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Chrome Dreams II by Neil Young (Reprise)

Those accustomed to the stylistic cohesiveness of Neil Young’s recent sets, whereby he separates strictly the near-schizophrenic span of his pastoral folkie side from the garage band onslaught of his hard rocking Crazy Horse mode, will be surprised by Chrome Dreams II, which contains some cuts which would not be out of place on Harvest, Harvest Moon or Old Ways (e.g. ‘Beautiful Bluebird’), alongside boogie fests worthy of Zuma, Ragged Glory or Weld (e.g. ‘Dirty Old Man’). In this respect, his previous collections it most closely invokes are 1979’s Rust Never Sleeps and 1989’s Freedom. Featuring at least three older songs from the 1980s, and titled after an aborted 1977 project, this is a mature meditation on faith, (im)mortality and getting through. Boasting two epics, ‘Ordinary People’ and ‘No Hidden Path’, it again demonstrates why this indefatigable if constantly capricious presence on the music scene for over forty years now has retained his ability to tantalise and rivet his audience.


First published in Magill, December/January 2007/8

 

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