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Neil Young's new album EARTH released on June 17th. The album with The Promise of the Real, is from the 2015 tour. Pre-order here
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

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
(Zoom Cover)

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.

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.

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.

More fan reviews and comments on First Listen: Neil Young + Promise Of The Real, 'The Monsanto Years'.

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At 6/24/2015 10:16:00 PM, Blogger nick said...

At 6/25/2015 01:06:00 AM, Blogger Greg Mantho said...

Re: link posted by Nick- What is inconsistent or hypocritical about seeking money from an idiot to fund a good idea, but not wanting said idiot to further contribute to the ruination of the country? This doesn't mean you can't like the idiot. I have seven brothers and sisters, and none of them are even idiots. I like and love them all, but they're all either republican or democrat, and I would never vote for them because they would promote democratic and republican ideas- many of which have contributed to the ruination of the country and the world. Where's the inconsistency and/or hypocrisy?

A Friend Of Yours

At 6/25/2015 09:54:00 AM, Blogger The Zuma Band said...

"The Monsanto Years" is growing on me. I couldn't wait for the CDs, so I've listened to the NPR stream several times, and find that I'm humming the tunes during the day. The album is very well paced and balanced. "Workin' Man owes a lot to "Maggie's Farm", which is an appropriate update given the theme. His electric protest music continues in the vein of LWW and "Fork..", some of which I believe is due to the different character of the musical sensibility that Promise of the Real brings to the table. Maybe Neil Young's ingredients, but he has different sous chefs...I hope that he continues to work with these guys and that this isn't a one-off infatuation.

RE "The Donald"..Trump is a modern day P.T. Barnum, a huckster with a fine sense of fulfilling H.L. Mencken's observation that "Nobody has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." His aspirations are a bogus media stunt, which will evaporate upon actually having to file the real and extensive financial disclosures required by law. That he has the time and intemperance to do twitter pissing on Neil Young underlines his lack of seriousness.

Meanwhile, Neil Young is resting up before the tour:

At 6/25/2015 10:42:00 AM, Blogger La Johnson said...

'I've seen love make a fool of a man' - what does ole Neil look like! Never thought I'd see Neil make the tabloids - do the shirt up Neil.

After a brief visit to St Tropez, Daryl Hannah and Neil Young travelled across the Mediterranean Sea to Italy’s Portofino where they continued with their romantic getaway.

The Hollywood couple, who have been dating for ten months, were seen soaking up the beautiful sights and surrounding of the picturesque harbour as they stepped out for some lunch on Monday afternoon.

Dressed in summery white number with fringed detail, the 54-year-old actress planted a loving kiss on her partner’s shoulder while he showed her something on his phone.

At 6/25/2015 02:41:00 PM, Blogger Art Carey said...

I'm guessing (hoping!) that someone other than Neil is playing those non-melodic and off-time lead parts on the first and last tracks -- and is it ironic that one of the songs is pretty much a copy of the verses of "Time Fades Away?"

I respect that Neil feels he needs to release this meessage-music -- but "free download" might be the appropriate price for this mess.

At 6/25/2015 09:33:00 PM, Blogger TopangaDaze said...

Art: Free is still a little to pricey for this stuff...

At 6/26/2015 04:57:00 AM, Blogger Roel van Dijk said...

The liner notes say "Special thanks TW". Cool!


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