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Friday, October 16, 2009

Comment of the Moment: We Went to a Football Game and a Neil Young Debate Broke Out

The Comment of the Moment is from We Went to a Football Game and a Neil Young Debate Broke Out by Dan:
Pinto, great post. I had some of the same thoughts including the fact that the response to the first comment didn't address the criticisms (although I aappreciated the response)

With respect to the Dylan comparison it seems to me that Dylan is the head and Neil is the heart ... lyrically its hard to compare to Dylan he's probably the master and Neil is likely to agree to that ...

but the first commentor's premise is that the essence of a good song (and good songwriter) is based on how it stacks up to literary criticism and I'd argue that's a one dimensional analysis, but there are many others to consider ... one of the things that sets Neil apart is the feelings that Neil's songs evokes in the listener and that diverse people can relate to and are moved by the songs in a deep way ...

how many people feel like On the Beach or TTN or pick the album is the soundtrack to their life? There's a greatness to the songs and the songwriting which enables so many people to connect deeply to them ... and in my view Neil accomplishes that partially by the ambiguity of the lyrics which allow for the song to mean different things to different people ... its this aspect that I think allows Neil's songs to feel timeless and to never grow stale .. I can listen to 'Don't Be Denied' 1000 times and I love it more each time ... same goes for everything from Sugar Mountain to 'Spirit Road' ...

so.. I think if you want to harp on that one aspect - literary perfection - and compare him to Dylan - sure he'll fall short, but that same literary style allow for his songs to be timeless emotional masterpieces, at least as far as rock/pop music (with all its limitations) is concerned.

And I agree with Pinto that some of Neil's songs are really well written as measured by a stricter literary standard -- those songs I tend to love less than the more 'open' ones that evoke a feeling ...

In terms of the art analogy, I personally don't like Picasso and am not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because the 'art experts' that established him as a master are some combination of self appointed experts whom the rest of society have decided to follow their subjective standards for what is good art ... I love Monet and Van Gogh because their art make me feel good ... Picasso's makes me feel disjointed and off balance ... but perhaps.

There's more to the picture than meets the eye


Thanks Dan!

More on what happens when We Went to a Football Game and a Neil Young Debate Broke Out. Or see Here We Go Again: Neil Young vs. Bob Dylan.

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At 10/16/2009 11:20:00 AM, Anonymous SONY said...

"take my advice,
don't listen to me"

That pretty much somes it up for me in regard to poetic license, literary prowess,& artistic capacity of the one and only Neil Young.

At 10/16/2009 02:50:00 PM, Blogger Matthew Lintzenich said...

Hey Thrasher,

Check out this very appropriate google suggest. If you type "Neil Young is " into google, only one suggestion pops up. I've posted a screenshot to my blog. Here's a link to it:


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