Comment of the Moment: First Listen: Neil Young + Promise Of The Real, 'The Monsanto Years'
The Monsanto Years by Neil Young + Promise Of The Real
Art by Micah Nelson
The Comment of the Moment is from First Listen: Neil Young + Promise Of The Real, 'The Monsanto Years' by flyingscotzman:
Here are my first impressions.Thanks flyingscotzman! For us, it takes awhile to form a solid opinion on a Neil Young album. Often the first few impressions are not what we end up with in the long run. Time will always tell... but so far, so good.
Firstly, his stance on Monsanto seems justified to me. So that's the first hurdle out the way.
My next observation would be that Neil has got some pretty good ideas for songs here. It's true that the emotional richness and storytelling genius of older songs with a comparable theme (e.g This Old House, Rockin' In The Free World) are largely absent here, at least for the most part: giving the lyrics a sense of numbness that seems in stark constrast to Neil's enthusiasm for the subject matter.
The album is a lot better sonically than it is lyrically. It's more than the sum of it's parts. Neil sounds fully engaged and performs well. If anything, his guitar and vocal presence occasionally gets lost under all the other instruments and voices.
But overall this is a fun, dreamy sounding record; a rich soundscape that marries well with the subject matter, and also helps disguise the flatness of (some of) the lyrics. It's too early for me to judge the quality of the arrangements etc, it takes a few listens for them to sink in.
Also, I'd say that people criticizing Neil for mis-representing the science of GMOs are perhaps correct, but may still be missing the overall point, I think. Neil seems to be attacking Monsanto mainly for the stranglehold they have on farmers, which strikes me as a perfectably reasonable stance. It's as much an "anti-corporate power" and "anti-greed" album as it is an "anti-GMO" album, and therfore one I can get on board with.
...Now all we need to do is convince Neil that his mates high up in the hierarchy of Tyson Foods are just as bad as Monsanto (if not worse), and then we will be getting somewhere.
More fan reviews and comments on First Listen: Neil Young + Promise Of The Real, 'The Monsanto Years'.