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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Vinyl Review of Le Noise: TONEAudio MAGAZINE

Last week, we weighed in on observing the trend of critics falling all over themselves about how Neil Young has returned to form with the new album Le Noise.

Here's a review that provides a little more insight on what's going on here. For starters, we'll suggest that most folks have heard Le Noise only in lo-fi mode -- YouTubes and PC speakers. Professional music critics however have had the privilege of hearing the album as designed via hi-fidelity systems. And vinyl.

But once the ordinary people really hear and experience the Lanois produced "sonics" we'll venture that many fence sitters may come around on Le Noise. Here's why based on a *vinyl* review from TONEAudio MAGAZINE by Bob Gendron:
"How Lanois got such terrific sounds, and what he did with the guitar, is part of the genius. He initially outfitted an acoustic model with a pickup that imitates the human voice and loops it through the song, manipulated the two low strings to give them heavier bass presence, and plugged it into a tremolo amplifier. A hollow-body electric guitar, used on six of the eight tunes, got fed through two amplifiers—one clean and one dirtied with tremolo, the dynamic contrasts paralleling Le Noise’s striking juxtapositions of intimacy and enormity, calm and turbulence.

Chords are augmented, magnified, echoed, stretched, thickened, stripped; arrangements unpredictably build, decay, and disintegrate, with some of the random pieces then reassembling into different shapes that collect like iron shavings on a moving magnet. Individual notes break off from parent structures, occasionally taking the form of jagged chards, other times doubling as the clink of a piano or stop of an organ. Riffs seem as if they’ve been filtered through a multitude of distortion devices, choral pedals, sustain gadgets, and delay boxes. An entrenched sense of melody and rhythm allows the songs to hold their shape, and Young’s singing is as clear, attentive, and passionate as it’s been in years.

Straightforward and direct, the songwriting is equally superb.

What an album.

Reprise’s 180g LP possesses depth and width that defy limits. The louder the record is played, the more extraordinary Young and Lanois’ work becomes. The lifelike nature of the acoustic properties, myriad frequencies, and surreal tonalities is eclipsed only by the imaging. It often seems that Young—just as he’s pictured on the album’s cover—is that short of a distance away from the speakers.

Spin the black circle, baby.

Thanks Bob & Jeff !

A must read vinyl review in TONEAudio MAGAZINE.

More on Critics Go GaGa Over New Neil Young Album Le Noise.

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At 9/26/2010 10:30:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm convinced.
I'm getting the vinyl.

At 9/27/2010 12:42:00 AM, Blogger David said...

Ok, I'll just say a few things about Le Noise. (Overall, I give it 3/5 stars)

-The best album Neil has put out since Prairie Wind. Prairie Wind had more good tunes and a very good backing band.

-Best guitar work Neil has done since Broken Arrow.

-Better lyrics than Fork In The Road. Chrome Dreams II is on par for lyrics, that's a matter of taste. Overall, I rate the lyrics as the low point of the entire album.

-Too short. I know it's a solo album, but a couple more tunes would've rounded it off a little better.

-A studio recording of Hitchhiker was long overdue, such a great song, and I think this recording did it justice.

Best thing Neil's done this decade? No, not really. But better than the detour we've been on since Living With War.

At 9/27/2010 02:13:00 AM, Blogger doc said...

Interesting evaluation David,
personally..I'm warming to it.

The more I play it (just streaming it) the more i am enjoying it.
a bit concerned initially with daniel's reverb/echo slant on nearly every song..but i do think the song are strong and i am looking forward to Neil just doin' it raw solo OR with some of the songs maybe with a backing band..crazyhorse too much to ask ya think?


At 9/27/2010 09:51:00 AM, Blogger Matthew Lintzenich said...

I think the lyrics are the high point of this thing.

If you try to say that Peaceful Valley Boulevard DOESN'T contain perhaps the best lyrics he's written all decade, then you're out of your mind.

Just sayin'.


P.S. Okay, maybe you can find something off Greendale that's almost as good. Maybe.

At 9/27/2010 08:26:00 PM, Blogger BIGCHIEF said...

Is there an echo in here? Whoa, after reading that Tone Audio's Bob Gendron's review, I'm almost afraid to listen to it without a co-pilot! Hopefully, a vinyl experience just may be what the Doc orders to warm the 'sonic' chills I've had since the internet stream experience.However, I'm still waiting for the release of 'Lenoise Raw'!

At 9/29/2010 11:25:00 PM, Blogger ~ said...

Just listened to the vinyl, either I got a bad pressing or the reviewer is partially deaf. 'Le Noise' does not sound very good on vinyl, and I'm noticing a lot of noise in my copy. I played through a few albums afterwards to make sure it wasn't my equipment. Nope.

Although I do find the louder you play it, the more tolerable it seems.


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