Neil Young
Psychedelic Pill


4.5
superb

Review

by Joseph Viney STAFF
November 4th, 2012 | 58 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The best medicine

This June’s Americana, the drunken-sing-along reunion with Crazy Horse with its sense of distorted nostalgia, didn’t purport to offer any idea as to where a rejuvenated Young wanted to go. The trad folk songs given a typically raucous and occasionally abrasive touch up by some of rock’s great survivors were enough to tide people over. Although it was a nice little curio, many saw it as a play for time before Young made with the original sounds. Without resting on their laurels, Psychedelic Pill appears a short four months after. The album finds the certified pensioners in fine and ambitious form. Indeed, it takes some gumption to open an album with a 27 minute effort. “Drifting Back” is at once blissed-out, expansive (obviously) and with more than a hint of that trademark lyrical cynicism.

“I used to dig Picasso until they turned him into wallpaper” is just one of the many complaints Young has about a world he doesn’t seem to understand anymore. He rails against the lack of dignity in the crop of ‘modern’ religions that have sprung up intermittently; “Here’s how I got my mantra, gave them 35 bucks now. Gave it to the Maharishi, it went to the organisation.” Even an avowed tech-head like Young can’t wrap his brain around the new music consumer habits; “When you hear my song now you only get five percent. You used to get it all.” Don’t be fooled into thinking Psychedelic Pill is the sound of some agitated old guy losing his mind on a big old soapbox. Far from it. The album’s titular track is a brazen bull of a tune that marries heavy guitar work with all manner of effects and an obvious influence from groups like Hawkwind.

Spread over two discs, the album is in possession of two more sprawling missives. “Ramada Inn” and “Walk Like A Giant” both clock in at 16 minutes. The former lacks the bite of the record’s opening track; eschewing the bitter modern commentary for a faintly morose retelling of past days that could have been better, but then again, they could have been worse. The latter does exactly what its title suggests; stomping around with reckless abandon and enveloped in those classic Crazy Horse vocal harmonies. The last five minutes of the track crash and burn into a doom-laden noise-fest that takes its time getting to where it wants to go.

Psychedelic Pill is an album of many moods. It veers from cautious optimism, to sadness and to those odd moments where you feel anything’s possible. Young and Crazy Horse continue to run free. Long may it continue.



Recent reviews by this author
Morrissey World Peace Is None of Your BusinessArchie Bronson Outfit Wild Crush
Manic Street Preachers FuturologySweet Apple The Golden Age of Glitter
Parquet Courts Sunbathing AnimalSKATERS Manhattan
user ratings (126)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
SpaceEcho34 (4.5)
Neil Young and Crazy Horse is a rock and roll institution...


Comments:Add a Comment 
jefflebowski
November 4th 2012


8257 Comments


i can't believe this is any good

persuasive review though

KingHarkinian
November 4th 2012


435 Comments


Oah!

KingHarkinian
November 4th 2012


435 Comments


I would pos if I could, but...I can't. I'm really sorry.

RosaParks
November 4th 2012


15056 Comments


album is too long to possibly be entertaining just like the new swans. Nice review though. Still love
Neil's stuff

Athom
Staff Reviewer
November 4th 2012


17231 Comments


loaded up spotify for the first time in almost 6 months to hear after seeing your rating. really surprised how good this is.

ThrashHard
November 4th 2012


198 Comments


Neil Young is amazing

controlled
November 4th 2012


468 Comments


this might be the surprise of the year

Spec
November 4th 2012


27309 Comments


Neil Young will never die.

Ire
November 4th 2012


41830 Comments


yay

controlled
November 4th 2012


468 Comments


wow, where the hell did this come from. aoty contender i'm so surprised.

ViperAces
November 4th 2012


12506 Comments


Its pretty bold calling this AOTY... I mean theres a new GS!BE, a new Converge and a new As I Lay
Dying!!!

EverythingEvil2113
November 4th 2012


1282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Wow this is really good so far.

Spec
November 4th 2012


27309 Comments


His voice never ages. Can't think of a single artist that could go this long without losing their voice even a little bit.

litovat
November 4th 2012


4 Comments


This album is incredibly good. Ramada Inn is one of the bests songs ever.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 4th 2012


16166 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

must listen

Digging: Suzanne Vega - Suzanne Vega

tommygun
November 4th 2012


25434 Comments


whoa whoa whoa I gotta get this

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 4th 2012


24118 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

*Canadiana

I can't wait to listen to this. Neil Young rules.

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek

SetGuitarToKill
November 4th 2012


2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

All factors considered, it's really good, but it's just a bit too long and doesn't really do anything new.

Spare
November 4th 2012


5451 Comments


why are so many people surprised neil young put out a good album

Digging: Forth Wanderers - Tough Love

EverythingEvil2113
November 5th 2012


1282 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Idk, after 40+ years of releasing material you'd think the well would dry up, but not with Neil apparently.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy