Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Back to basics

Following a few rants on the state of modern music, I find myself treading on familiar grounds with a review of a classic Neil Young album, "After the Goldrush". This may be my favorite album of all time. If you're not a fan of Neil Young, you still might like this album. It's pretty much a singer-songwriter album with piano and acoustic guitar-heavy compositions. That being said the album is extremely mellow and appeals to pop sensibilities, while also including a lot of country and folk sound.
There are some pretty notable Neil Young songs on here. Songs like Tell Me Why, Southern Man, After the Goldrush, Only Love Can Break Your Heart, and When You Dance You Can Really Love. The best thing about this album is its simplicity. There's a pretty simple 4 piece arrangement with guitar, piano, bass, and drums; all capped off by Neil's infamous high-pitched whine. This album came about during Neil's run with Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and its pretty easy to see a few similarities. CSNY tends to rock a little harder on their album out at the same time, DEJA VU, but Neil puts his personal stamp on the music of Goldrush and keeps it mellow like certain points on Deja Vu. There are great lyrics on this album, and they are encapsulated in love songs, protest songs, and country tales. Some of Neil's lyrics come off as strange, especially on songs like After the Goldrush, which is bizarre in itself, but great. If I could have picked two people to present in my Pop-Icon speech my second would have been Neil Young, without question. He is one of the most consistent legends of rock n roll and his music is classic and is up there with the likes of the Beatles.

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