Neil Young & Crazy Horse | Americana

Reprise (2012)
By NICK A. ZAINO II  |  May 29, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars


The track listing for Americana, the first new release from Neil Young & Crazy Horse since 2003's Greendale, may make some fans skeptical at first. "Clementine"? Played by the architects of grunge? But as "Oh Susannah" stumbles to a start with the familiar crackling overdriven guitars and thumping drums, it becomes clear that Americana won't be a dull, strummy trudge through the American songbook. The band plays it loose, loud, and fun, sorting out the songs even as the music stops and the tape keeps rolling. They also rehabilitate some of these songs from their campfire or grade-school silliness. "Jesus' Chariot," better known as "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain," drones with nothing less than the weight of the apocalypse. As Young says in the liner notes, the song was written in the 1800s about the chariot that brings Jesus for the second coming — far from the kids' sing-along it has become. Young frequently references the folk process in the liner notes, how songs are passed down and changed through the generations. It's appropriate that Americana includes not only a twangy "This Land Is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie but a surprisingly faithful, if amped-up, version of the Silhouettes' "Get a Job." And because he is a wonderful smartass, Young tags the whole thing with an appropriately majestic "God Save the Queen," adding some lyrics from "My Country 'Tis of Thee," emblematic of this album's spirited and satisfying synthesis.

Related: Various Artists | Casual Victim Pile: Austin 2010, Bearstronaut | Broken Handclaps, Avi Buffalo | Avi Buffalo, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Arts, CD reviews,  More more >
| More

Most Popular