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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bonus DVD explained
The new neil is great, people, about the dvd, it is included because neil is an audiophile. Just because you hear it is a dvd, don't assume movies or videos are going to be on it. The dvd is for the dvd-audio mix! Yes, it sounds better than the flat one dimensional drink coaster (i mean CD!). To sum it up you are getting the best of both worlds, a cd for your ipod or...
Published on October 29, 2007 by geoff

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best Album for Thirteen Years
Actually 3.5 Stars. This is Neils best album since his still underated masterpiece "Sleeps with Angels" but still doesn't rank with his greatest material. Ordinary People is worth the price of the CD by itself. This is a towering epic which I never found the least bit tiresome over its 18 minute length. It is such a strong number that unfortuately some of the other songs...
Published on November 17, 2007 by B. D. Schlup


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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bonus DVD explained, October 29, 2007
The new neil is great, people, about the dvd, it is included because neil is an audiophile. Just because you hear it is a dvd, don't assume movies or videos are going to be on it. The dvd is for the dvd-audio mix! Yes, it sounds better than the flat one dimensional drink coaster (i mean CD!). To sum it up you are getting the best of both worlds, a cd for your ipod or car cd player and a DVD audio disc for your high quality stereo system at home! Insert the DVD and sit down and enjoy!!
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Three star album with a 20-minute five-star track, November 8, 2007
By 
Robert P. Inverarity (Silicon Valley, California, United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Chrome Dreams II (Audio CD)
Chrome Dreams II ain't a bad album, by any means. But neither is it a great album - as far as albums go, Prairie Wind is the best in ages, and this doesn't touch it. (I say that as a fan of Old Black-wielding Neil first and foremost, too). It's lumpy - putting an adrenaline-pumping epic like Ordinary People in the #3 spot guarantees that the rest of the album feels slow and uncommitted. Neil isn't as focused as he has been on the last two albums. The album's too long. And, for all the strengths that these songs have, they can't live up to the material that was on Chrome Dreams I. What this album is, and what it should have been called, is Freedom II.

Beautiful Bluebird is a very close rewrite of "Sail Away" from Rust Never Sleeps, itself a rewrite (though not as obviously) of Comes a Time's "Human Highway." Sail Away is so far the superior song that Bluebird feels a little wrong, though it's a sweet, sad little lyric anyway. It dates back to the early 80s, from the original (still unreleased) Old Ways album.

Boxcar is a rerecording of a song from Times Square (an unreleased album from '89). This one improves on the original version - it works better coming from a grizzled old Shakey than the still-young man of 40. The band is great.

Let's get it out of the way: Ordinary People is a priceless contribution to the Neil Young discography. Sure, it uses cliches left and right, introduces very little musical complexity, and piles on anecdotes to the sky, but you know what? It works, and it's true, and it's glorious. The problem, though, is that if Neil had released it as a single, it wouldn't be any less essential than this album is.

(Aside: Ordinary People is a 1988 recording, and it sounds like it. It fits surprisingly well with the rest of these songs, but it's clearly not the same singer, or songwriter, or band. And those 80s synths are pretty distinctive.)

Shining Light is a great 50s-ish ballad, quite a surprising track for Neil. It's really quite moving, but it wilts in the shadow of Ordinary People.

The Believer could well be an Are You Passionate? outtake - it sounds just like an MGs track, but without the MGs - which is to say thin and unconvincing. The lyrics retread AYP to no effect. I really liked about half of AYP, but I skip this.

Spirit Road is a pretty rockin' rocker, but it's a little whiny for my tastes. Again the shadow of Ordinary People makes this seem less worth hearing.

Dirty Old Man is this album's Piece of Crap, but this doesn't have the joy or elan that that had. It seems a little pro-forma and forced. Still fun, though.

Ever After is a quirky little observation that makes me smile. One of the album's hidden treasures.

No Hidden Path doesn't work. Not where it is, anyway. Swap it with Ordinary People in the tracklist, though, and this is a very solid four-star album. Funny how that works. I've seen it compared to "Change Your Mind", but it ain't. It's an attempt, but it doesn't have any lyrical rigor - the words seem made up on the spot, and they don't seem particularly insightful. But it's a lot more likable as part of a slow buildup to Ordinary People.

The Way. I mean, a kids' choir? No way. Well, it works - what can I say? This might be the strongest closing track of any album since Sleeps With Angels - reassuring but not cloying, assured but still questioning.

I burned a resequenced copy of this album after listening through it twelve or so times. My tracklist is Boxcar, Spirit Road, Ever After, Shining Light, No Hidden Path, Dirty Old Man, Beautiful Bluebird, Ordinary People, The Way. Try it out if you're so inclined - it may seem strange, but it works pretty well to my ears. Nothing will make this a five-star album, but it can be a strong four star album. Still, new music from Shakey is always welcome to my ears.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why doesn't anyone understand the purpose of Neil's DVDs?, November 6, 2007
"I can think of something better to do"? The purpose of Neil's included DVDs is to provide a high-resolution recording of his album without forcing the consumer to buy a DVD-Audio player. By using the DVD-Video spec for the hi-rez audio version, he is affording owners of ordinary DVD players the opportunity to hear a high quality music recording. Any video/slideshow that happens to accompany the music is simply fluff. If the listener is content with music as background while doing other things, then purchasing the regular CD version of the albums is more than sufficient. The ipod/mp3 generation is really missing out by not listening to music for the music's sake alone. Oh, and I did listen to both the CD and DVD versions of this album, and the DVD is clearly superior in clarity, dynamic range, and overall depth of sound.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic like always!, October 26, 2007
By 
Rob "Rob" (Bangor, Maine) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Chrome Dreams II (Audio CD)
I'm a huge Neil Young fan. I've seen him many times in concert and always love how he's adapted his styles and changed without caring what others thought. I love his voice and think it's just beautiful when he wails out and puts all his effort into it.
Owning all his CDs, rarities and even Chrome Dreams I (hard to get) I was ecstatic to hear that this was in release.
I've heard Ordinary People many times before and Boxcar on Times Square so these aren't new to me. First of all, I think Ordinary People is a fantastic song and the 18 minutes moves along at a steady pace that sews together a fabric of different people and lifestyles in our society. Amazing.
Other great songs on this CD are "No Hidden Path" , "Beautiful Bluebird" "Spirit Road" and "Dirty Old Man". "The Way" is a beautiful (albeit different) song and reminds me of "Lost In Space" from Hawks and Doves with the children chorus.
I do hear alot of Stars and Bars in this album, too, which is way underrated.
Seeing Neil in concert November 21st in Toronto at Massey Hall (another great great album!!) and cannot wait. I can't wait to see his hometown Canadians response to him.
Keep going, Neil. You've got a lot to still contribute. Bring on the boxset!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I can find something more interesting to do", October 25, 2007
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Neil Young "Chrome Dreams" DVD is playing right now, and my wife just wandered out of the room, exclaiming, "I can find something more interesting to do."

And that's the caveat emptor for this Combo Pack: the DVD is only a higher-audio-quality version of the CD. Content on some Neil CD/DVD combos feature live rehearsal/performance footage. Not this one. Perhaps it's the fact that some of the songs on this album were recorded back in the eighties, when he was being sued by Geffen for not recording "Neil Young albums," but the DVD simply has a montage of photographs of broken-down cars accompanying the songs. "It would be better," she told me, as she walked out of the room, "if they included the 'brown acid' with it. That would make it more watchable." Wow! Harsh criticism from a long-time Neil fan.

If you're just going to listen to this in the car, on your mp3 player, or on a boombox, save the bucks and buy the CD only version. The DVD is only for serious-180-gram-vinyl-audiophiles.

Selah.

Oh, yeah. Neil Young rocks. 78 stars.
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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Communion With A Higher Self, October 25, 2007
This review is from: Chrome Dreams II (Audio CD)
"Young calls this album about the human condition,he delves into the desire for communion with a higher self, and perhaps even a force outside the self. Could it be God? If you've ever gone looking for the divine in Neil Young's songs, you'd probably find evidence of it in his holy visions of natural beauty, love, and family -- Young's stock in trade when he isn't staring into the abyss." Denise Sullivan

One listen, only one listen and I was hooked. This could be Neil Young's most important album since 'Harvest Moon', 'After the Gold Rush', and 'Prairie Wind'. It swept me away-I loved every track. Great lyrics all-Neil Young has kept up with the times and his near fatal intracranial hemorrhage gave him a new light, maybe the 'Shining Light ' he sings about. From the start of 'Beautiful Bluebird' a search has begun for some higher being. Whether it is a white man, a black man or a red man riding in the 'Boxcar', we are traveling with Neil Young. And, then 'Ordinary People' an 18 minute tribute to us, the ordinary ones, who will find the way out of the morass.

'Ordinary people.
They're gonna bring
the good things back.
Nose-to-the stone people.
Put the business back on track.
Ordinary people,
I got faith in the regular kind.
Hard workin' people.
Patch-of-ground people.'

And moving on in the search. The 'Shining Light' he sings about will guide us on. 'The Believer' is such a reverent song of love and searching for the dream. Maybe the 'Spirit Road' that will bring us home to peace again. From the 'New Yorker' they say, "Following "Southern Man" and "Old Man," the track "Dirty Old Man" completes Neil Young's song trilogy about men who've made questionable life choices." As Neil Young treks on in his search, he encounters 'Ever After' the message he is looking for,'The one that I believe in is a wish in a song.' When he is with the one he believes in there is 'No Hidden Path', and finally the truly beautiful song that is sung with a children's choir that shows 'The Way'

'The way, we know the way. We've seen the way
We'll show the way
To getcha back home
To the peace where you belong'

We have come full circle in the search, the longing for 'The Communion With A Higher Self'.

Highly Recommended for assisting us in finding 'The Way'
prisrob 10-25-07

Live at Massey Hall (CD/DVD)

After The Gold Rush

Harvest

Prairie Wind
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neil's best album this millenium, October 24, 2007
This review is from: Chrome Dreams II (Audio CD)
This is without a doubt Neil Young's best album of the decade. Some of the softer songs might not completely hold up to some of his previous work, but the rockier songs sound like they would have been right at home on Ragged Glory. No Hidden Path doesn't feel anywhere near its 14-minute length, even if Ordinary People comes a little too close to dragging on. Spirit Road and Dirty Old Man are also great tracks.

Overall, it's a great mix of Harvest Moon-style country/folk and Ragged Glory-like guitar riffs. It's hard to describe an artist with such varied styles as Neil Young as "returning to form", but I'd have to say he got his groove back with this album.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well here you get EVERY Neil Young, October 23, 2007
This review is from: Chrome Dreams II (Audio CD)
Is there an artist more eclectic than Neil ? And if there is , is there any artist that composes great stuff in any genre he tries (Frank Zappa is the only other that comes to mind). Anyway , I digress. Here is the acoustic , country , rock and roll , grunge , bluegrass , electric , eclectic Neil all on one disc. And because this is exactly what Neil Young has been for 40+ years it all wears as well as an old slipper.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil rocks the free world again!, November 9, 2007
By 
M. Birch (Methuen, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Looks like a lot of people are complaining about the DVD - they obviously didn't read the package! It is a DVD-audio version of the album! Higher quality audio, but if you are listening on a car or portable player, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. (Or if you have one of those under-$100 "surround sound" systems.)

Great to hear Neil rocking the free world once again! BTW, the photos used for visuals on the DVD are all of old cars on Neil's ranch and were shot by my old friend Will Mitchell, and copies of the best photos have been auctioned off to aid the Bridge School!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Best of 2007, October 30, 2007
By 
For me this is in the top 5 releases of 2007. Its just awesome Neil. The sound quality on the bonus DVD in the collector's edition is fantastic thru a good home theater. Its 96kHz stereo, and sounds really excellent. If only more artists did this I'd be a happy guy. Its getting depressing that most of the time you have to track down vinyl recordings to get a true audiophile experience of new material. Due to the loudness race, many artists are releasing overcompressed and over-loud standard CD's, and then releasing a properly mastered version on vinyl for audiophiles. Which are usually about $25-30. Well I applaud Neil for giving us the hi-res DVD packaged with the CD for a nice price of under $20. It sounds fantastic! This edition is a gift, not a rip-off as someone mentioned. If you care about the sound quality of what you listen to, this is the version you want. Just don't buy this version expecting to have something to watch, its just a series of morphing still pictures to accompany the hi-rez audio.

Now as for the actual songs, I love them. My favorite at the moment is the 14:31 long guitar jam "No Hidden Path". I dont think it gets much better than that if youre a Neil fan. Really all the songs are excellent, other favorites are Beautiful Bluebird, Boxcar and Spirit Road. Neil just keeps on going, putting out albums that blow the doors off artists half his age. I hope he keeps giving us more gems like this for many years to come.
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Chrome Dreams II
Chrome Dreams II by Neil Young (Audio CD - 2007)
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