Be A Goddess in the Planet Wars: Results of Poll for Favorite Neil Young Studio Album of 21st Century
Some fascinating voting results rolling in from Poll: Favorite Neil Young Studio Album of 21st Century.
Very close voting results with Greendale (2003) receiving 27%, followed by Chrome Dreams II (2008) with 20%. Prairie Wind (2005) and Silver & Gold (2000) are tied with 18%.
Living With War (2006) is next at 11%. Are You Passionate? (2002) and Fork in the Road are tied at 3%.
As a contemporary piece of art, Living With War is probably the best one out of all these, but in the long run it will be Greendale that will be remembered. No matter which way you look at it, you will have to agree that, as a concept album, which touches on many societal aspects, such as environmental issues, it is right up there with albums like Pink Floyd's The Wall and The Who's Tommy.
It's also one of the more focused efforts of Neil in the 00's, after all, it came with a book, live concert series and even a movie! Perhaps even more than Living with War, Greendale is quintessentially Neil: when he started performing his new (unreleased) material on the road, people were just as surprised/angry as they were in his heyday when he gave the songs form Harvest, Time Fades Away and Tonight's the Night the same treatment. Greendale is not merely an album, it's a full blown art project, and for that reason it's his greatest achievement in the last decade and one of the greatest in his career.
Donal Murphy said...:
I voted for 'Living With War', Neil really went on a limb with this one. No one else did anything like this or sang anti war sentiment in such a direct way. I applaud him for that. It was of it's time, and will date quickly as it's hard to replicate the feelings around at the time. These songs were only toured once and we will probably never again, hear them live. It was the album Neil had to do.
'Greendale' was my real favourite, but Living With War gets my vote as the message was, well, potent.
Matthew Lintzenich said...
I picked Fork in the Road, primarily because it's an awesome sounding album with extremely strong material on it. I believe the material on FITR is stronger than Greendale, even if it doesn't have that overarching concept/story that made GD so special.
Everything from the mix to the songwriting, the guitar playing, etc. on FITR just works for me.
A lot of people dismiss this album, but I think they'll eventually come around - just give it some time and a bunch of spins and it'll start opening up to you.
I voted for Living with War in the original poll, because it's the most socially important album he's done in the 00's. But FITR is just getting short-shrift, and it shouldn't be.
I also agree with anon 2:20 - Sleeps with Angels is most definitely a masterpiece that hasn't quite had a successor in the 00's.
You polled for 'favorite' which I voted for Silver and Gold.
But the one the hit me the hardest was Living With War.
That thing grabbed me and shook me and didn't let me go for about 2 months. I hate war. I hate hate. I hate necessary evils which I think war is. But when the guy is coming at you with his hate clenched in his actions you either fight or die. Even that part sucks. Anyhow, I'm glad that with mother nature on the run in the 21st century we still have uncle Neil to help us along. Long Live Neil Young and his music.
Best Album of this lot, hands down, it's Silver and Gold - most polished, accomplished, introspective and immediate. The Great Divide is astounding... Razor Love is amazing... Silver & Gold is timeless... And Distant Photograph has be balled up in tears. And, to top it off, Buffalo Springfield Again is nostalgic. So, I say S&G as #1 - second choice would probably be Greendale, since Grandpa's Interview, Sun Green and Be the Rain are so strong...
And what do we think?
Here's what we said on our Fork in the Road Reviews: Got A Potbelly
Recently, we wrote about how the initial consensus around Neil Young's Greendale and Living With War was that they were flawed and misguided. Our opinion was that Fork in the Road seemed to be falling right into the same mindset. But we maintain that the three works together actually constitute a cohesive trilogy that may just validate Neil's early 21st century work.
There's an intriguing arc between the three albums. With Greendale , Neil sounds the alarm that something has gone terribly wrong on a number of fronts. Living With War was a direct confrontation of the need for a call to action. Fork in the Road -- the 3rd installment of the trilogy -- reveals Neil coming to grips with the fact that first you recognize a problem, then you call out the need to address it, and finally you do something about it.
All 3 albums were recorded very quickly without heavy production and stylistically cohesive. Raw Neil. We like it that way. Keeping it real.
A very strong decade, indeed. So what will those 'Teens bring Neil fans? Some Crazy Horse? Some acoustic? Something off the wall?
Maybe. Yes. And definitely.
Wait. Is that toast we smell burning...
Polls are still open. Go and vote on Some fascinating voting results rolling in from Poll: Favorite Neil Young Studio Album of 21st Century.
On the wayback machine, as a point of reference, here are the results of a 1994 Neil Young Album Poll on rust@death.