Neil Young

“Let’s Roll,” the loping elegy to doomed UAL Flight 93 that appears five songs into Neil Young’s newest album, probably sounded like a good idea at the time. Its first half even fits with the themes of love, loss and regret that infuse this collection of 11 songs. But then Young veers off into bumper music for “hot talk” radio: “Let’s roll for freedom,” he sings, “Let’s roll for love / We’re goin’ after Satan on the wings of a dove.” OK, sure. Fortunately, that’s the only clinker here; the rest of the songs, all (save the Crazy Horse-backed, “Southern Man”-like “Goin’ Home”) recorded with MG’s Booker T. Jones on organ and Duck Dunn on bass, radiate and throb with soulful warmth. The title track and “When I Hold You In My Arms” are sweetly, unabashedly romantic, and Young’s guitar on “She’s a Healer” is a slow cooker. Maybe this ain’t a masterpiece, but it’s pretty damn cool nonetheless.