Life by Neil Young
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Those Neil Young fans who cherish their hero's aggressive work with Crazy Horse were dealing with an extended drought when Life
hit the shelves in 1987. A half-dozen years had passed since Young last emerged from the studio with a Crazy Horse
collaboration--the flawed but fascinating Reactor
. Unfortunately, they'd have to wait three more years for a great Young/Crazy Horse set, 1990's Ragged Glory
. Despite the fact that Life
contains what's clearly meant to be the Crazy Horse credo in "Prisoners of Rock 'n' Roll" ("That's why we don't we don't wanna be good"), Young and his three longtime foils feel constrained by dated '80s production touches and some spotty material. Still, its highlights (notably the strange foreign-policy treatise "Mideast Vacation" and the wistful closer "We Never Danced") offer modest rewards for loyalists. --Steven Stolder