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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Comment of the Moment: Neil Young's latest album "Peace Trail"

Neil Young

Opinions on Neil Young's latest album "Peace Trail" continue to be shared across the internet between the latest fake news bulletins.

So much chaff (fake news). So little wheat (truth).

But we've got a job to do. This is our journey, our self-appointed task. And we won't quit.

So here's a little, tiny bit of wheat that emerged from the chaff strewn fields from RichieCruz on the post LISTEN: Neil Young's "Peace Trail", TW's Comment of the Moment:
Some nice comments from folks on this album on this thread, so I'm happy to add my two cents. I'm absolutely loving this album! I've listened to it for four straight nights, and I've enjoyed it more each time. I think it's his best overall work since Greendale, and his best non-Horse studio music since Mirror Ball. Neil just seems so engaged and alive on every tune, something that really can't be said about much of his stuff in the 2000's.

Recording this with just skilled musicians like Bushnell and Keltner was a genius move. I love POTR, but this material benefits from less clutter. And Neil's vocals are as good as I've heard in a LONG time. I swear, even though the songs are very modern lyrically, the music and vocals on some of these tunes sound like they're from 1977.

It starts off strong with "Peace Trail" and the great "Can't Stop Working". When Neil sings of forgiveness, is he asking for it, or wondering if he has the strength for it? The album dips for me during "Indian Givers" and "Texas Rangers", not bad by any means, just could have used some lyrical tightening. "Show Me" has a nice feel, reminding me of Freedom-era Neil. "TSHG" sounds better on the album than it did for me at the Bridge, Neil's vocals really shine.

So far so good, but from here on in the album reaches a major new level for me. I LOVE "John Oaks". I can see where some wouldn't, but it sounds so unique to me, even though it's a nasty tale. I don't ever yell out songs to Neil, but if I'm at a solo acoustic show and Neil looks like he's wondering what to play, I'm gonna yell out "John Oaks" and see if he'll play it.

"Glass Accident" is incredible. Sounding like something off of Stars-n-Bars, the lyrics to this are chilling. I would never claim to know, but if Neil is singing about his personal life here, these are some real cold lyrics. I've seen some who say these are political lyrics, but I think it's far more personal. Very interesting.

"My Pledge" speaks for itself. This is high quality Neil Young. To me, this is the "I'm The Ocean" of this album, the "Ambulance Blues". Just a wonderful song with seriously dreamy Neil lyrics, I love the layered vocals, sounds like two Neils are singing. Best song on the album.

"My New Robot" is the weirdest closing song of any Neil album, but so much fun. Neil's singing about a cold cup of coffee, or was it a cold bowl of chilli? Then when things get mechanical, listen closely to how great the band is jamming. People laughed at Neil when Trans happened, now the world is like that album, and I think Neil is subtlety giving the finger back.

Sorry about the long ramble, but I love this one. Not everything works of course. The loud harmonica thing does get old, and I am in the camp that wishes Neil spent just a bit more time on the lyrics, but those are minor quibbles. I really dig this one, at the very least, it's a pretty cool thing for a 71 year old man to be doing with his time.

God bless ya, Neil!
Thanks Richie! Nice thoughts. We appreciate your helping us to maintain a high level wheat/chaff ratio.

More on LISTEN: Neil Young's "Peace Trail" and Meta Reviews: Neil Young's "Peace Trail".

Whatever your listening preference may be, let us know your thoughts on Neil Young's "Peace Trail".

Neil Young - Peace Trail

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At 12/17/2016 12:45:00 PM, Blogger Arthur said...

Watch this video and you will see the cover
NY&CH used for "Americana".

To really know Neil Young is to become
familiar with the Indigenous, the Native American,
and their beliefs.

The battle still rages on......but love and only love......

At 12/17/2016 02:19:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

Thanks Arthur.

Geronimo was a great man indeed. Much respect and a honor to his memory.

He would be proud to see what has happened at Standing Rock.

At 12/18/2016 06:17:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

If you listen to the lyrics for The Pledge it is right up there with Neil's best. So reminiscent of the poetry in Cortez the Killer, Goin Home, and especially Natural Beauty. Fantastic imagery. Dark and depressing to be sure.

At 12/19/2016 08:14:00 AM, Blogger Andy Walters said...

'To really know Neil Young is to become
familiar with the Indigenous, the Native American,
and their beliefs'.


At 12/19/2016 11:17:00 AM, Blogger HuraWatch said...

If he can't support Mr. Trump F him. disgusting loser.

Read more

At 12/20/2016 12:52:00 AM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

"Mr. Trump" my ass. The only losers are the people insisting on fascistic loyalty to their beloved president-elect.

At 12/20/2016 09:47:00 AM, Blogger wsanjose01 said...

no Trump supporting Trolls allowed. not biting

At 12/20/2016 11:03:00 AM, Blogger joe lookout said...

Glass accident sounds very familiar,kind of 'Sail away' from stars&bars. Neil's voice in John Oaks and My Pledge has the same intensity of Greendale album. I like Peace Trail very much, one of his best records of 3rd millennium.

At 12/22/2016 03:30:00 AM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

I just want to apologize, to the Thrasher community in general, for my impulsive response to the out-of-place Trump person. I got irritated to see that sort of thing infiltrating our little corner of the worldwide web, and I responded rashly. Didn't mean to derail or disrupt conversation. And appreciate wsanjose01's advice about "not biting". I'm sorry about my moment of incivility. Getting back to the album...

@joe lookout--Glass Accident definitely echoes the Neil mellow country-rock sound on Stars 'n' Bars. Being a stickler here, 'Sail Away' is actually from side 1 of Rust Never Sleeps, but it would easily have fit on Stars 'n' Bars and your point really is not obscured at all. John Oaks and My Pledge are indeed in the vein of Greendale. I especially like My Pledge. It feels fresh and different from what Neil's been doing lately, and it's always good to have one or two outliers on an album to keep things interesting. I can't make judgements about "best records of 3rd millennium" yet. I get the feeling I enjoyed Storytone more than some others did. But this one sure has some vitality, polished or not.

At 12/22/2016 09:46:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@Ian - thanks for the thoughtful words. Totally understand and no worries.

These are always tough situations to navigate and we're all still learning about staying calm and in the moment.

We really think a major global turning point was achieved at Standing Rock which will long reverberate. What happened at Standing Rock may turn out to be far more historic than the recent Occupy movement and non-violent civil dis-obedience.

While this might be an extreme take away from troll management, there are lessons here about self control, tolerance and empathy. As someone said, it's all about you & me.

At 12/22/2016 02:50:00 PM, Blogger joe lookout said...

@Ian, you are totally right, my friend, with the age I mixing up songs/records.
By the way, re-reading Shakey book, I do not understand why Joni Mitchell considered Chrome Dreams as a weak album to be published!!!! to me it would have been the number one and probably a best seller!

love to all

At 12/23/2016 12:18:00 AM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

@joe lookout--Agreed about Chrome Dreams I. I guess we can be glad most of the songs got redistributed other releases over the years. If I'm remembering correctly, it's the Homegrown sessions that the most unreleased songs waiting for their day on Archives II.

At 12/23/2016 12:47:00 AM, Blogger The Metamorphic Rocker said...

@Thrasher Wheat-- re: Standing Rock Protests, as I said before, my main thoughts are with the people of the First Nations and the painful situation they are clearly experiencing, alongside my general hope that there will be opportunities, in our country, to continue building a sustainable, green energy economy in the next few years.

I don't know if one can pinpoint any single moment or event in this juggernaut year of 2016, but we certainly have evidence that the spirit of non-violent civil disobedience is alive and well. Given the current political climate here in the US, I think we can expect this to continue for the time being. As you may remember from prior conversations, I was a Hillary voter, so from that perspective it has been a tumultuous several weeks. Things have been getting easier, for me personally, since Thanksgiving, which provided a moment to stop for breath and focus on good things. I've been describing the whole thing, to family and friends, as feeling like the law of gravity has stopped working in the last month-six weeks. It's very disorienting and, at times, dispiriting, and of course, I worry about a country with lots of bitter divisions and people not understanding each other well enough. But I still hold out hope, in part because of the high level of passionate but peaceful responses we've seen lately to the political situation. The fact that many people are communicating their feelings returns little of my faith in the American people. Now more than ever, we need to find the spirit of peace, love, and unity.

Neil's "Peace Trail" could not have come at a more apropos time. I'm incredibly glad to have this new album this Christmas, imperfections and all. The organic cotton hat is one back order, but should be on the way. Neil's timing on this one has been uncanny.


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