As always, Neil Young is in top form when it comes to his songwriting. Americana has a pleasantly even tone that may not be anything like the Neil Young we all remember from ‘back in the day,’ but delivers musical satisfaction nonetheless.
This is the first time in ten years that Young has made a record with Crazy Horse, and the old outfit knows this very well. Likely as a jest, they open the album with “Oh Susanna,” a song too old for it to be funny.
The fantastic thing about an artist as prolific as Mr. Young is that it’s almost impossible for him to fail to deliver. Neil Young will always sound like himself no matter what direction he goes in, which is what his fans love about him.
Mind you, the majority of these songs are either out-right rock covers of folk songs or “largely inspired by” ancient American classics. This is an important thing to keep in mind; otherwise the entire album would have to be dismissed as too painfully cliché to be acceptable.
Though it hasn’t been selected as the QRO suggested track, “God Save the Queen” has got to be the most hysterical musical punch line ever recorded. Young is an unbelievably clever mind and has a razor sharp sense of humor – something that is all too often either forgotten or sorely abused in the world of music.
This wasn’t a hard review to write. There’s nothing overwhelmingly wrong with Americana, as much as one might like to try and find a flaw. It’s a thoroughly pleasant work, and ought not to be forgotten.
MP3 Stream: “Clementine“