Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Throughout his career, Mr. Young has become known for consistently casting aside what works (Harvest-era acoustic rock) in favor of experimentation and keeping things fresh. In the past, this meant publicly dismissed work such as the electronic album Trans, and other projects considered overly ambitious at the time. Here, Young offers another concept album/play based around a Northern California murder story/environmentalist quest in the fictional seaside town of Greendale—with likeable results. While the populist-oriented lyrics are spotty, the music is vintage Crazy Horse: sloppy, rocking blues numbers led by Young’s loner wail (I personally think the whole thing is atonement for his hawkish-“Let’s Roll” ode to 9-11). Side note: Also available for the first time are some classic out-of-print ’70s titles including: On the Beach (one of his best ever), American Stars ’N’ Bars and Hawks and Doves.