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Monday, 2 July 2012

Neil Young and Crazy Horse - Americana 2012

Reuniting with Crazy Horse eight years after vowing never to play with them again (in a recent interview in Uncut, Neil Young, when asked about this stated, "Never is a huge word." That was all he had to say on the matter), has released a rather interesting album that seems to be splitting reviewers. Some love it, others hate it, and others still are left confused by what Young is trying to achieve. 'Americana' it seems is merely a warm up to a brand new Crazy Horse project due later this year according to Young.

Paul Whitelaw, in his review for the BBC Website says that the album  is "scuppered by monotonous arrangements – Crazy Horse's ability to make every song sound identical, like a rustic Ramones at quarter-speed". I think that's actually a bit too harsh. It's just that the album is a surprise, it takes us off guard because it's not what you were expecting from a band who have released some amazing albums down through the years, and if you were looking for a 'Rust Never Sleeps' or 'Arc Weld' then you'll be disappointed.

What you get are 11 songs redefined (not covers according to Young in that same Uncut interview) and actually if you listen to it carefully you will actually find that typical Crazy Horse sound of crunching guitars, distortion and thundering drums, and a band that sounds like it's having fun whilst recording.

The standout track for me is definetely 'Jesus Chariot (She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain)' and the most puzzling is 'God Save the Queen' (not the Sex Pistols song but the British National Anthem!). 

If I was asked to give a rating for the album out of ten I would probably say six at the most. I don't love it or hate it, I'm somewhere in the middle.

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