Neil Young



by Ephemeral USER (11 Reviews)
April 13th, 2006 | 18 replies

Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Most of us have been to a small town before. We can recognize that there is a certain atmosphere that a small town has. Everyone knows each other, people are friendly, and for the most part; things are wholesome and family friendly.

Released in 2003, this is Neil's 12th album with his legendary band 'Crazy Horse'. This album seems very homey and cozy. The album itself is a story about a little town called Greendale. Over the course of the album, we meet characters like Cousin Jed, Grandpa, Edith and Earl, and Carmichael. We also learn about several events that take place in Greendale. For example, to the disgust of the neighbors, the old Double L ranch is renamed to the Double E ranch.

The album goes through a number of stages or 'events' in the town. One event is present for every song. I imagine each song being like a separate day. We don't just hear one person's story throughout the album though. The story is told from a number of different characters who live in Greendale. Sometimes we will hear Grandpa telling the story, and sometimes we hear Grandma expressing her views on the event. The same type of theme continues throughout the entire album. It is not however limited to just one person 'singing' each song. We can hear many different characters talking on each track. Most times, it seems like they are talking to one another, and gossiping to one another about the situation. The peak of the album however, is when an already familiar character is pulled over by a police officer and commits a homicide against the police officer. Trials and interviews from Grandpa, and other characters from follow through as the town is shocked to find out who had committed the crime.

This album is not limited to just it's stories, though either. For those of you looking for more 'electric' Neil Young, this album is for you. There is only one track featuring Neil Young's Crystalline acoustic playing. What all the other tracks feature, is what Neil does best. Rocking out. 'Devil's Sidewalk' delivers a very catchy guitar riff, and other very good guitar work can found all over the album. Some may find the music fairly repetitive, however. It is, but there is an element to the album that just wouldn't be the same if complex pieces of music were played on the album. It allows for the background music to kind of create a 'drone' at sometimes, allowing the listener to focus on the lyrics, which are a vital part of the album.

As with other Neil Young recordings, this one was recorded at his ranch in California. It is very interesting to listen to the way the music resonates in the room it is being played in. It almost sounds like it was just done in someones garage. The way it was done, keeps the music very tightly in-line, and keeps the band together very well. It is also evident that this album was recorded live in the studio with almost no overdubbing at all.

Over all, this album is incredible. The stories that are told keep the listener engaged, and the music to accompany the lyrics is equally impressive. However, as said earlier, the music itself can be repetitive.


The Band:

Guitar and Vocals: Neil Young
Guitar: Danny Whitten
Bass Guitar: Billy Talbot
Percussion: Ralph Molina

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user ratings (123)

Comments:Add a Comment 
April 13th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=Jom]Nice job, man! I'm glad you decided to write. The only thing that I have to say is that it's a bit redundant to have the tracklist in the review, seeing as how the tracklist is next to the album art.

You did very, very well, seeing as how you started with an overall. That's one route new writers (and even older writers, but I won't mention any names, Jom) tend to avoid more often than not.

But yeah, welcome to the site - feel free to hang out in the Sputnikmusic forum as well.[/quote]

Heh. Yeah. I didn't really think of that when I put it in there.

Thanks for the advice.

This Message Edited On 04.13.06

April 13th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

Nice review. This album is quite nice, although, like you said, very repetitive musically. The story is very nice though, so that kinda makes up, if only the album would've been shorter I would probably pull it out more often. A lot of the songs are way too long (don't get me wrong, I like long songs, but it needs some variation) and could've been cut down to more conventional song lengths.

When I bought this, I received a live DVD as a second disc. On the DVD is a live version of the complete album, in complete acoustic form. The DVD really showcases the lack of variation on the album, seeing as it's just Neil Young, his acoustic guitar, his harmonica and on one track his organ...

April 13th 2006


Fantastic review, you really did this album justice. While I don't think this really warrants a five star rating, it does show how far from going through the motion's Neil is.

April 13th 2006


Wait its 5 stars and then its 4 stars?

April 13th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Shh. I did some more thinking and reformed my own rating. I compared it with some of his other albums, and realized that 5 was a bit to high.

April 13th 2006


Album Rating: 3.0

^ you can change the overall rating through editing it. Good review. Neil Young is great.

Digging: Fleet Foxes - Shore

April 14th 2006


I've never heard this album, but I might have to give it a listen.

I might.

April 14th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

[quote=sexymuffin]I've never heard this album, but I might have to give it a listen.

I might.[/quote]

You better.

/shakes fistThis Message Edited On 04.13.06

Broken Arrow
April 14th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

This is an excellent album with a great story to go along with it.

April 14th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review. Great album, it really grew on me. I didn't like it all that much the first time I heard it, but I really enjoy listening to it now. Great storyline.

Broken Arrow
July 15th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

I've been really into this album lately. Particulary (sp?) Sun Green, that song is pure genious. Leaving the Driving, Charmicheal and Leave the Driving are also really doing it for me right now.

But right now I'm rock out to Landing on Water.


heh heh

Anyways good job Jeff.

July 28th 2006


Album Rating: 2.0

I really didn't like this, I've never been able to listen to this all the way through.

July 28th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

Of the 15 or so Neil Young albums I have, this is my least favorite. Still a good review, though ... I agree about the sound having a "garage" feel to it.

April 13th 2007


I have a hard time believing Danny Whitten played guitar on this album, since he died in 1972.

November 29th 2007


Album Rating: 3.5


This is a really good album. Just a bit boring in some places. Be The Rain was a good choice for the album ender.This Message Edited On 11.29.07

April 20th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

Too often overlooked.

February 5th 2013


Album Rating: 4.5

this album is a spectacular accomplishment in concept and storytelling, plus the music is timeless, nice review

February 5th 2013


Album Rating: 4.5

ps: All guitars on this album were performed by Neil

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