Greendale (Bonus DVD)
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Vinyl, Box set, November 16, 2004
"One of the most ambitious works of his career...a great artist once again at the peak of his game." (Chicago Tribune) "Young has rarely sounded so fresh and inspired...an uncompromising artist with the courage to follow his muse." (Chicago Sun Times) For the first time in his storied career, Neil Young has created a fictional place filled with characters and incidents and written an album about them. The album, and the place, is Greendale and the people are the Green family. The songs are among the most personal he's ever penned, ranging from the dark and biting to the light and humorous. Still surprising and still stirring it up, Young adds a stunning new album to his place in rock history with Greendale.
Neil Young has long been one of rock's great romantics, mourning the utopian ideals of the "hippie" '60s and his vision of what America was or at least should have been. In some ways, Greendale--which could be described as a "rock novel"--adds a mourning for humanity itself to the mix, as Young presents his vision of America 2003 via the story of a fictional family in a small California town. There's drama galore--a cop is killed by a drug dealer; Grandpa has a fatal heart attack while pointing a gun at a TV reporter--but most of these songs also work individually as terrific rock tunes. It's a more subdued Crazy Horse this time out, with only Neil on lead guitar and little of the distorted rage found on albums like Ragged Glory. But "Grandpa's Interview" has a gorgeous riff that recalls Zuma's "Don't Cry No Tears"; "Be the Rain" is a genuine Neil Young anthem about love, peace, saving the planet, and doing the right thing. A few pieces sound a tad meandering at first, which could lead one to conclude that Greendale is only a good Neil Young album. Repeated listening, however, should confirm that Greendale is a great Neil Young album. --Bill Holdship
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Language : English
- Product Dimensions : 5 x 5.75 x 0.45 inches; 4.34 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Reprise Records
- SPARS Code : DDD
- Date First Available : July 26, 2006
- Label : Reprise Records
- ASIN : B0000AI44Q
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #21,467 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This CD also includes a DVD of N.Y. & C.H. in the studio performing each of these songs....so if you have a good surround system or better yet, a powerful, TRUE stereo (Quadraphonic sound out of 4 huge Klipsch towers (1989, 1990) driven by an AS-2000 Yamaha Amplifier) you'll really enjoy watching AND listening to this album!
If you're a Neil fan with Crazy Horse, this is a MUST OWN ALBUM! I'd rank it 3rd all time behind only "Rust Never Sleeps" & "WELD" as his 3 best albums of all time!
The album is here now, and I have to come back to earth, and decide if the songs are really as strong as a good north western, or if I was just carried away by the warm summer air pulsing with Ralph Molina's uncharacteristically steady rhythm. Overall, I would have to say that yes, they do stand up. There is, of course, a certain mood that permeates all the songs, they definitely appear to be blown into town by the same storm, but I don't think they sound too much alike.
One of the strange things about the album is its clarity. I love listening to Sampredo, but I think having him sit this one out allowed Crazy Horse working as a trio to create an unusually unmuddied sound. Its a bit like the kind of clarity on Landing on Water, but without the bad vibes.
Melodically, Neil seems to be working hard at his minimalist approach to composition. Nothing seems very complicated here. It sounds like Neil turned his sails to the wind and let the mood carry him directly home to a safe harbor. The opposite of the belabored sense one gets from a good Joni Mitchell or Steely Dan composition. These melodies seem not so much composed as simply captured. The end effect is very satisfying.
Here the strongest songs are probably the rockers, with "double-e", "devil's sidewalk", "sun grean" and "be the rain" standing out. "Carmichael" probably deserves special notice for its strong emotional pull. Overall, what we have here is Neil in troubadour mode, singing the songs of the time, capturing the best spirit of an age. We're in a dark era when the country in general and the music business in particular seems to be caught in a sluggish and murky nightmare. So its good to hear one nationally known voice coming out with something new and interesting. I would suggest that other artists listen to hear what Neil is doing right, but I'm afraid the key ingredient here is probably raw talent that has somehow remained uncorrupted. Maybe we could all work on the uncorrupted part.
Top reviews from other countries
Musically not too diverse but gripping nonetheless and I really love the little stories (e,g the locals outrage at the Double L ranch being re-named the Double E by two strokes of paint !!).
Another masterpiece by the master.