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Living With War

354 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 8, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Even if you don't agree with Neil Young's politics, you can't help but be daunted by the intersection of his genius and ire on his second album in less than seven months. It is the very rare artist who is able to channel indignation and moral disgust in such a coherent and forceful way--without sacrificing any of the vivid imagery, passion, or the high level of musicality that we have come to expect from him over the past four decades. But that's not what elevates this album: it's his pure, naked, visceral reaction to the Bush administration's foreign policy, building on a canon of outrage that he began with 1970's "Ohio," penned in the wake of the Kent State student deaths. But here he goes one better, filling in the lines that he began to draw on 2003's Greendale about a family caught in changing times. But Young's done with musing about lost ideals. On Living with War, he demands much more from his audience, and himself. This is nothing less than a call for fearless action in extraordinarily fearful times. --Jaan Uhelszki

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 8, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise Records
  • ASIN: B000FI9OSG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (354 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,046 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

352 of 399 people found the following review helpful By Randolph Von Dingleton on May 9, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is electric Neil, not acoustic Neil.

I'm one of those people who is (I suppose) middle of the road and when i heard about this album was interested in how Neil would deliver his 'message'. Well, it's direct. Brutally so.

[...]

Shock and Awe is an all time classic Neil song (think Rockin in the Free World on steroids). Bank on that. The Restless Consumer is another great song. Families is a toe tapper. Let's Impeach the President is, well, a pretty decent song (musically a cousin to Powderfinger) but the lyrics are -well wow (Flip/Flop). Listen yourself. There are very few weak moments on this album. This isn't Harvest, Rust or Everybody Knows - but it's a good CD if you like electric Neil.

As someone wrote earlier, this may be the best protest 'album' ever recorded. It is sure to elicit some type of response from you, positive or negative. That's why it gets 5 stars. I highly recommend this album.

If you ever (even if just for a brief moment) think this country is going back to the days of "no taxation without representation", you should listen to this - even if just to admire what someone can do with his art with first amendment protection.

Unlike the brave "A Kids Review", I think we're all capable of knowing this is Neil's perception - not the person reading this (or writing it for that matter).
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Feeling Great on May 9, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The good news is a performer of note finally put our anger, disgust and frustration to music with powerful lyrics and has preserved our thoughts and feelings for future generations.

"Maybe it's Colin Powell...to right what he's done wrong." Neil has documented forever what happens when a good man does not speak out.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By F. Orcutt on May 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is in response to this guy: "Breaking News: Grandpa Disapproves Of The President!, May 10, 2006" Just one question, why are you taking time out of your busy stereotyping, freedom bashing, namecalling, fox news loving, "either with us or your against us" world to insult people who read your review? Uh, let's see, because your an idiot? I guess it works for me too. Do you have the guts to call our President wrong? Or do you just sit by and say, "it's OK, he meant well". Listen pal, the world is NOT black and white, protest songs ARE freedom of speech and if people want to hear them, let them! Canada is not a state, it's a country. Neil Youngs interest and knowledge of American politics and culture probably exceeds your own. This release is more than one song about impeaching our President. If you actually listened to the other songs, you might find that he takes a critical look at our culture and writes about what he sees. So, Keep on rockin' Neil! This paperbagged piece of democracy is worth every penny.
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Format: Audio CD
Musically, this is a good though not great album. Politically, it expresses how literally tens of millions of Americans have been feeling for some time now, but with the corporate-owned and controlled right-wing media (which loves to hawk theories about the so-called "liberal" media) squelching the anger many Americans are feeling, Neil Young has been able to give voice to how so many of us believe. By all accounts, this album was recorded very quickly, but it does not for all that show signs of having been rushed to press. Young has never been a studio wonk, polishing and fine-tuning his songs. There has always been a delightful rough-hewn quality to his work, and that is evident here. The songs are performed by Young, a power trio, a trumpet, and a hundred-voice choir. Young typically produces either "plugged" or "unplugged" albums, in the former having been one of the major influences on grunge, punk, and indie rock, while in the latter a major influence on alt-country and folk rock. This is definitely one of his "plugged" albums, with Neil playing his guitar at its distorted best. Leaving aside the political content, the music on the album isn't as strong as on his best albums. This is considerably below ZUMA or TONIGHT'S THE NIGHT or RUST NEVER SLEEPS, but it is not one of his weaker albums. I would compare it to FREEDOM or WELD or RAGGED GLORY.

Most of the songs are at least good, but two I thought were extraordinary, both musically and in content. "Shock and Awe" is vintage Neil Young, solidified by hard-driving guitar and the kind of basic but compelling melody that Young has turned out a hundred times in his remarkable career.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Duster on May 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Living With War begins with Neil Young singing that we "won't need no shadow men running the government, won't need no stinking war". Angry, emotional words, but this is the most joyous and beautiful angry album I've ever heard.

This is truly an "Ohio" moment, and Living With War strikes a chord that will resonate with the millions of Americans who've tossed off their blinders and who see that this administration hijacked 9/11 for its own twisted political agenda. Now here we are mired in one disastrous war, watching this unpopular administration apparently trying to sell us another, just in time for an election.

Living With War is brilliant and inspiring on many levels: musically, politically, but also as a case study in guerrilla marketing and public relations. A couple of weeks ago word began to leak out that Neil Young, a proud and patriotic Canadian American whom many identify as conservative, was about to release a new song titled "Let's Impeach the President (For Lying)." Faster than you could say 'right-wing blogosphere' Young was in the media gun sights of pro-Bush, pro-war pundits rhetorically blasting him. Of course, none of these critics had heard the song, much less the entire Living With War album.

And what an album it is. It comes wrapped in a plain brown wrapper, but it bleeds red, white and blue. "When the night falls, I pray for peace.... I never bow to the thought police... I'm living with war in my heart and my mind" sings Young. Neil and his PR guerrillas played the attacks brilliantly, parlaying them into perhaps the largest virtual stage and audience that any rocker has ever had to blast out the release of what is Neil's most compelling and timely album.
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PEOPLE WHO HATE FREEDOM!
Its very funny how liberals and conservatives accuse each other over things they both do. One side accuses the other side as portraying them as evil and crazy, and in the same breath, portraying the other side as being evil and crazy. My sentence is confusing, but true.
May 30, 2007 by T Dot |  See all 6 posts
I Thought He Wanted The War
Umm, maybe it meant "Let's go after the people who did this to us"? As opposed to "Let's go after some other people," which is what we did after that.

My prediction--this will be Neil Young's best-selling album. I listened to it for free on the web and it's great, and now I...
May 4, 2006 by Steve in Philly |  See all 61 posts
He Has a Set of Balls, That's for Sure
The evidence that he has reproductive organs would come in the form of his three children. This album is only a testament to the brain in his head and the conviction in his heart. (Seriously though-- I know what you mean and I agree with you.)
Jan 3, 2009 by John M. Kertis |  See all 2 posts
Which Neil will show up
Wish to correct Mr. or Ms. Flintstone on one point: Saddam did, in fact, have WMD. He used them on the Kurds in northern Iraq in 1988. Haven't you seen any of the trial or news footage? He never properly accounted for these weapons nor did he dispose of them or allow inspections of his WMD... Read More
Oct 20, 2006 by Berceuse |  See all 9 posts
Senile canadian
You're braindead american nazi. Get your head out of Bush's crotch.
May 4, 2006 by David B. Densmore |  See all 3 posts
GRAMMY nominations for NEIL! Be the first to reply
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