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They are not a technically accomplished band (as a unit), and if you like Crazy Horse, you [again] should probably know this. It's just a bunch of old rockers getting together in Neil's barn to have a good time and record some rock tracks.
As stated in some of the 1-star reviews, this album doesn't break new ground, doesn't provide any other-worldly experiences, etc. It's a standard NY&CH album. For me, it fits right in with anything they've knocked out since the REAL good stuff of old. In other words, it ain't Rust Never Sleeps and it ain't Live Rust. What it IS is loud, nasty, gritty, heartfelt, and quickly and passionately played and recorded ... basically what you expect from Neil when he's in the mood to rock (ie rather than reflect acoustically).
I think some of these negative reviews may be coming from kids who are building their personal music experience and trying to compare this album to something like Harvest or whatever. Kids, musicians like Neil get tired of trying to change the world sometimes, and a man of Neil's stature and history, who has lived 67 years, lived through multiple wars that he personally busted his butt to sing about and campaign against, with a story that would top the average joe's, a disabled son, a [fairly] recent aneurysm....Read more ›
AMERICANA isn't exactly a new album; it's an album of American folk classics. AMERICANA isn't exactly that either, these songs aren't so much covers as much as reimaginings. The opening track for example, "Oh Sussanah," feels raw and built from the ground-up. The renditions here don't feel reverent, they feel like live, off-the-cuff, jam sessions. Many of these tracks feel like they were recording in one take, bringing an extra level of energy to these American standards. At its very best, Neil Young and Crazy Horse breathe new life into old classics. "Jesus Chariot" for example, has been played to death, but its appearance here on AMERICANA is exciting and raw. These archaic public domain standards sound familiar but here, they are rarely boring.
The album ends on an ironic "God Save the Queen." It feels like an appropriate and sarcastic ending to an album that never took itself too seriously. Most the album is fun, but the rendition of "This Land is Your Land" feels like it goes on too long. At its very worst, the album feels like a band simply warming up or doing a sound-check.
Equal parts reverent, ironic, and raw, AMERICANA will leave you hoping that this isn't all that Neil Young and Crazy Horse have been working on lately. Hopefully this album is just a studio warm-up for something more to come.Read more ›
Said to be the first of two new albums with Crazy Horse, Americana is an inspired rendition of early American folk and protest songs and a revisit of Neil's musical beginings in the early 1960's, when many of these songs were first played by him. In fact the band is joined by Steven Stills on High Flying Bird, a song Stills was playing when he and Neil first met.
Musically, the album recalls Ragged Glory another great Crazy Horse album and does not contain a weak track. I must admit I did approach the album with some caution, after reading the initial reports of a "folk" record, but it works - even God Save The Queen (My Country 'tis Of Thee), that for some reason I cannot seem to get out of my head,it is a great song. The children's choir fits nicely and Crazy Horse adds some bite to this very good collection of Murder Ballads,Folk,Doo Wop and Gospel songs.You will have heard these songs previously, but never as presented here in these different and intriguing arrangements.
Similarly the lyrics used are not the sanitised 1950's folk era versions,rather the original versions e.g Clementine- whith the dark whole story told following Clementine's drowning. Woody Gutherie's "This Land Is Your Land" has the added verses refering to the depression era soup lines (the question raised - is this really these unfortunate people's Land?),the reference to signs saying this Land is NOT your land and Woody's belief that in fact it was his and your land.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Awesome CD! Very satisfied with my purchase. Would definitely recommend seller to others. Great customer service.Published 3 months ago by tengelking
Not quite what was posted on Wikipedia. Still good music, but it wasn't "cover" sets.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Not his best work, yet noteworthy for an interesting dark handling of American folk tunes that are generally thought to be more "sunshine and rainbows"Published 5 months ago by Jonathon Agee
Edgy Neil Young rock reworkings of classic American folk standards with eerie black and white depression era videos - whats not to like?Published 6 months ago by N. Berry