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Monday, January 16, 2017

We Have A Dream: "All We Are Saying Is Give Peace *Trail* A Chance"

Neil Young + Promise of the Real
Telluride, Colorado - 10/1/16

Photo by thrasher
(Click photo to enlarge)

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, wherever you are in the whole wide world.

For many -- after repeated listening -- Neil Young’s new album "Peace Trail" is starting to resonate.

We've heard from many of you out there who have been enjoying "Peace Trail" and thanks for all of the comments.

Which is why we repeatedly say: "All We Are Saying Is Give Peace *Trail* A Chance".

From Drowned in Sound by Dan Lucas:
With the global political climate managing to piss off everyone: ["Peace Trail"] is a protest album from everyone’s favourite seething uncle, Neil Young, almost the epitome of inevitable.*

Yes, Peace Trail is anything but: Young is at his most righteous here, turning out a collection of would-be ‘Ohio’s in the knowledge that, as prolific as he might be (the guy is better at turning out albums than I am at turning out reviews; again, sincere apologies to our beleaguered reviews ed), if he can’t be first then he will damn well be the most pissed off.

The thing is, the sentiments are never sustained. “‘I think I know who to blame, it’s all those people with funny names movin’ into our neighbourhood” he sings over a chopping acoustic guitar and distorted harmonica (fuck yeah) on ‘Terrorist Suicide Hang Gliders’. It’s a good line, its delivery dripping with venomous irony on the album’s best song, but, at barely more than three minutes, far too short for Young to fully exploit its sarcastic fury. For someone so adept at extracting the most out of every song and every idea – as anyone who has heard anything from Ragged Glory live will attest – this is awfully ... pithy.

The flip side of that is that this is Young’s most accessible album in god alone knows how long. While it may be disingenuous of the singer to call it a 'primarily acoustic' record, the electric guitar parts – pleasingly familiar and scuzzy as they are – are interludes rather than the jams we have come to expect. This is presumably down to the decision to record the album only with drummer Jim Keltner and bass guitarist Paul Bushnell, rather than his latest band, Promise of the Real. This feels like a slightly odd decision, given how strong they sounded on his last studio album, The Monsanto Years; notably another protest record.

The temptation is to say Peace Trail is underdone, its ideas not fully explored in the way we know Young is capable of doing. But this feels churlish: we complain that audiences’ attention spans are too short these days then complain again when an album such as this comes along. ‘John Oaks’, for example, is an uncompromising tale of death at the hands of law and order; it is the boldest example of a handful of songs here that waltz in, slap you in the face and leave.

And let’s face it: we all need a metaphorical slap in the face once in a while.
[* edited for clarity.]

More reviews of Neil Young’s Peace Trail album.

Be the rain. Be the wheat. Be the dream.

"Give Peace A Chance"
Paul McCartney and Neil Young

Desert Trip Festival - October 8, 2016

"Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
album sales, lyric quality, cover art, aging, vocals
This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism

All we are saying is give peace *trail* a chance
All we are saying is give peace *trail* a chance
All we are saying is give peace *trail* a chance
All we are saying is give peace *trail* a chance"

Happy MLK,j Day

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At 1/16/2017 01:39:00 PM, Blogger caroleann said...

Enjoyed the above prudent comments!!

Apoliges...if this has been raised before...but I just listened to the 'Rockets' (Crazy Horse) first album and the last track is called 'Eraser' which is an instrumental.
Can anyone relate to 'Peace Trail'?
In terms of 'Pease Trail' the album...I regard it as one of (Sir) Neil's best...seeing several of the shows in the USA last year gave me a real appreciation of the PT tracks...and STHG is up there with the best.


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