Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Neil Young song of the day (5)

It was as if, after spending the entire ten years since "Rust Never Sleeps" wandering along diverse musical paths by turn moribund and bizarre, embracing everything from electronic music to rockabilly and all (disap)points in between, as if by a miracle all of Neil Young's stars fell into perfect alignment, because in 1989 he delivered "Freedom", a record that surprised everybody by being a Very Good Neil Young Album.

Of course, it was not free from strangeness -- the second song, "Crime In The City (Sixty To Zero, Pt 1)", strays rather too close to that necessary electrified boundary fence between (1) all music that doesn't sound like Dire Straits, and (2) Dire Straits; and when Neil Young decides it's time to put his own personal stamp on "On Broadway" it's hard to know whether to laugh or cry, although in the end what one gains is a clear mental image to go with the word "ham-fisted" -- but he seems to have regained both his sense of wistful lyricism and his ability to pull unfeasible noises out of an electric guitar.

You already know the quietly anthemic "Rockin' In The Free World" (it appears twice, not unnecessarily). You should now acquaint yourself with "Eldorado", yet another in Neil's series of Aztec / Inca fantasias/allegories, and a good one (and watch for one of those -- in this case fleeting -- unfeasible guitar noises, which comes from out of nowhere just before the end of the song).