The year is 1969. Neil Young hooks up with the band Crazy Horse to record the classic album "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere." The album produces legendary songs like "Cinnamon Girl", "Cowgirl in the Sand" and "Down by the River."
On only his second solo album, Young finds a winning formula with a band that understands his musical sensibilities. The only problem is with Neil Young, those sensibilities are constantly changing.
Neil Young gets finicky and bored easily. He constantly moves from one idea to the next. He's always moving from project to project....sometimes leaving before the first one is complete. The stories of his walking out on tours and recording sessions are legendary. However, it's his constant moves that make Neil Young interesting and still relevant at age seventy-three. While many of his contemporaries are content to have greatest hits tours, Neil Young would never dream of doing that. He's always looking for something new and challenging.
One of the constants of Neil Young's career has been his work with the band Crazy Horse. He plays with them fairly often, but not so much that he and his audience gets bored. For instance, Young likes to do acoustic concerts with just his guitar, piano, harmonica and his voice. You don't need Crazy Horse for that. But when you're looking for a grunge/garage band that's guitar-centric, Crazy Horse is the one. When the two entities hook up, you know what you're going to get. It leads to albums like "Rust Never Sleeps" and "Ragged Glory."
The last Young/Crazy Horse collaboration was "Psychedelic Pill", in 2012. That record received mixed reviews. Seven years later comes their new release, the album, "Colorado." It was worth the wait. When you can combine the Young/Crazy Horse guitar tunes with Young's softer acoustic side, it's a pleasant surprise.
During the fifty minutes of music, Young shows his worry for the environment. He also honors his past while looking forward to his future.
The record's second track, "She Showed Me Love", acknowledges how the men of his era have put the environment at risk. He wonders if future generations will have the same concern and will do anything to make it better. The song also reminds us of the early Young/Crazy Horse collaborations. It rolls on for thirteen-plus minutes. Good thing it's the only lengthy tune on the album. Those of us in Young's generation have enough attention span issues.
Like the rest of our generation, Young has suffered his share of loss. His ex-wife Pegi and his longtime manager Elliot Roberts both died this year. In fact, the album is dedicated to Roberts. "Olden Days" reminisces about his past and the people who have come and now are gone.
He does end the album on a upbeat note. The song "I Do" is a ballad that acts as a love letter to his current wife, Darryl Hannah. The lyrics makes it sound like he's happier than he's been in years and looks forward to seeing what's coming next in their lives.
For those of us who are fans of Neil Young and Crazy Horse, we also look forward to seeing what's next. Hopefully, we don't have to wait another seven years to find out.
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