more) and we don't all have to like everything, you know. Neil has a right to make his art - the consequence being that not everyone will like it. So what?

 
At 10/24/2007 02:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every Neil album needs time, like fine wine, CDII is vintage of several eras, and it will mature in due course. I remember my boyhood confusion and dissillusionment with Time Fades Away in 1973 (maybe I paid too much attention to the critics?). By 1975, however, I spun that album so much it wore out... I've since "replaced it" about six times. CDII has songs that are really classic Neil - Beautiful Bluebird, and Spirit Road could almost have been issued in 1976.. as could No Hidden Path. I speculate that Neil is melding songs circa 1974 with CDII to point out how much this music already "existed" in his mind if not in deed.

 
At 10/24/2007 04:25:00 PM, Blogger Glen Boyd said...

Thanx for the linky love Thrasher (and the catch in my review).

Saw the show last night in Seattle and was blown away. Same setlist as Portland best as I could tell, but man nothing can prepare you for the live version of "No Hidden Path." WOW!

Also nice to hear "Ambulance Blues" in a live setting -- which I never thought I'd live to see.

So I'm almost willing to forgive Neil now for those outrageous ticket prices.

Note that I said "almost"...

Glen Boyd
The World Wide Glen

 
At 10/26/2007 01:31:00 AM, Anonymous Big John said...

Just bought CDII and listened once through. It's a beauty. Great production and performances. More powerful when the bad guys are faceless and anonymous than when named.

 
At 10/27/2007 01:40:00 AM, Anonymous Big John said...

The jams on Unhidden have epiphanous moments and Ben Keith is the first guy since Danny Whitten whose rhythm guitar interface is distinctive yet complimentary to Neil's soloing, which is heaven sent on this track. (Don't worry Pancho, I love you too.)

 
At 10/27/2007 12:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone understand what's up with the bonus CDs?

I bought one copy for a friend and the collector's edition DVD -- neither had a bonus CD

The record:

I think it is one of his best since Freedom. It comapres in spirit and quality to that record

CD II is full of lyrical wisdom, which unites the pieces and makes it a suite -- the themes being love, tragedy, the Divine, contentment

The music itself comes in a great variety and has tremendous force and energy. The man can still rock out

Long may he run

 
At 10/27/2007 06:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

chrome dreams ll - awesome music - Neil rocks but I paid double for the DVD/CD set and the DVD was very disappointing - what a rip. Been a fan since day one and the DVD was the biggest disappointment ever.

 
At 10/27/2007 10:58:00 PM, Blogger Dan said...

Thrasher,

Just came across New York Times Review on Neil and CDII -- on their site now, probably going to print tmrw (10/28):

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/arts/music/28pare.html

Dan

 
At 10/28/2007 12:04:00 PM, Blogger Dan said...

Thrasher:

NYT review/interview - Forgot to mention that there are also 3 great audio clips of Neil speaking about CD I & II (about 1 min each) see URLs:

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/audiosrc/arts/oldalbum.mp3

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/audiosrc/arts/newalbum.mp3

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/audiosrc/arts/inspirationfordirty.mp3

The article (mentioned in previous post) and a pretty cool picture can be found at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/arts/music/28pare.html

Dan

 
At 1/10/2008 01:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...it's great, it's great, I just listened 6x in a row to "the way" and I have fu**** tears in my eyes, oh my dear, it's great, thanks Neil!

 
At 4/29/2008 06:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont know where to put this - so can someone move it

Time Fades away for download at:
http://www.buddyhead.com/2008/04/29/time-fades-away-love-rockets-janes-addiction-and-sly-stone/

its only at 160k/s but the sound quality is great as far as I can tell.

 
At 10/28/2008 03:53:00 PM, Anonymous Doc said...

I've probably seen Neil between 12-15 times and No Hidden Path is pretty amazing live. Sorry I didn't post this after he played the Fox in STL (Chrome Dreams) but I only recently discovered your site. BTW Thanks for all the great Neil info.

 
At 4/13/2009 09:16:00 PM, Anonymous Ian Kertis said...

CDII is one of my favorite Neil albums of this past decade (although SWA is also one of my favorites, so be forewarned that my taste is odd...) The essence of passion seems to be all over the album.

All ten songs are strong numbers, and the variance of styles and genres among them is one of the album's greatest strengths and a key reason that I prefer to many of his other recent albums, such as Prairie Wind (whose strong positive reception perplexes me, quite honestly.)

My favorites on CDII: Beautiful Bluebird, Boxcar, Ordinary People, Shining Light, Spirit Road, No Hidden Path. The remaining tracks are also *very* strong material even though they don't achieve the same heights of excellence as those ones I have mentioned by name.

I cannot emphasize enough that this album is completely passionate. I doubt he'll equal let alone surpass it for years to come ("Fork in the Road", while quite solid, certainly does not.)

 
At 4/13/2009 09:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CDII is one of my favorite Neil albums of this past decade (although SWA is also one of my favorites, so be forewarned that my taste is odd...) The essence of passion seems to be all over the album.

All ten songs are strong numbers, and the variance of styles and genres among them is one of the album's greatest strengths and a key reason that I prefer to many of his other recent albums, such as Prairie Wind (whose strong positive reception perplexes me, quite honestly.)

My favorites on CDII: Beautiful Bluebird, Boxcar, Ordinary People, Shining Light, Spirit Road, No Hidden Path. The remaining tracks are also *very* strong material even though they don't achieve the same heights of excellence as those ones I have mentioned by name.

I cannot emphasize enough that this album is completely passionate. I doubt he'll equal let alone surpass it for years to come ("Fork in the Road", while quite solid, certainly does not.)

 
At 5/18/2009 03:32:00 PM, Blogger Matthew Lintzenich said...

Beautiful Bluebird... sounds nothing like... Out on the Weekend.

Who thinks of these ridiculous comparisons?

I read a review recently where someone decided that the chorus of Cough Up the Bucks sounds exactly like Where Did All the Flowers Go by Pete Seeger.

WTF??

 

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Neil Young Songbook Project

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Europe 2016 Tour Dates



2015 Rebel Content Tour


Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
Summer 2013 Europe Tour

Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

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Neil Young Films

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2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

Features Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and others.
Proceeds from sales go to MusiCares,
which helps musicians in need of
financial and medical assistance.

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Neil Young FAQ:
Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
"an indispensable reference"

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Paul McCartney and Neil Young

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"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

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John Lennon and Neil Young


"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
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The Supergroup of the 20th Century



Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

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Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

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Revisiting The Significance of
The Buffalo Springfield


"The revolution will not be televised"
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
The Embarrassment of Mainstream Media

Turn Off Your TV



2014 Neil Young Year in Review:
Yes, Only Love Can Break (& Fix) Your Heart

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

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Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

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Bob and Neil

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So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?


Four Dead in Ohio
kent state
So What Really Happened at Kent State?

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dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power

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Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

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Wilco and Neil Young

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Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young

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Elton John and Neil Young

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Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

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"Powderfinger"
What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment
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I'm Proud to Be A Union Man

UNITED WE STAND/DIVIDED WE FALL


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up


Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...
peacefully

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"


"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize



John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel

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Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie"


We're All On
A Journey Through the Past


Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Freedom:
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Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

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the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists


war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Occupy the Music

Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
#NullifyNSA
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"



Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


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Share

Words

(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul


Namaste