Friday, September 09, 2005

Neil Young's Silver and Gold

Rating: **1/2

His first acoustic album in seven years, Silver and Gold sounds shamefully thrown together. His last effort (not counting the MTV Unplugged release) Harvest Moon is one of my all time favorite albums. There is some lovely song writing in there, with some nice back up singing by the likes of James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt. It was a throwback to Young's most successful album, Harvest. And it sounded marvelous.

In the time between Harvest Moon and Silver and Gold released some seven albums. He paid tribute to Kurt Cobain, rocked live with Crazy Horse, recorded with Pearl Jam, wrote the soundtrack to a Jim Jarmusch film, all of which were pretty ragged, electric, and very loud.

I was very excited to get some more acoustic Young, but find myself disappointed with this release. That's not to say it is a bad album, for there are several really good tunes here. The opening track, Good to See You is a fun, jaunty little thing. His ode to his first band, Buffalo Springfield Again is a great deal of fun, and makes me wish that band really would get back together, though I've never been much of a fan.

It is when Young decides to sing a ballad that things get difficult here. Eight of the ten tracks on the album are slower numbers. With the exception of Silver and Gold (a song I included on my wedding reception msuc) and Razor Love, the slow songs are boring. There is nothing to set them apart musically, and the lyrics don't say anything particularly moving.

It is an album worth buying for the standout tracks. But you would be better off importing those tracks onto a mix tape, or your Ipod and then selling back the album to someone else.

No comments: