NEIL YOUNG & PROMISE OF THE REAL
SHAKEY RETURNS WITH A SHAKY OFFERING
It’s only been a few short months since the release of Hitchhiker, the strongest thing with Neil Young’s name on it in years. Things start off okay. ‘Already Great’ – a riposte to Trump’s ridiculous catch phrase – thrashes around like a Ragged Glory outtake, and the lazy harmonica break on ‘Almost Always’ could be from Harvest Moon. If things continued in this manner, we’d be laughing, but they don’t, so we’re not.
‘Diggin’ A Hole’ is a blues dirge that probably takes longer to listen to than it did to write; ‘When Bad Got Good’ is a meandering jam that goes nowhere; and ‘Change Of Heart’ is six minutes of nothing much at all. ‘Carnival’ is like a Mexican cousin of 94’s ‘Driveby’ who’s been at the tequila, and swallowed the worm, but at least it doesn’t hang around like the appropriately titled closer ‘Forever’. It’s “only” ten minutes long, which in the grand Neil Young scheme of things is akin to a Ramones dash, but it feels like two weeks.
All these crimes are as nothing though, when compared with centrepiece ‘Children Of Destiny’. It’s an orchestra and guitar-led plea to – wait for it – “preserve the land and save the seas for the children”. Now, I’m as much in favour of saving the planet as the next man, but there must be a more painless way to go about it than listening to this muck. Whitney Houston’s declaration that the children were our future was more convincing.
Download ‘Already Great’. The rest is for someone else.
OUT NOW // PAT CARTY