Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Psychedelic Pill

Written by: BV on 12/12/2012 21:05:19

Neil Young has been quite busy recording with Crazy Horse this past year and as result, we have been given not one, but two releases in 2012 alone. With this, his 2nd album of 2012 called “Psychedelic Pill”, we are drawn into a far out jam-laden part of Mr. Young’s musical specter – with more or less success, that is.

Now, as any psychedelia infused record should be, the album is packed with long tracks and it even opens with the longest of them all, “Driftin’ Back” which is, in all its essence, a way too long track with too little going on to support the sheer length. The song is in all fairness quite catchy at first, as it is a slow and steady semi-acoustic piece with some nice vocals and a fuzzy lead guitar to top it off. The problem however, appears when the track just winds up repeating itself with unbearably long jam-sections that aren’t really that interesting to listen to. – In other words, I’m definitely not catching the vibe going on through this track.

However, Mr. Young and Crazy Horse fare far better on the shorter tracks such as “Twisted Road” and “For the Love of Man”, where the deliverance of the songs in general tends to be far more concise and in lack of a better term; elegant. By that, I mean to say that the jamming atmosphere on some of the longer tracks generally seems incredibly forced and, well, clumsy. It doesn’t really sound like Neil Young or Crazy Horse actually wish for this to be awesome. They’re just jamming, after all. So, of all the incredibly long jams, only one actually seems to stick to mind, after repeated listens and utter concentration on my behalf, and that track is “Walk Like A Giant” with its insistent bass and drum parts and the classic Neil Young vocals supplemented by melodic whistling and some pretty cool vocal harmonies as well. All in all, this is (in my mind) the perfect balance between pop-song structure and jam-session atmosphere, and even though the track clocks in at approximately 16 minutes, it doesn’t feel like an awfully long listen.

So, to sum up; there are several melodic moments on this record, fully reminiscent of the classic Neil Young sound, but it’s also filled with ludicrous amounts of uninteresting jam sequences with no other purpose than to just “be there”. As a Neil Young fan, I must say it’s been a while since he really made something to be remembered, and this album really doesn’t do anything to change that, even though it certainly has its cool moments.

Download: Walk Like A Giant, Twisted Road, For The Love of Man
For The Fans Of: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, The Grateful Dead

Release Date 30.10.2012

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