Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

NEIL YOUNG

FORK IN THE ROAD

2009-04-15

From the anti-war protest of his early hit "Ohio" to the 2006 rant against the foreign policy of the Bush administration, "Living with War", Neil Young has demonstrated again and again that he’s not afraid to speak his mind when something strikes him as wrong. He’s also willing to be an advocate for causes that he believes will make a difference as on his 2003 concept disc "Greendale". This disc finds him in both protest and prophet mode. While railing against the insanity of our petroleum dependant nation and the choices it foists upon us, "Cough up the Bucks", he still yearns for the romance of the road and the freedom of being behind the wheel of a powerful car, "Get Behind the Wheel" and "Hit the Road". To keep that romance alive he advances a solution in the form of conversion to electrical vehicles, a tale told on "Fuel Line". Like his dream car, this disc crackles with the raw electrical energy that marks most of his work with Crazy Horse. Unfortunately, like the rants of Living with War, some of the lyrics like on the track "Fuel Line" are simply jammed into the groove and are more like a lecture than a sermon that would inspire you to do anything different. Overall, though, he hits more than he misses. On "Just Singing a Song" he acknowledges the futility of a rock star trying to change the world and makes a powerful pledge to real action. Likewise, on "Johnny Magic" his zeal for his electric heavy metal Continental shines through in no uncertain terms. The title track is Neil’s middle finger to bail outs, rich executives and the whole mess we are in. The anger quotient is reduced considerably when he takes his foot off the accelerator on the ballads "Off the Road" and "Light a Candle" both of which go down easy. Smitty Fork in the Road- NO PLAY-“Sounds like Shit”- not an editorial, a quote from the song!

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

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