Thirty years after the double-platinum Top 10 After The Gold Rush, a classic album in rock history, Neil Young presents its acoustic-roots rock sequel, Silver & Gold. The most personal and revelatory album of his career, Silver & Gold is a brilliant musical gem from one of the most influential and enduring singer-songwriters of his generation.
Once prone to straying all over the map, Neil Young has contented himself of late alternating between country squire and convulsive rocker. Silver & Gold
is an exquisite addition to Young's pastoral offerings. Envisioned as the singer's first totally solo album, the 10-song set was reconceived and resequenced over the course of three years. Indeed, the four Young songs on Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
's problematic Looking Forward
were taken from an earlier version of Silver & Gold
, backing tracks and all. What's left is a spare, guileless assortment of tunes that owes a thematic and sonic debt to After the Gold Rush
. The touchingly nostalgic "Daddy Went Walkin'" and "Red Sun" conjure up images of childhood contentment; Young's parents divorced in his youth, but here they're sweethearts. Love is on Young's mind in the idyllic title track, "Horseshoe Man," and "Razor Love." He reflects on his early musical career with the artless but oddly suitable "Buffalo Springfield Again." Then he pulls it all together with the cryptic closer, "Without Wings." "I'm pickin' somethin' up / I'm lettin' somethin' go," he intones. And one can only reflect on how appropriate it is that Young dropped a song called "Looking Forward" from his latest journey through the past. --Steven Stolder