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You can listen to "The Painter" on Neil Young's site


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I have a horrible confession to make. Last week, my friend was sitting around with his little brother who was braggin about his ability to find stuff online. To test his abilities, he said, "oh yeah, get me Neil's newest record." 5 minutes later he had downloaded the whole thing. The next day, I refused to burn a copy of it, I respect Neil and will buy the album just like the last 2. But then I caved, I just had to hear it. So I burned it.

I plan on buying it anyway.

And yes, its damn damn good. Some tunes are very Greendale-ish. While others lean more towards the acoustic country Neil. But damn it is good.

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Actually the album is pretty damn disappointing. Lyrically, it is pretty hokey stuff. A number of the song melodies are direct rip off of other, older songs from his catalogue.

I haven't really liked a new Neil album for many years, although he remains one of my favourite artists of all time, the last three or four albums have been total stinkers. They all have maybe 2 or 3 good songs and that's it.

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I haven't heard the album yet (gimme an hour or so) but I will say this: when he played "When God Made Me" at the Barrie show, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not, but I could say I had never heard such a song from Neil Young, both stylistically and in lyrical content. So the Old Dog never fails to surprise, even after all this time, and that's why I love him. Well, one of the reasons anyway.

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A number of the song melodies are direct rip off of other' date=' older songs from his catalogue.[/quote']

The notion of an artist ripping off their own sound is an interesting one. Not sure tho at what point a Neil Young song did not sound like a Neil Young song.

Well, David Geffen has been of that opinion in the past, but a victory by Neil in Court settled that...

...Fans, however, were baffled and the album, along with 1983's rockabilly-styled Everybody's Rockin' would lead record company head David Geffen to sue Young for making "unrepresentative" music (i.e. suing Young for not sounding like Neil Young!).


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Why should I cut him some slack? What does it matter if he has made 40 albums if I think the new one is weak?

Bob Dylan made a few clunkers before he really hit his stride again in the mid-90s. Maybe Neil will do the same, but my wife and I gave the new Neil Young a few chances and, apart from a few songs, it doesn't cut it. Same with Greendale (which I enjoyed more in concert than on record, attending two shows form that tour) and same with Are You Passionate. If you really think this record is going to stand out like his great ones, then great, good for you. It's not for me. It's better than say Landing on Water or Life, but probably isn't going to get any more plays than say Trans or Re*act*or does. Very sporadically.

I will still probably fork out $100 to see him play live though.

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Maybe I simply set my sights too low for this one. dunno. What I really like is how firmly Neil's got his feet planted in Canadian soil here. Perhaps more than ever. And sure sometimes it's a bit nostalgic (hokey?) but i don't find that surprising from an artist in the twilight of his career.

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I'm in the middle of listening to 'Prairie Wind' for the fourth time and I have to say that I feel that it is a pretty solid effort by Neil Young.

I understand what people mean by how some songs on the album sound a lot like previous Neil Young efforts. For example "No Wonder" has nearly the same chord progression as "Captain Kennedy" from 1980's 'Hawks & Doves' and "This Old Guitar" has a similar high on the fret board riff as the title track to 'Harvest Moon.'

Also it is interesting that 'Harvest Moon' had a relatively funny song entitled "Old King" about his ol' dog named after Elvis. While this album also has a relatively funny song about Elvis himself called "He Was the King."

All that being said "Distant Camera" off of 'Silver & Gold' had the same opening riff as the Young classic "Old Man," but I still enjoyed "Distant Camera." And I enjoy "No Wonder" especially lyrically and "This Old Guitar" with Emmylou Harris on backing vocals.

It is nice to see Neil mix things up with a horn section on songs like "Far From Home," the title track and the aforementioned "He Was the King."

For the most part I love how Ben Keith augments Neil's songs with his luscious pedal steel guitar playing and that is well shown in "Here For You."

After already hearing the opening track "The Painter" and enjoying it a lot and seeing Neil debut "When God Made Me" at Live 8 in Barrie on July 2nd and seeing him perform it again at the Katrina Benefit on all the major networks last week I felt that the album was book ended well. Now with everything else in between even the little love song "Falling Off the Face of the Earth" sounding great to me, I really hope Neil decided to tour this album next year with the Nashville band.

At very least I hope when I go to see Neil at Farm Aid 2005 this weekend at the Tweeter Center in Tinley Park, Il I hope the band is there with Neil and Emmylou to play some of these songs with some 'Harvest,' 'Comes A Time' and 'Harvest Moon' material.


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