|Neil Young||Peace Trail|
Neil Young — Peace Trail (December 09, 2016)Ξ Jako skladateli se Neilu Youngovi vždy dařilo v časech nejistých. A ty jsou právě teď a tady. “Peace Trail” zní skvěle. Lidé často nemají tušení, co se v hudbě děje dnes, žijí minulostí. Neil nepíše písničky pro své kritiky, píše písně pro sebe a ze sebe a pokud budou chtít kritici jezdit na jeho show, je to v pořádku, je na své peace trail stále. Je jedním z opravdových umělců, které až příliš často opouštíme. Takže prosím, vezměte si jednoduše svou kritiku a jděte si koupit nějaké odpadky, kterých je nyní k dispozici v hudebních shopech na tuny. A budete spokojeni. “Svět je plný změn,” zpívá Young ve fuzzy~kontemplativní titulní skladbě 37. studiového alba. “Někdy mi je ze všech těch prováděných změn smutno.” Young se také snaží držet své vlastní posluchače odpovědnými za “Glass Accident”, kde burcuje Ameriku kvůli její lhostejnosti, kterou přechází mnohé výkřiky do tmy, což je většinovou mentalitou. “Příliš mnoho věcí se uklízí pod koberec, a tak jsem nechal vzkaz u vašich dveří,” zpívá. Neilův hlas byl vždy jiný, byl vždy dobrý, byl srozumitelný a navíc prosazuje v hudbě nejvyšší možnou kvalitu zvuku. Legenda k pohledání! Pomalu se etabloval jako jeden z nejvlivnějších a nejvýstřednějších singer~songwriterů své generace. A toto je protestní album. Již v září Young vydal pilotní píseň a video pro “Indian Givers” (3. na albu) na podporu indiánských protestů proti “Dakota Access Pipeline”. Ze známých hostů alba stojí za to připomenout Paula Bushnella na basu a Jima Keltnera na bicí. Veškerý zvuk jeho hudby má jít zpátky k lidem a chránit umění zaznamenaného zvuku; takže platí, že živý duch hudby může provázet posluchače všude, kam chce jít.
Ξ “Peace Trail” is the forthcoming 37th studio album by Canadian singer~songwriter Neil Young.
Ξ Eternally restless figure who pursued an idiosyncratic solo career touching on everything from noise~rock and synth pop to blues and rockabilly.
©★Ω★ Photo credit: Tim Mosenfelder Birth name: Neil Percival Young
Born: November 12, 1945, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Album release: December 09, 2016
Recorded: Shangri~La Studios, 2016
Record Label: Reprise Records
01 Peace Trail 5:33
02 Can’t Stop Workin’ 2:45
03 Indian Givers 5:41
04 Show Me 4:03
05 Texas Rangers 2:30
06 Terrorist Suicide Hang Gliders 3:18
07 John Oaks 5:12
08 My Pledge 3:55
09 Glass Accident 2:53
10 My New Robot 2:34
℗ 2016 Reprise Records
Ξ Neil Young’s songbook long ago cemented its place among the best in rock and roll history. But writing great songs has always seemed to be but one part of Young’s greater mission. His continued relevance into the sixth decade of his career is owed to something that transcends hooks and melodies. Young is now, and always has been, the closest thing rock music has had to a moral compass. He’s waged war with his own label, used his music as a political soapbox, and given support and council to other musicians in their pursuit of artistic freedom. Neil Young still matters in 2016 not simply because he still has the chops, but because he still cares enough to take a hard stand when he has to.
Ξ But fighting the good fight can take a lot out of a man, even one as compulsively driven by gut and conviction as Young. “Peace Trail”, the iconic singer’s 37th record, is still colored with its creator’s testy outspokenness, but there are also unavoidable moments of resignation. “Bring back the days when good was good,” he sings on “Indian Givers”, the record’s third track. “Lose these imposters in our neighborhoods.” It’s a stunningly naked appeal, especially coming from a man who has made a valiant career out of fighting tooth and nail against big government, big business, and other segments of the status quo. Such moments are peppered throughout Young’s latest set, suggesting that today’s turbulent times might be giving him all he can handle.
Ξ But as Young attests on the album’s aptly titled second track, “Can’t Stop Working”, his creative mojo comes alive when the world around him delivers the source material to work with. “Peace Trail”, recorded with bassist Paul Bushnell and drummer Jim Keltner, narrows its focus specifically to the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline protests. The largely acoustic 10~track affair is blunt and to the point, even by Young’s opinionated standards, operating not only as a defense of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the protesters championing its cause, but also as a hot~blooded critique of the corporate interests at the heart of the controversy.
Ξ “The world is full of changes,” Young sings on the fuzzy, contemplative title track. “Sometimes all these changes make me sad.” At 71, he sounds like a man who is losing his grip on the world he once knew. It’s a tough pill to swallow for one of rock music’s most liberal champions, but Young and co. still aren’t quite ready to take their medicine. “Peace Trail” soldiers onward, swinging a clenched fist at everything from corporate greed to the ways in which technology is driving people further away from one another (“My Pledge”, “My New Robot”). On the rustic folk ballad “John Oaks”, Young tells the fatal tale of the consequences that come with standing up for one’s roots. But not all of the record’s shots are taken at menacing authority figures. Young also tries to hold his own listeners accountable, as “Glass Accident” calls out America for its indifferent, pass~the~buck mentality. “Too many pieces for me to clean up, so I left a message at the door,” he sings.
Ξ There’s an immediacy to Young’s latest set, and “Peace Trail”, like many of Young’s records, feels cooked up in the moment rather than something meticulously labored over. The loose approach has its hits and misses. When it’s working, the record’s sparse instrumentation backs up the weight of Young’s words. Keltner’s drumming, much of it driven through toms, often gives Peace Trail the rootsy, tribal feel that suits its subject matter. Still other tracks sound a bit more dashed off. “Texas Rangers”, at a brisk 2:30, sounds unmistakably like filler tucked squarely away in the middle of the record. Ξ Young’s prolificness and penchant for producing in the moment often makes for mixed bag records, and Peace Trail is no exception. But if the execution flails in spots, the intention behind these 10 tracks is still plenty inspiring. In then end, it’s hard to feel too slighted when Young continues to come at his work from such an honest place. Rock’s most earnest curmudgeon might be getting older, but he’s not too old yet to still carry a well~deserved grudge. That itself is a great thing.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine; Score: **
Ξ The 21st century revived Neil Young’s radical spirit and, along with it, his sense of musical adventure. These two strands converge on Peace Trail, a rickety record written and cut in the wake of his 2016 live album, Earth. Neil wrote “Peace Trail” quickly and recorded it even faster, pushing through ten songs in four days with the support of ace drummer Jim Keltner and bassist Paul Bushnell. According to Bushnell, most of the album consists of first or second takes but Peace Trail sounds like it entirely comprises rehearsal tapes, with the rhythm section lagging behind as they follow Young’s basic chord changes. In form, almost all of the ten songs are folky protest numbers but Neil slashes through his hippie haze with shards of overamplified harmonica, guitar squalls, and vocoders, the modern world intruding on his melancholy reveries and subdued anger. It’s interesting aesthetically, but the problem with Peace Trail isn’t the concept, it’s the execution. Intended as a musical bulletin à la “Ohio” or Living with War, Peace Trail is filled with songs about its precise moment in time — “Indian Givers” is about the protests at the Dakota Access Pipeline, “Terrorist Suicide Hang Gliders” concerns rampant xenophobia — but the execution is so artless it veers toward indifference. Young’s songs are so simple they feel jejune and the performances are intentionally ragged, with Keltner and Bushnell stumbling through rhythms as if they’re learning the songs as they’re being recorded. To compound the oddness, the production by Young and John Hanlon is deliberately scattered with sound effects, displaying a flair assembled with more care than either the album’s composition or recording. All this adds up to one of Neil Young’s genuinely strange albums, a record that’s compelling in its series of increasingly bad decisions. Ξ http://www.allmusic.com/ © ★Ω★ MUSIC Neil Young Oilsands 2014/01/12. ★Ω★ Neil Young performs during the "Honour the Treaties" tour, a series benefit concerts being held to raise money for legal fight against the expansion of the Athabasca oilsands in northern Alberta and other similar projects, in Toronto, Sunday January 12, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch
by Sam Sodomsky, Score: 6.7
Ξ The ten sparse protest songs on Neil Young’s strange and scrappy new album address the dissemination of fake news, the mistreatment of America’s indigenous people, and the water crisis in Flint.
Ξ “Things here have changed,” announces a computerized voice at the end of Peace Trail, the scrappy and strange new album by Neil Young. The song is called “My New Robot” and it might be about a recent divorcee taking comfort in the presence of “Alexa,” the voice — activated feature of Amazon’s new household device Echo. But those four words at the end, which introduce a barrage of online sounds (requesting to swipe your card, enter your pin number, your mother’s maiden name) hint at the bigger picture behind the record. As a songwriter, Neil Young has always thrived in shaky times. Whether it’s the deflated hippy dreams of his mid — seventies Ditch Trilogy or the road~weary breakup anthems that comprised 1992’s Harvest Moon, Neil’s best work often feels like a gut reaction to turbulence.
Ξ More than any album since 2006’s Living With War — the Bush~era treatise that called for impeachment and looked to Obama as a beacon of hope — Peace Trail is a product of its time. Its ten sparse protest songs address the dissemination of fake news, the mistreatment of America’s indigenous people, and the water crisis in Flint. As suggested by his open letter about Standing Rock, Young remains a vigilant and thoughtful observer, staying up to date on important issues and fighting for what he believes is right. And while the songs on Peace Trail are unquestionably timely and occasionally poignant, Young’s songwriting~as~immediate~response sometimes fails him. His musings throughout the album often scan as non~sequitur sentimentality (“Up in the rainbow teepee sky/No one’s looking down on you or I”) or just plain non~sequitur (“Bring back the days when good was good”). You get the sense his goal here was to finish the songs as quickly as possible (maybe so he could perform nearly half the album at Desert Trip Festival), when a few more days of editing might have resulted in a more powerful listen.Ξ The same hurried approach Young takes with the lyrics, however, actually benefits the overall sound of the record. After last year’s Monsanto Years, Young has ditched his Promise of the Real backing band, whose tentative roots rock recalled, at best, a small town Crazy Horse cover band. On Peace Trail, he’s accompanied by two session musicians who mostly make themselves scarce. Most songs feature only Neil’s acoustic guitar along with unobtrusive bass and delicate, brush~stroked drums. It results in an album that feels refreshingly unlabored and current. On two tracks, Young even adopts an Auto~Tune vocal effect (maybe something he picked up from jamming with D.R.A.M.?). On Earth, the bizarro live album he released earlier this year, the effect was used as a commentary on inorganic food; on Peace Trail, it’s no joke. In the nearly-spoken~word “My Pledge,” Young’s Auto~Tuned harmonies aid the inscrutable narrative (which seems to connect the voyage of the Mayflower with our attraction to iPhones and maybe also the death of Jimi Hendrix?) with a disorienting layered effect.
Ξ Two of the most effective songs on Peace Trail happen to be the ones least directly associated with the headlines. “Can’t Stop Workin’” offers an insight into Young’s creative process, borrowing a chord progression from his estranged colleague David Crosby while also hinting at a possible reunion: “I might take some time off,” he sings, “for forgiveness.” “Glass Accident,” meanwhile, uses breaking glass and the dangerous mess it makes as a metaphor for lack of accountability in the U.S. government (“Too many pieces there for me to clean up/So I left a warning message by the door”). Even more than the disquieting, if distractingly literal, narratives of tracks like “Show Me” and “Indian Givers,” these songs examine Young’s values at this stage in his career and illustrate his strength in communicating his concerns. And while Young’s voice has certainly never sounded older than it does here, there’s something youthful about his energy. Besides the fact that his two-album-a-year~clip keeps him in pace with your Ty Segalls or John Dwyers, his music is guided by a restless determination to cover new ground and speak his mind. “Don’t think I’ll cash it in yet… I keep planting seeds ’til something new is growing,” he sings in the title track: it’s long been both his gift and his curse. Ξ http://pitchfork.com/
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Interview with Paul Bushnell: http://www.performing-musician.com/pm/nov09/articles/paulbushnell.htmΞ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ Ξ
|Neil Young||Peace Trail|
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