Review by Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Barn: A rock-out among hay bales

It’s been almost 50 years since Neil Young released his classic country rock album, Harvest. Legend has it that when he invited his old friend of the band Graham Nash went to his San Francisco ranch to hear it, his guest was surprised when asked to step into a rowing boat. It turns out Young has set up his entire house as the left speaker and his entire barn as the right speaker, so Nash can enjoy the album right in the middle of his private lake. When producer Elliot Mazer came ashore to check if the sound was okay, Young seemed to argue back: “More cages!”

Half a century later, he delivered just that. There’s nothing new about what Young and his trusty band develop Animal lodging. Quickly written and recorded last summer (in “a restored off-grid 19th century warehouse overhead in the Rockies”), this is Young’s 41st album and sees him happily plowing through old furrows, reliably cycling through worn chord strings. samples. Lyrically, the 76-year-old artist’s inner hippy contrasts, as always, with his inner skepticism. But fans will find profound comfort in the sound of Old Farmer Grunge returning to action, as his screeching voice hinge sways back and forth on his well-maintained vintage movement. Crazy Horse.

The album opens with “Song of the Seasons,” a sleepy acoustic track that sounds like a record from the 1992 Harvest Moon sessions. Romantic accordion swings, mellow strumpets, and u-vocals melancholy doesn’t quite prepare you for the band to explode on the second track. But their motives are good on “Heading West” as Young tells the story of leaving home after his parents’ divorce, reminiscing about how “mum got me my first guitar”. “Change Ain’t Never Gonna” is a low-pitched jalopy of a harmonica-riffer, in which the biofuels champion Young mocks the ignorance of his fellow Boomers who refuse to give up fossil fuels. their jelly. The gears of the Crazy Horse mesh in an eye-catching metallic fashion against the background of the national anthem “Canerican” which the Canadian – who recently became a US citizen – reflects on the changes he is seeing on the platform. stage. He sings about “all colors”…even though I suspect he’s spent the past four decades staring at crowds of nodding whites in plaid shirts and jeans torn.

The album sags in the middle, with the honky-tonk track “Shape of You” showing the young caterpillar reveling like a drunken uncle at an Ed Sheeran karaoke night. “They can be lost” never goes anywhere. “Human Race” is a medley of two chords and dull rhymes (“no one shares / no one cares”) with a guitar solo. But things warmed up again with the mellow piano sounds of “Tumblin’ Through the Years”, and the deeper tones of the guitars in the moody slow beat of “Welcome Back”. Young admits this could be a song we’ve heard before, but hopes it can “open a window” in the soul. He encourages us to “get out with the stars in the sky” … “before your computer turns on”. He then ended the album with the playful tune of “Don’t Forget Love”. This is not a warehousestorm of an album is like a rock of peace in the midst of haystacks.

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/neil-young-review-barn-crazy-horse-b1972338.html Review by Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Barn: A rock-out among hay bales

Emma Bowman

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