NEIL YOUNG Silver & Gold (2000 German pressed 10-track HD-CD album recorded in High Defi featuring a collection of songs written throughout the 1990s including Red Sun which features backing vocals by Emmylou Harris & Linda Ronstadt
complete with the fold-out picture / lyric sleeve inlay)
Once prone to straying all over the map, Neil Young has contented himself of late by alternating between country squire and convulsive rocker. Silver & Gold
is an exquisite addition to Young's pastoral offerings.
Envisioned as the singer's first totally solo album, the 10-song set was reconceived and resequenced over the course of three years. Indeed, the four Young songs on Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's problematic Looking Forward were taken from an earlier version of Silver & Gold, backing tracks and all. What's left is a spare, guileless assortment of tunes that owes a thematic and sonic debt to After The Gold Rush. The touchingly nostalgic "Daddy Went Walkin'" and "Red Sun" conjure up images of childhood contentment; Young's parents divorced in his youth, but they're sweethearts here. Love is on Young's mind in the idyllic tracks, "Horseshoe Man" and "Razor Love" and he reflects on his early musical career with the artless but oddly suitable "Buffalo Springfield Again". Then he pulls it all together with the cryptic closer,"Without Wings": "I'm pickin' somethin' up / I'm lettin' somethin' go" he intones. And one can only reflect on how appropriate it is that Young dropped a song called "Looking Forward" from his latest journey through the past. --Steven Stolder