Le Noise – Neil Young

I’m not gonna lie. I was never a heavy Neil Young fan to begin with. It wasn’t that I didn’t like him or any of that, I was just never exposed to much of his stuff besides After the Gold Rush and a few tracks he did with Crazy Horse. It wasn’t until a couple of months ago when someone (finally) dropped the Neil Young Archives Vol. 1 on my head that I began to really get into him more. He doesn’t have the perfect voice, but neither does Dylan and the important thing is that he sings with conviction (like Dylan). I’ll take that over any autotuned bullshit out there today. That and his guitar work is awesome.

So after I heard Neil had a new album coming out and I saw that my local…uh…store had it out early, I couldn’t help but give it an early listen. A general stereotype is that once a legend gets older, a lot of the albums they put out at a certain point start sounding like shit. Roger Waters, Iggy Pop and any surviving members of the Doors definitely help support this claim, but I like it when artists like Dylan, Young and the Stones (A Bigger Bang wasn’t bad at all) demolish this argument with killer albums. And Young does it again with this album.

Primarily consisting of Young and his electric guitar, the album relies heavily on echos. By doing so, he doesn’t need a band (not that he ever did). “Walk With Me” exemplifies this. As the album opener, the distorted guitar is echos with Young’s voice so it that creates soundscapes that pull us in. He continues this trend with stand out tracks like “Someone’s Gonna Rescue You” and the single “Hitchhiker.”

Only a few tracks does Neil go acoustic, but they don’t slow down the album at all. Even the 7-minute long “Peaceful Valley Boulevard” doesn’t feel tiresome at all, mostly due to Young’s guitar work and his lyrics, another thing that has been his trademark. The man can entertain you more with his guitar and lyrics than those ridiculous 50 people bands that Pitchfork is always sucking off.

However, the only track that lags for me acoustically is Love and War. It’s got great lyrics but the guitar is kind of boring. Maybe it’s a grower, but if you had to be a pussy and skip one track on this short album, this would be the one that warrants it .

After hearing this album, I wish I had seen Young when he came to Nashville even more. I’m dying to see how some of these songs translated live because some of these songs would either be amazing or fall flat on their face live. Young does a pretty good job keeping things interesting for the most part so I’m sure they were great.

This album is worth giving a listen and I fully intend to buy a copy on the 28th. It deserves attention. It seems like this is an album that you could pull out and shove in the faces of people who use say that artists like Young decline when they get older (probably before those said people go back to sucking off the members of Animal Collective). Don’t be a twat, pick it up (preferably legally).

Walk With Me

Hitchhiker

Peaceful Valley Boulevard

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