Jump to content


Photo

Shakey II - Neil Young's Discography


  • Please log in to reply
347 replies to this topic

#261 Campaigner

Campaigner

    Hipster

  • Sombie
  • PipPipPip
  • 1674 posts

Posted 06 July 2008 - 11:01 PM

especially when you get to hear Neil's songs from the first two albums twice. :angry:


Yeah, that was kinda weird... but as far as I'm concerned it's a three-disc box.

#262 BobtheSquid

BobtheSquid

    Hipster

  • Sombie
  • PipPipPip
  • 3733 posts

Posted 06 July 2008 - 11:04 PM

Epic shit right there! Played a lot of Harvest stuff. Covered 'A Day In The Life' as an encore.Good support on the bill too.

Wow! I can't imagine that actually.



#263 Mitchell

Mitchell

    dirty old man

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 20691 posts

Posted 07 July 2008 - 06:10 AM

Love And Only Love (15+ mins long) Hey Hey, My My Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere I've Been Waiting For You Spirit Road Fuckin' Up Oh, Lonesome Me Mother Earth The Needle And The Damage Done Unknown Legend Heart Of Gold Old Man Get Back To The Country Words No Hidden Path (15+ mins long) ----------------- A Day In The Life Just a fraction shy of two hours.
Nice bowl of Crunchy Nut you got here, pretty expensive as I recall.

#264 Campaigner

Campaigner

    Hipster

  • Sombie
  • PipPipPip
  • 1674 posts

Posted 09 July 2008 - 08:55 AM

Posted Image

Buffalo Springfield
Box Set (2001)


TRACKS (only including tracks of Neil's not reviewed earlier):

Disc One:

1) 'There Goes My Babe (Remix)' - This really is a fascinating and frustrating box set. But more on that later. We kick it off with the kind of song that Neil would flood his first solo album with, and that's not to say this is a bad song. It's always great to hear stuff from this time frame that you haven't heard before. Simply put though, this isn't really up to the standard of songs he would write only a few years later. But damn, this is promising. 6.5

4) 'Out of My Mind (Demo)' - I called this a masterpiece back in my first post in this thread and I stand by that claim. This is a truly brilliant song. Here, in its demo form it loses none of it's greatness, but offers a view of how naturally talented the Springfield boys were. We get Neil playing and singing lead with the other band members (presumably Stills and Furay) laying down some great campfire backing vocals. Embryonic in the sense that Neil obviously hasn't found how to populate the second half of the song yet, but still brilliant. This gets the highest mark, but for different reasons than the version on their debut. 10.0

5) 'Flying on the Ground is Wrong (Demo)' - I actually like this better than the album version. Both are great songs (and I think I've been harsh on the album version in my original rating), but I think this has a greater effect with just Neil and his guitar. 7.5

6) 'I'm Your Kind of Guy (Demo)' - Wow. With one little demo that goes barely a minute, Neil manages to capture an old-school rock and roll vibe that he failed to capture on the whole of his Everybody's Rockin' album. Still not brilliant, but a more-than-interesting curio. 6.0

22) 'Down Down Down (Demo)' - Kind of a 'Broken Arrow' demo. Very nice indeed. Not as good as what it would morph into, but listening to this is definitely interesting considering the finished product. 6.5

Disc Two:

1) 'Down Down Down (Remix)' - Damn, that engineer/producer sounds pissed. Not sure why, capturing this would've been golden. Not sure whether I like this more than the demo. SUre, it's more polished and has been given a treatment that intrigues, but there's not enough Neil... and like the demo, it isn't as good as what it would end up as. If this were on Buffalo Springfield Again, it would've been one of the album's weaker tracks. 6.0

2) 'Kahuna Sunset' - Well, it doesn't lie does it. 'Kahuna Sunset' sounds exactly like a song called 'Kahuna Sunset' should sound like. Not sure I will ever listen to this on repeat, but it's not boring at least. 5.0

3) 'Buffalo Stomp (Raga)' - Awesome instrumental. Completely fuckin' weird and 'unreleasable' in the sense that it would never kick a more 'normal' song of one of the albums, but great nonetheless. Would've made for a great Stills/Young live guitar freakout. 7.5

16) 'Down to the Wire' - Is it wrong to say I like this version, with Still on vocals, better than the version on Decade? I don't know the exact reason why, but something about the song being a great rocking song and Neil not having yet found the voice ready to handle such a song. Neil would later run rings around Stills, but here he gets shown how it's really done. 9.0

Disc Three:

3) 'One More Sign (Demo)' - Wow. This could've been 'Expecting to Fly' #2. Just imagine the strings on this and the double-tracked vocals. I can hear it in my head now. Not sure what iFuckin' awesome song. Where has this song been???? 9.0

4) 'The Rent is Always Due (Demo)' - I should probably like this more than I do. Nothing here grabs me and pulls me in the way it probably should. Melodically bland, I can see what it was never really expanded upon. 5.0

5) 'Round and Round and Round (Demo)' - Obviously an early version of 'Round and Round (It Won't Be Long)' from Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, this is both a version that suffers from the alck of that wacky Crazy Horse vibe that was on the version we've known for so long, but at that same time being great on its own. Neil is quite haunting here, actually. 7.5

6) 'The Old Laughing Lady (Demo)' - I prefer this way more to either the Neil Young or Unplugged versions. The 'Less is More' theory works here, and Neil delivers the song with far greater effect. Well, at least I think that anyway... and that's all that matters for the moment! 6.5

9) 'One the Way Home (Previously Unreleased Mix)' - Similar to the review I wrote of this song originally... this is great, but not as great and masterful as the solo versions Neil would crank out in 1970/71. Just a different mix, just as good (no better or worse). Furay's voice is actually quite underrated (by me at least). 8.0

10) 'Whatever Happened to Saturday Night? (Remix)' - This here is the great lost Neil Young track so far. Of all the songs he dug up (demos and otherwise), this here is my favourite. Obviously, whent he Archives finally see the light of day, there'll be other great un-buried treasures, but for now this reigns supreme. So many great things here, so many great melodies winding their way through. Furay kills on vocals, probably doing a better job than Neil could've. It's also one of those typically brilliant Neil Young songs where you can't ever really think anyone could ever cover this (despite the fact that Richie Furay sings it). It's unreal. But maybe that's just me. 9.5

12) 'Falcon Lake (Ash on the Floor) (Remix)' - Fantastic instrumental. Would love a version with vocals tohear what Neil would've done with the song melodically. But that's griping. Enjoy what's here, not what isn't. 7.0

Disc Four is just the first two albums back-to-back. Grrr.

VERDICT: As I said, fascinating and frustrating. Fascinating for the unreleased demos and songs, frustrating for the repetition. But that's probably too much to argue about. Neil's songs here show that he could at this time be completely awkward, yet turn around and kill us with a classic in just his next song. It's actually interesting going back to the Springfield stuff after making my way through his discography, forces you to hear songs in a different light.

NEXT: Neil asks a question he doesn't really want us to answer.

#265 BobtheSquid

BobtheSquid

    Hipster

  • Sombie
  • PipPipPip
  • 3733 posts

Posted 09 July 2008 - 08:58 AM

Coming out July 22...

Posted Image

1. What Are Their Names
2. Living With War Piano 1
3. After The Garden
4. Military Madness
5. Let's Impeach The President
6. Déjà Vu
7. Shock & Awe
8. Families
9. Wooden Ships
10. Looking For A Leader
11. For What It s Worth
12. Living With War
13. Roger And Out
14. Find The Cost Of Freedom
15. Teach Your Children
16. Living With War Piano Close

#266 Insane

Insane

    Newbie

  • Sombie
  • PipPip
  • 678 posts

Posted 09 July 2008 - 06:20 PM

Coming out July 22...

Posted Image

1. What Are Their Names
2. Living With War Piano 1
3. After The Garden
4. Military Madness
5. Let's Impeach The President
6. Déjà Vu
7. Shock & Awe
8. Families
9. Wooden Ships
10. Looking For A Leader
11. For What It s Worth
12. Living With War
13. Roger And Out
14. Find The Cost Of Freedom
15. Teach Your Children
16. Living With War Piano Close


I saw them on that tour.

Really great, actually, it was really cool to hear a lot of the Living With War songs with the harmonies. And they lured all the old farts in with promises of classics like Teach Your Children and whooped their ass with Neil Young solos.

#267 Campaigner

Campaigner

    Hipster

  • Sombie
  • PipPipPip
  • 1674 posts

Posted 11 July 2008 - 10:00 PM

More albums coming soon... But holy shit, Neil played 'Time Fades Away' the other night in Oberhausen (first since April 3, 1973) and then cranked out an electric 'For the Turnstiles' last night in Weert (first since 1989). Too cool.

#268 Wilcoinator

Wilcoinator

    Newbie

  • Sombie
  • PipPip
  • 308 posts

Posted 11 July 2008 - 10:27 PM

More albums coming soon...

But holy shit, Neil played 'Time Fades Away' the other night in Oberhausen (first since April 3, 1973) and then cranked out an electric 'For the Turnstiles' last night in Weert (first since 1989).

Too cool.

I can't wait to hear your review of Are You Passionate? I am a proponent of "You're My Girl," it's actually one of my favorite songs by him. It's a fairly simple song, but I love it to this day. Hopefully I'm not alone in that...
Wilcoinator's 2008 Tour
-1/7-Ultra Sonic Edukators at Schuba's
-1/24-The Great Cover Up, Day 3 at The High Dive
-1/26-Mustard Plug, The Drastics at Courtyard Cave
-2/15-Wilco at the Riviera
-2/27-Drive-By Truckers, The Felice Brothers at The Canopy Club
-3/1-Elsinore, The Nadas at The High Dive
-3/19-Elton John at Caesar's Palace
-3/21-Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, John Vanderslice at the Vic Theatre
-3/29-The Roots, Krukid at Millikin University
-4/3-Elsinore at Memphis on Main
-4/6-Cursive at the Canopy Club
-4/10-Caribou, Fuck Buttons at the Courtyard Cafe
-4/13-Kimya Dawson at the Independent Media Company
-4/15-Ben Folds at Foellinger Auditorium
-5/10-The Police with Elvis Costello & the Imposters at the Allstate Arena
-5/22-25-Summer Camp Music Festival (covering it for a publication)
-6/6-R.E.M. with Modest Mouse and The National at the United Center
-7/18-20-Pitchfork Music Festival
-8/30-Nas, Talib Kweli at Canopy Club (covering it for a publication)
-9/27-My Bloody Valentine at the Aragon Ballroom

#269 Campaigner

Campaigner

    Hipster

  • Sombie
  • PipPipPip
  • 1674 posts

Posted 12 July 2008 - 03:28 AM

Posted Image

Neil Young
Are You Passionate? (2002)

TRACKS:

1) 'You're My Girl' - OK, so heaps of people will point out that it's basically an updated version of 'I Can't Turn You Loose', well at least musically it could be. Well that's where the comparisons should stop, because any other comparisons between that classic and this largely forgotten lukewarm opening to a less-than-lukewarm album just aren't fair. Sorry Wilcoinator, I don't dig this song at all. Neil's vocals are done, and all that's left for him to do to sound like the Neil Young of old is to adopt this half-wheeze. Other problems arise, but they don't really matter too much when the song never really gets off the ground. It sounds good though... it's just not good to listen to - you get my drift. 4.0

2) 'Mr. Disappointment' - Well, I will say this - Neil hasn't lost the touch on Old Black. His tone here, outside of his work with Crazy Horse, is some of the best I've heard from him. Again, the problem here isn't the sound of the song, isn't the guitar playing - it's the song itself. This sounds like a rejected Greendale demo. Plus, it gets a little creepy when you keep thinking to yourself that Neil's singing "I'd like to shave your head", instead of "I;d like to shake your hand". A little better, but not much. 5.0

3) 'Differently' - Disappointing. Neil kicks it off with a great guitar riff and then mixes it with a wussy love song. Keep the riff going you old bastard! I wanna rock out! I don't want Booker T. Jones wasting himself with minimal fills that are about 1/1000th as cool as the ones he did with Stax! Bring back your balls and make me wanna get up and do something. Oh yeah, the backing vocals here are awful too. 4.0

4) 'Quit (Don't Say You Love Me)' - This is getting a bit better. Neil's voice isn't exactly as wussified, and the song swings along nicely. The problem is that I don't think Neil's that great at writing love songs. I don't think he's at his best when trying to write to some formula, and that's where this album is so far failing. But here's hoping it gets better. 5.5

5) 'Let's Roll' - Anyone else think this sounds musically like an outtake from The Wall? No? Just me then? OK. This song gets a lot of crap, and people seem to think that in the "Neil writes in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy" the score stands currently at 1-1. But I don't think it's too bad at all. Many artists were going to pen songs in the aftermath of 9/11, and of the many horrible 'songs' that were vomited onto the public, this is far from the worst. In fact, I'm prepared to say I like this song. So there you go. 7.0

6) 'Are You Passionate?' - This works. Neil's voice is still a bit whiny for my liking, but he's getting back to that classic sound we know. This starts out a little slow and doesn't seem as though it'll ever pick up, but when it does it works and it works crazy well. Sure, this doesn't sizzle like some of the classics, but sue me - I like it. 7.5

7) 'Goin' Home' - Fuck, I was so disappointed when I heard this. You see, Neil had played this every night of his 2001 European Tour with Crazy Horse and sometimes even played it twice a show, almost as though he was touting it as the next big Neil Young classic tune. It fuckin' rocked and would wind up so much you expected it to just explode in a mess (but never did). To listen to this version, recorded before the tour at Toast studios with the Horse, sucks the life out of you. This is embyonic in every way. The live versions in 2001 were fully-blown freak outs that deserve to reach the wider public. This is a great song, one of the best he's written in the last 10 years, but this take isn't the one to convince you of that. 7.5

8) 'When I Hold You In My Arms' - Another good song that never threatens to be great. But these days, you take these songs whenever you get them. Simple, minimal and all Neil. Can't ask for too much more sometimes. Shocking backing vocals though. 13 random cats could've done better. 6.5

9) 'Be With You' - This could be a good song. Instead it's a partial re-write of 'You're My Girl', except with a bit more zeal. I'll say it now (as if you didn't really know already), I don't like 'Neil the soulful tunesmith'. It really is boring. I like Neil the 'what the fuck is he going to do next to break my balls' way. This is about as far from that as possible. Whoever told Neil that a song that sounds like The Supremes would be a good idea? 4.5

10) 'Two Old Friends' - I just woke up after being sent to sleep by this song. I'll be blunt - this song sucks. It really is shit and I don't think I can ever listen to it again. Songs like this make you wish the Hall of Fame could take back awards sometimes. 2.0

11) 'She's a Healer' - At least he finishes it off well. Even though I keep expecting this song to rise to a level it never reaches, I still enjoy listening to it lope along. "All I got is a broken heart, and I don't try to hide it when I play my guitar". Great fuckin' line and a massively positive note to end the album on. Best song on the album. 7.5

ALBUM RATING: 5.0

VERDICT: This is a long album, and despite the presence of a few very good songs, it just drains the life out of you, and not in the good way. I really can't be enthused to write about something so ordinary, something that makes you feel like you've aged two years by the end of it. The songs aren't as horrible as others, but the collective result is just plain bad.

NEXT: Neil makes up a town that no-one cares about, still to this day.

#270 The Donnie Lama

The Donnie Lama

    Neophyte

  • Members
  • 6 posts

Posted 12 July 2008 - 04:38 PM

Posted Image

Neil Young
Are You Passionate? (2002)

TRACKS:

1) 'You're My Girl' - OK, so heaps of people will point out that it's basically an updated version of 'I Can't Turn You Loose', well at least musically it could be. Well that's where the comparisons should stop, because any other comparisons between that classic and this largely forgotten lukewarm opening to a less-than-lukewarm album just aren't fair. Sorry Wilcoinator, I don't dig this song at all. Neil's vocals are done, and all that's left for him to do to sound like the Neil Young of old is to adopt this half-wheeze. Other problems arise, but they don't really matter too much when the song never really gets off the ground. It sounds good though... it's just not good to listen to - you get my drift. 4.0

2) 'Mr. Disappointment' - Well, I will say this - Neil hasn't lost the touch on Old Black. His tone here, outside of his work with Crazy Horse, is some of the best I've heard from him. Again, the problem here isn't the sound of the song, isn't the guitar playing - it's the song itself. This sounds like a rejected Greendale demo. Plus, it gets a little creepy when you keep thinking to yourself that Neil's singing "I'd like to shave your head", instead of "I;d like to shake your hand". A little better, but not much. 5.0

3) 'Differently' - Disappointing. Neil kicks it off with a great guitar riff and then mixes it with a wussy love song. Keep the riff going you old bastard! I wanna rock out! I don't want Booker T. Jones wasting himself with minimal fills that are about 1/1000th as cool as the ones he did with Stax! Bring back your balls and make me wanna get up and do something. Oh yeah, the backing vocals here are awful too. 4.0

4) 'Quit (Don't Say You Love Me)' - This is getting a bit better. Neil's voice isn't exactly as wussified, and the song swings along nicely. The problem is that I don't think Neil's that great at writing love songs. I don't think he's at his best when trying to write to some formula, and that's where this album is so far failing. But here's hoping it gets better. 5.5

5) 'Let's Roll' - Anyone else think this sounds musically like an outtake from The Wall? No? Just me then? OK. This song gets a lot of crap, and people seem to think that in the "Neil writes in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy" the score stands currently at 1-1. But I don't think it's too bad at all. Many artists were going to pen songs in the aftermath of 9/11, and of the many horrible 'songs' that were vomited onto the public, this is far from the worst. In fact, I'm prepared to say I like this song. So there you go. 7.0

6) 'Are You Passionate?' - This works. Neil's voice is still a bit whiny for my liking, but he's getting back to that classic sound we know. This starts out a little slow and doesn't seem as though it'll ever pick up, but when it does it works and it works crazy well. Sure, this doesn't sizzle like some of the classics, but sue me - I like it. 7.5

7) 'Goin' Home' - Fuck, I was so disappointed when I heard this. You see, Neil had played this every night of his 2001 European Tour with Crazy Horse and sometimes even played it twice a show, almost as though he was touting it as the next big Neil Young classic tune. It fuckin' rocked and would wind up so much you expected it to just explode in a mess (but never did). To listen to this version, recorded before the tour at Toast studios with the Horse, sucks the life out of you. This is embyonic in every way. The live versions in 2001 were fully-blown freak outs that deserve to reach the wider public. This is a great song, one of the best he's written in the last 10 years, but this take isn't the one to convince you of that. 7.5

8) 'When I Hold You In My Arms' - Another good song that never threatens to be great. But these days, you take these songs whenever you get them. Simple, minimal and all Neil. Can't ask for too much more sometimes. Shocking backing vocals though. 13 random cats could've done better. 6.5

9) 'Be With You' - This could be a good song. Instead it's a partial re-write of 'You're My Girl', except with a bit more zeal. I'll say it now (as if you didn't really know already), I don't like 'Neil the soulful tunesmith'. It really is boring. I like Neil the 'what the fuck is he going to do next to break my balls' way. This is about as far from that as possible. Whoever told Neil that a song that sounds like The Supremes would be a good idea? 4.5

10) 'Two Old Friends' - I just woke up after being sent to sleep by this song. I'll be blunt - this song sucks. It really is shit and I don't think I can ever listen to it again. Songs like this make you wish the Hall of Fame could take back awards sometimes. 2.0

11) 'She's a Healer' - At least he finishes it off well. Even though I keep expecting this song to rise to a level it never reaches, I still enjoy listening to it lope along. "All I got is a broken heart, and I don't try to hide it when I play my guitar". Great fuckin' line and a massively positive note to end the album on. Best song on the album. 7.5

ALBUM RATING: 5.0

VERDICT: This is a long album, and despite the presence of a few very good songs, it just drains the life out of you, and not in the good way. I really can't be enthused to write about something so ordinary, something that makes you feel like you've aged two years by the end of it. The songs aren't as horrible as others, but the collective result is just plain bad.

NEXT: Neil makes up a town that no-one cares about, still to this day.

The riff on the title song sounds too much like the title track of Down on the Farm by Little Feat. Anyone else hear the similarity?

#271 BobtheSquid

BobtheSquid

    Hipster

  • Sombie
  • PipPipPip
  • 3733 posts

Posted 12 July 2008 - 06:09 PM

7) 'Goin' Home' - Fuck, I was so disappointed when I heard this. You see, Neil had played this every night of his 2001 European Tour with Crazy Horse and sometimes even played it twice a show, almost as though he was touting it as the next big Neil Young classic tune. It fuckin' rocked and would wind up so much you expected it to just explode in a mess (but never did). To listen to this version, recorded before the tour at Toast studios with the Horse, sucks the life out of you. This is embyonic in every way. The live versions in 2001 were fully-blown freak outs that deserve to reach the wider public. This is a great song, one of the best he's written in the last 10 years, but this take isn't the one to convince you of that. 7.5


Couldn't agree more. This version is so plodding, so boring. But live, it killed. Also disappointed that "Standing in the Light of Love" and "Gateway of Love," also highlights of that tour, weren't on the album, even though the latter is listed on the back of the album. Maybe they'll be on this alleged Toast album.

As for the album itself, I really only think "Are You Passionate?" and "She's a Healer" stand out.

#272 Fender

Fender

    Newbie

  • Sombie
  • PipPip
  • 403 posts

Posted 12 July 2008 - 09:42 PM

Coming out July 22...

Posted Image

1. What Are Their Names
2. Living With War Piano 1
3. After The Garden
4. Military Madness
5. Let's Impeach The President
6. Déjà Vu
7. Shock & Awe
8. Families
9. Wooden Ships
10. Looking For A Leader
11. For What It s Worth
12. Living With War
13. Roger And Out
14. Find The Cost Of Freedom
15. Teach Your Children
16. Living With War Piano Close


I saw them on that tour.

Really great, actually, it was really cool to hear a lot of the Living With War songs with the harmonies. And they lured all the old farts in with promises of classics like Teach Your Children and whooped their ass with Neil Young solos.


I read that Neil said that he thinks that this album is the best CSN&Y have ever done! If it's even close to their best work I'll be happy. I still think they're capable of creating a great live album; here's hoping that this is that album. Neil said there's no sweetening done on the album, just the performances as they did them live. -- Campaigner: hope you include this in your reviews, as it's to come out fairly soon.

#273 Campaigner

Campaigner

    Hipster

  • Sombie
  • PipPipPip
  • 1674 posts

Posted 12 July 2008 - 09:46 PM

I read that Neil said that he thinks that this album is the best CSN&Y have ever done! If it's even close to their best work I'll be happy. I still think they're capable of creating a great live album; here's hoping that this is that album. Neil said there's no sweetening done on the album, just the performances as they did them live. -- Campaigner: hope you include this in your reviews, as it's to come out fairly soon.


Definitely will!

#274 Gluehead

Gluehead

    Newbie

  • Sombie
  • PipPip
  • 320 posts

Posted 13 July 2008 - 02:33 AM

I really like Greendale so I'm ready to defend it when your review comes up although I have a sneaking suspicion that I may be the only one to do so. I think it's the best album he's made since Sleeps With Angels and I'd almost consider it to be better than it if it weren't for the last two tracks where it suddenly turns into a strange "save the environment" rant. The first 8 songs are pretty much a nonstop barrage of droning guitar and straightforward mundane lyrics, which is probably why most people hate it, but is why I like it because it ends up sounding like this numbing dreary epic which doesn't sound like a compliment but is really why I like listening to it. I think in the same way On the Beach manages to capture the feeling of isolation and loneliness in California, Greendale manages to capture the same feeling in living in a small town. At least until he starts yelling through a megaphone about Mr. Clean.

#275 The Donnie Lama

The Donnie Lama

    Neophyte

  • Members
  • 6 posts

Posted 13 July 2008 - 08:09 AM

Posted Image

Neil Young
Are You Passionate? (2002)

TRACKS:

1) 'You're My Girl' - OK, so heaps of people will point out that it's basically an updated version of 'I Can't Turn You Loose', well at least musically it could be. Well that's where the comparisons should stop, because any other comparisons between that classic and this largely forgotten lukewarm opening to a less-than-lukewarm album just aren't fair. Sorry Wilcoinator, I don't dig this song at all. Neil's vocals are done, and all that's left for him to do to sound like the Neil Young of old is to adopt this half-wheeze. Other problems arise, but they don't really matter too much when the song never really gets off the ground. It sounds good though... it's just not good to listen to - you get my drift. 4.0

2) 'Mr. Disappointment' - Well, I will say this - Neil hasn't lost the touch on Old Black. His tone here, outside of his work with Crazy Horse, is some of the best I've heard from him. Again, the problem here isn't the sound of the song, isn't the guitar playing - it's the song itself. This sounds like a rejected Greendale demo. Plus, it gets a little creepy when you keep thinking to yourself that Neil's singing "I'd like to shave your head", instead of "I;d like to shake your hand". A little better, but not much. 5.0

3) 'Differently' - Disappointing. Neil kicks it off with a great guitar riff and then mixes it with a wussy love song. Keep the riff going you old bastard! I wanna rock out! I don't want Booker T. Jones wasting himself with minimal fills that are about 1/1000th as cool as the ones he did with Stax! Bring back your balls and make me wanna get up and do something. Oh yeah, the backing vocals here are awful too. 4.0

4) 'Quit (Don't Say You Love Me)' - This is getting a bit better. Neil's voice isn't exactly as wussified, and the song swings along nicely. The problem is that I don't think Neil's that great at writing love songs. I don't think he's at his best when trying to write to some formula, and that's where this album is so far failing. But here's hoping it gets better. 5.5

5) 'Let's Roll' - Anyone else think this sounds musically like an outtake from The Wall? No? Just me then? OK. This song gets a lot of crap, and people seem to think that in the "Neil writes in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy" the score stands currently at 1-1. But I don't think it's too bad at all. Many artists were going to pen songs in the aftermath of 9/11, and of the many horrible 'songs' that were vomited onto the public, this is far from the worst. In fact, I'm prepared to say I like this song. So there you go. 7.0

6) 'Are You Passionate?' - This works. Neil's voice is still a bit whiny for my liking, but he's getting back to that classic sound we know. This starts out a little slow and doesn't seem as though it'll ever pick up, but when it does it works and it works crazy well. Sure, this doesn't sizzle like some of the classics, but sue me - I like it. 7.5

7) 'Goin' Home' - Fuck, I was so disappointed when I heard this. You see, Neil had played this every night of his 2001 European Tour with Crazy Horse and sometimes even played it twice a show, almost as though he was touting it as the next big Neil Young classic tune. It fuckin' rocked and would wind up so much you expected it to just explode in a mess (but never did). To listen to this version, recorded before the tour at Toast studios with the Horse, sucks the life out of you. This is embyonic in every way. The live versions in 2001 were fully-blown freak outs that deserve to reach the wider public. This is a great song, one of the best he's written in the last 10 years, but this take isn't the one to convince you of that. 7.5

8) 'When I Hold You In My Arms' - Another good song that never threatens to be great. But these days, you take these songs whenever you get them. Simple, minimal and all Neil. Can't ask for too much more sometimes. Shocking backing vocals though. 13 random cats could've done better. 6.5

9) 'Be With You' - This could be a good song. Instead it's a partial re-write of 'You're My Girl', except with a bit more zeal. I'll say it now (as if you didn't really know already), I don't like 'Neil the soulful tunesmith'. It really is boring. I like Neil the 'what the fuck is he going to do next to break my balls' way. This is about as far from that as possible. Whoever told Neil that a song that sounds like The Supremes would be a good idea? 4.5

10) 'Two Old Friends' - I just woke up after being sent to sleep by this song. I'll be blunt - this song sucks. It really is shit and I don't think I can ever listen to it again. Songs like this make you wish the Hall of Fame could take back awards sometimes. 2.0

11) 'She's a Healer' - At least he finishes it off well. Even though I keep expecting this song to rise to a level it never reaches, I still enjoy listening to it lope along. "All I got is a broken heart, and I don't try to hide it when I play my guitar". Great fuckin' line and a massively positive note to end the album on. Best song on the album. 7.5

ALBUM RATING: 5.0

VERDICT: This is a long album, and despite the presence of a few very good songs, it just drains the life out of you, and not in the good way. I really can't be enthused to write about something so ordinary, something that makes you feel like you've aged two years by the end of it. The songs aren't as horrible as others, but the collective result is just plain bad.

NEXT: Neil makes up a town that no-one cares about, still to this day.

The riff on the title song sounds too much like the title track of Down on the Farm by Little Feat. Anyone else hear the similarity?

As my brain continues to deteriorate from age, I realize I meant the riff on "Let's Roll" sounds like the riff from Little Feat. Sorry about the mistake.

#276 The Donnie Lama

The Donnie Lama

    Neophyte

  • Members
  • 6 posts

Posted 13 July 2008 - 08:32 AM

I really like Greendale so I'm ready to defend it when your review comes up although I have a sneaking suspicion that I may be the only one to do so. I think it's the best album he's made since Sleeps With Angels and I'd almost consider it to be better than it if it weren't for the last two tracks where it suddenly turns into a strange "save the environment" rant. The first 8 songs are pretty much a nonstop barrage of droning guitar and straightforward mundane lyrics, which is probably why most people hate it, but is why I like it because it ends up sounding like this numbing dreary epic which doesn't sound like a compliment but is really why I like listening to it. I think in the same way On the Beach manages to capture the feeling of isolation and loneliness in California, Greendale manages to capture the same feeling in living in a small town. At least until he starts yelling through a megaphone about Mr. Clean.

Considering how many artists his age take little, if any, risks with their new work, it is somewhat hard for me to criticize his work. I like Greendale. A lot. I first heard it at the UC when he performed the stage version. Everything was as cheap as it looked, to quote liner notes from Tonight's The Night. What a great evening, due in large part to an audience who were willing to hear something new for the first time in a live setting with actors lip syncing his lyrics. I saw the same show a few months later at the Rosemont Theatre, where we were given playbills by elderly ushers. The movie isn't bad, either. I wish he would release a full length video of the stage show.

Campaigner, thank you for your efforts with this great thread!

#277 BobtheSquid

BobtheSquid

    Hipster

  • Sombie
  • PipPipPip
  • 3733 posts

Posted 13 July 2008 - 11:29 AM

I really like Greendale so I'm ready to defend it when your review comes up although I have a sneaking suspicion that I may be the only one to do so. I think it's the best album he's made since Sleeps With Angels and I'd almost consider it to be better than it if it weren't for the last two tracks where it suddenly turns into a strange "save the environment" rant. The first 8 songs are pretty much a nonstop barrage of droning guitar and straightforward mundane lyrics, which is probably why most people hate it, but is why I like it because it ends up sounding like this numbing dreary epic which doesn't sound like a compliment but is really why I like listening to it. I think in the same way On the Beach manages to capture the feeling of isolation and loneliness in California, Greendale manages to capture the same feeling in living in a small town. At least until he starts yelling through a megaphone about Mr. Clean.


I think Greendale comes off as too muddy and droning on record, but the stage show was a blast.

#278 Campaigner

Campaigner

    Hipster

  • Sombie
  • PipPipPip
  • 1674 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 01:17 AM

Just a bump to say that I haven't had time to finish off my Greendale synopsis, but I'll have it up this weekend hopefully.

#279 tager

tager

    Hipster

  • Sombie
  • PipPipPip
  • 1048 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 08:51 AM

More albums coming soon...

But holy shit, Neil played 'Time Fades Away' the other night in Oberhausen (first since April 3, 1973) and then cranked out an electric 'For the Turnstiles' last night in Weert (first since 1989).

Too cool.


Wow, For the Turnstiles might be one of my favorite Neil songs.

#280 M_Rots

M_Rots

    Hipster

  • Sombie
  • PipPipPip
  • 4277 posts

Posted 18 July 2008 - 12:07 PM

My somewhat desperate, not-completely-without-possibility hope for Neil:

Maybe he's been in another "'80s phase" the last decade or so. He's indulging himself, having rebuilt his cred with old and new fans, starting at Freedom. If you've read the book whose title this thread alludes to, McDonough makes a pretty good case that all those weird Geffen records were more than just perversity. Neil can only do the same old-same old for so long and then he has to head back "for the ditch," regardless of what his followers make of what he finds. Eventually, he always seems to get reinvigorated by his past and return to rock.

I think it's possible that he might emerge on the other side of concept records, reunion tours, the archives and alternative fuels and lay down a couple more amazing, or at least satisfying, records.

It's possible. But maybe not probable.