Neil Young & Crazy Horse Release Two Tracks

Even at 66, it’s hard for Neil Young to do wrong. His 2010 album Le Noise showed that his songwriting hasn’t weathered with time (especially with tracks like “The Hitchhiker” and “Love And War” still in his cannon) and that made the idea of him reuniting with Crazy Horse for the first time in nine years pretty cool. However, the idea of Young slipping into senility did cross my mind when they announced that the first of the two albums planned was to be comprised of traditional folks songs. And by traditional songs, I’m talking about songs like “Oh Susanna” and “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain.” Basically, those songs they taught us in those shitty elementary school music classes or made Boy Scouts sing around the campfire (well, not me. Do I look like I was a fucking Boy Scout) are what this album is made up of. While I was excited, I wasn’t entirely stoked on the idea (I might have said I was earlier, but that’s just because it’s Neil fuckin’ Young) for that reason. However, after they’ve just released two cuts from the album, I’m officially stoked now.

Jesus’ Chariot (She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain) – Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Oh Susannah – Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Basically, Young and the dudes in Crazy Horse took those songs  and flipped them on their heads. Young’s heavy guitar tones and vocals make “Jesus’ Chariot” sound more demanding and urgent; definitely not the same as the version I used to cringe to in elementary school. I never thought of a song like “Oh Susannah” as being capable of containing any rock ‘n’ roll swagger, but I guess all the song was missing was Young’s take on it and of course, Crazy Horses backing vocals. I dig this one the most so far.

As far as I’m concerned, I can now say I am officially stoked on this project. This is far from some dudes trying to make a cash grab by adapting old songs (see Scott Weiland’s Christmas album). These are old tracks that have been shot up with a dose of rock ‘n’ roll straight to the vein. I’ll be standing by for June 5th for this album. From the sound of it, Young is far from over.

EDIT: On another note, five seconds after publishing this post, I realized that Young has a documentary coming out called Journeys. It follows Young around in his hometown and includes some concert footage as well. It looks pretty cool. Check out the trailer below:

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