Comment of the Moment: Poll Results for Favorite Neil Young Studio Zero's Album
Quite a reaction to the Poll: Favorite Neil Young Studio Album of 21st Century we ran earlier in the week.
For many, Greendale is their favorite release of the Zero's. For others, "more traditional acoustic" Neil releases such as Prairie Wind (2005) and Silver & Gold (2000) are preferred.
Whatever. It's all one song anyways.
When Fork in the Road came out last year, we ventured out on the critical limb praising the work and putting it in a similar category as Greendale and Living With War.
Naturally -- and gratefully -- not all agree with our opinion.
Here's a retort from Big Old Rig:
Interesting poll (thanks Thrasher), but I have to find laughable the idea that Greendale, LWW, and FITR "constitute a cohesive trilogy that may just validate Neil's early 21st century work."
Neil's "21st century work", by all accounts other than the commentators on this website, has been spotty at best. I don't see anyone in the music media or otherwise re-assessing the original, prevailing view that the three albums mentioned above were a mixed bag (at their finest) and cliched and simplistic drivel (at their worst). Any allusion to the Ditch Trilogy (a set of albums that sound timeless and nuanced themes with dark emotion), with the most recent "trilogy" (a bang-you-over-the-head, literalistic, and current-events-driven collection of songs) is an insult to the work that established Neil's greatness.
To put it more simply, if I played any of the albums in the "21st century Trilogy" to my buddies or family members, they would laugh their ass off, and not in good way.
-Big Old Rig
Thanks Big Old Rig for comment.
A couple of points. Of course, "[You] don't see anyone in the music media or otherwise re-assessing the original, prevailing view that the three albums mentioned above were a mixed bag (at their finest) and cliched and simplistic drivel (at their worst)".
Mainstream media music criticism is intellectually bankrupt and brain dead. Probably always has been. Probably always will be.
We're not trying to say that the trifecta of Greendale/LWW/FITR is on par with Tonight's The Night/Time Fades Away/On the Beach ditch trilogy. No comparison, really.
The point is that no one at the time -- or for a very long time after the fact -- recognized the thematic brilliance of the unflinching Tonight's The Night/Time Fades Away/On the Beach ditch trilogy cycle. In fact, it wasn't even critics that found a connection between the three albums. It was fans who came up with the phrase "ditch trilogy".
We're not really sure how to refer to Greendale/LWW/FITR. There is so much going on here. We'll just call it the "Be the change" cycle until we think of something else.
We challenge you Big Old Rig to listen to these 3 albums back to back and not be stunned by what's going on here. If your ears opened, your eyes and mind will be too.
As for playing for your buddies who would laugh. Of course. That's always the case with Neil's challenging work.
Lastly, we were also struck by the remark that someone made about after seeing the blockbuster film Avatar , the first lyric that popped in their head on leaving the theater was the line from Greendale: "Be A Goddess in the Planet Wars".
On some fundamental levels, the messages of Avatar and Greendale are very similar.
This comment sums it all up: "AVATAR: It's [director] James Cameron's Greendale.".
Be the rain.
ps - Polls are still open. Vote for Favorite Neil Young Studio Album of 21st Century. Stand and be counted.