Classic Rock Review

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Neil Young Fork In The Road (2009)

000c40a2_mediumFrom The Guardian

There is much to admire about Neil Young, particularly the rejuvenated, older Young, still creating and creatin’ after his operation for an aneurysm in 2005. The music never stops pouring from this 63-year-old protest singer, who brought out four LPs between 2005 and 2007, who toured with his old compadres Crosby, Stills and Nash throughout 2006 and who is headlining this year’s Glastonbury on the Friday night.

He is fierier and funnier than ever, his latest amateur-style videos for new album Fork in the Road an unexpected joy, featuring Young lip-synching in the back of a limo dressed as a banker and him driving his beloved Lincoln Convertible, the sun bleaching the camera, a curly-coated dog behind him.

So, there is much to admire. I just wish I liked his music more. But that keening voice, those Godspell backing harmonies have never done anything other than turn up my tinnitus and make my teeth ache.

The guitar sound is always fantastic – gutsy, driving, grungy – but the drumming is truly terrible and as for the words … to call them lyrics seems to give too much formal weight. They’re more like stream-of-consciousness notes, to be licked into proper shape at a later date.

The subject of this album is – sorry, listeners – his car, the Lincvolt, a 1959 white Lincoln convertible that Young is in the process of having converted to eco-friendly fuels. “The awesome power of electricite-e-e/Stored for you on a giant battere-e-e/She runs so quiet …” he sings on “Fuel Line”, a right-on version of Jeremy Clarkson. There are a few anti-war asides and more about the credit crunch, though nothing goes any deeper than “Cough up the Bucks”‘ wondering, “Where did all the money go?/ Where did all the cash flow?/ Where did all the revenue sweep?”

Only the pretty “Light a Candle” and the title track itself go anywhere. The rest is tossed away, the sound of a massive talent revving on the spot without ever getting out of first gear.

February 20, 2013 - Posted by | Neil Young Fork In The Road |

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