Friday, November 23, 2007

Neil Young: Chrome Dreams II

Review by Danis Roberts

40 years since his first album, and Neil Young is just getting better and better.

Following the rightly acclaimed Prairie Wind and Living With War albums, Young has released Chrome Dreams II, his best album since the masterpiece On The Beach. It’s a collection of both new songs and some unreleased material two decades removed. Chrome Dreams II offers 10 incredible tracks perfect for both the Harvest loving singer-songwriter fan, and the Crazy Horse rockin’ riff-heavy one.

There’s already been a lot of talk about the epic 18 minute single, 'Ordinary People', but the highlight for me is the equally epic 'No Hidden Path', a hypnotic rock masterpiece that should never end. Other beloved songs are 'Beautiful Bluebird' and 'Shining Light', both tracks reminiscent of what brought Young to the mainstream; easy going, non-threatening ballads. This is in no way a negative statement, just a testament to his songwriting skills.

Although the album is an eclectic mix of style and has no overall theme, the quality of each song is astonishing, almost forcing it to be accepted as an exceptional album. Like his iconic counterparts Dylan and Springsteen, Young proves that age does not dictate quality and that they still have a few things in reserve to teach younger generations.


Susan956 said...

Danis, Take a read of this and you will see that the album was ostensibly written in response to life events. That in fact provides a thematic but I think this is worth reading also because of the dialogue it offers on the sort of challenge Young used to make and the sort of challenge currently found. Note the point on lyric concentration.

Tim said...

I remember finding On The Beach displayed as a recommendation at Queen St Borders. Before it I had read about how ‘difficult’ he could be in 'Shakey' but to listen to him being difficult with electric guitar in-hand and with the full conviction of the blues was something else. Few albums I know of compare with On The Beach for intensity. For someone was not alive during the time it was most interesting to hear this take on the sixties. Great cover also.

Looking forward to Chrome Dreams II.