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Neil Young and Crazy Horse: Americana
No one can predict where Neil Young’s restless muse will lead him, but when he finds himself filled with bile and indignation, Crazy Horse does come to mind. On his first studio release with his chaos loving compatriots since 2003, he’s made an album that recalls the tetchy rage and frenzied deconstruction of 1990’s Ragged Glory, albeit with darker subject matter. While Glory looked back at an imagined past, Americana plunges deeper into our more brutal history, re-animating traditional songs—some as old as 300 years—stained by murder, accidental death and joblessness to point out that social brutality was as much a part of life then as it is now. These are anxious songs for still-anxious times, but instead of being as obvious as he was on 2006’s Living With War, he decided on a more passiveaggressive—but not less heroic—approach to becoming a rakish prophet turning schoolroom classics like “Oh Susannah” and “Clementine” into loutish garage rock to get his warnings across.
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