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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the critics
Very surprised at tales of poor reviews - why? This is a great album with a really distinctive sound compared to other albums - very 'soul' in the best possible way. It seems to me a pretty distinctive departure in Young's canon, at times similar to the feel of some of the slower cuts on 'This Note's for You' - but more subtle/less stylised.
Aside from a weak vocal...
Published on 12 April 2002

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One of Young's weakest albums
I suppose when you have an artist with such a multitude of albums as Neil Young does, you're obviously going to have some misfires along the way. And this is one of them.

This album is mainly composed of soft electric guitar intermingled with a distant bluesy influence. The result is a flat, lifeless sound indicative of The Drifters having a bad day at...
Published on 9 Feb 2012 by Gigoer


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the critics, 12 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Are You Passionate? (Audio CD)
Very surprised at tales of poor reviews - why? This is a great album with a really distinctive sound compared to other albums - very 'soul' in the best possible way. It seems to me a pretty distinctive departure in Young's canon, at times similar to the feel of some of the slower cuts on 'This Note's for You' - but more subtle/less stylised.
Aside from a weak vocal performance in the first song, I'm finding 'Are You Passionate?' more and more engaging with each listen. Like with 'Silver and Gold', things which initially seemed too simplistic or naive become legitimate musical statements, like the extended play out at the end of 'Differently'.
There are some really great songs here, 'Mr Disappointment', 'Don't Say You Love Me', and the title track. 'When I hold you in my arms' is personally my favourite at this point. Like much of the sentiment of 'Silver and Gold' it's a song about growing old from the perspective of an older man.
Overall the album has a wonderful feel - with great musicianship most notable in the final track, 'She's a Healer', with its stunning instrumental sections.
Overall a fine record.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neil's bares his soul on his finest in years........., 6 Mar 2002
By 
andrew byrom (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Are You Passionate? (Audio CD)
Got the CD through the mail this morning and have listened to it a few times now, so I feel able to give it a fair review.
Let me start by saying I hated Let's Roll, and was not possitive about this collaboration with Booker T at all. How wrong I was! This is a very good Neil Young album -- and more importantly, a very DIFFERENT album. I am sure that this will split fans down the middle.
I would describe it as Neil's "Soul" album. Here are a few preliminary comments about the songs...
You're My Girl -- A weak start, I think. It's a nice enough song, borrowing music from This Note's For You's Sunny Inside. Unfortunately it's spoiled for me by Neil's out of tune, fragile singing.
Mr.Disappointment -- Wow, where did this come from? Very odd, very good. Is Neil almost rapping? Love the guitar.
Differently -- Again a strong track. Funky melody, nice backing singing. Weird feedback ending.
Don't Say You Love Me - We all know this song from last year's Euro Tour with the Horse. Nicely done here with Booker T.
Let's Roll -- Well, I just don't like this song. BUT... this longer version (5:45) is stronger, and there is some nice guitar work towards the end.
Are You Passionate? -- Lovely song, nice piano, beautiful lyrics, can't fault this at all.
Going Home -- Not the tour de force that it was live in Europe. Here it's less of a battle cry, more like a homecoming. It features a really odd ending -- the band is in full flow, Neil's ripping notes out of the guitar... then crunch, screech, it stops (and the next song starts). No idea what that is all about...
When I Hold You In My Arms -- Again a song we all know from last summer. Again a nice version.
Be With You -- Very obvious R&B feel to this one. Probably the most up-tempo song on the album. But to me, one of the weaker tracks. Not that I don't like it, it's just that it doesn't seem as well constructed as the rest.
Two Old Friends -- I wasn't sure about the live CSNY version of this one, but this studio version is is much, much better.
She's A Healer -- I just love this track. The really superb groove, the lovely muted horn -- a great ending to the album. Pretty sure this one will fly when played live. Ace guitar work throughout.
Hard to decide how highly I would rate this against Neil's other work, simply because it is so different. But I will be bold and say it's his best work in ten years! My friends Bry and Mark and I have been playing this album in rotation for the last week, and we all agree that it is Neil's strongest and bravest material in many, many years. An absolute pleasure to listen too.
Andrew Byrom
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars this one has grown on me, 27 Sep 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Are You Passionate? (Audio CD)
In general, I'm much more of a fan of NY's rockier moments. His gentler, acoustic material often leaves me cold. At first, this album seemed a bit of a disappointment but it's not been out of the car CD player for months! Every listen reveals something new. Are You Passionate? is an apt title. I've no idea whether NY really is as passionate as he sounds but this is an album by someone who is as committed to making wonderful music as he was 30 years ago - maybe more so. It's always difficult to recommend NY to a novice - after all, he is something of an acquired taste - but anyone who's ever liked anything by NY should pick up this album. It's a shame amazon don't allow six-star reviews!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A massively brave attempt......... and it works!, 8 April 2002
This review is from: Are You Passionate? (Audio CD)
I was slightly cautious upon purchasing this album, would I like Neil Young performing Soul music? Normally, when Neil Young deviates from either Country\Folk and grungey rock, things go horribly wrong. Needless to say, I am pleased in this case because the music is excellent. Not only are all the songs tuneful, but they feature some of Neils most heartfelt lyrics (you're my girl is quite amazingly sweet). The guitar work is fluid and surprisingly concise. So what about the songs?
'Lets Roll' is the most documented song of them all. When I first heard it, I have to admit that I didn't really like it. The beat sounded sluggish and the lyrics horribly naive. After a few listens though, Neils conviction punches through. He REALLY sounds like he means it, and the middle eight is one of the best moments of the album for me. Other standout tracks include the title track (wonderfully laid back and melancholy), 'Goin' Home' (a heady rock workout with Crazy Horse - it was great live and its great here) and 'When I hold you in my arms' (another song from the 2001 tour).
I would recommend this album to anyone, even people who wouldn't normally buy a Neil Young album. It does have some bad points, a few riffs and the odd song that should have been cut a little shorter. Generally though, it is an interesting album that grows on you with successive listens.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One of Young's weakest albums, 9 Feb 2012
This review is from: Are You Passionate? (Audio CD)
I suppose when you have an artist with such a multitude of albums as Neil Young does, you're obviously going to have some misfires along the way. And this is one of them.

This album is mainly composed of soft electric guitar intermingled with a distant bluesy influence. The result is a flat, lifeless sound indicative of The Drifters having a bad day at work.

"Quit (Don't Say You Love Me)", "When I Hold You In My Arms" and "She's a Healer" are as shallow as their titles depict, while "You're My Girl", is just too corny - it just doesn't feel like Neil Young. For an album that's largely based on family and friends, "Let's Roll" (which presumably was inspired by the aftermath of 9/11 back then) is incongruent at best. Its lyrics wage war without the political intrigue, to put it mildly. "We got to get inside there / Before they kill some more / You've got to turn on evil / When it's coming after you / We're going after Satan / On the wings of a dove". "Goin' Home" is the only possible saving grace on the record, where Young attempts to make a statement similar in style to "Rockin' In The Free World", but that falls flat too as it's under-produced and sung with no conviction.

This album sounds experimental, but unfortunately an experimental failure. Throughout, Young sounds uncharacteristically hollow, while the record constantly plods along with a similar acoustic ring and tempo for each track, making it a bore to listen to.

For all the challenge its title throws up, Passion is in conspicuously short supply.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than the Critics would have you believe, 18 Jan 2013
By 
A. D. Hall (wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Are You Passionate? (Audio CD)
I have bought NY albums for over 40 years, but the general consensus of opinion of the critics was that this was an absolute Turkey. As a consequence I gave it a wide berth.....my mistake. A few years down the line my curiosity got the better of me and duly bought the missing album, only to discover it's actually rather good. Admittedly it gets off to a rather shakey start (no pun intended) with 'You're My Girl' with some pretty flat singing on what sounds like a 'bar-band does the drifters' parody. Why this track even got on the album never mind the opening track is beyond me. However, from this point it's pretty much up all the way. Lovers of 'This Notes for You' will find much to enjoy here, with some restrained and melodic guitar work from Young. Best of all is the closing track 9 mins of 'She's a Healer' which I rate amongst one of NY's best in recent years. Those that only love either NY the folkie or NY the grunge rocker won't find what their after, but anybody that admires the multi-faceted NY will cherish this album just as much as all his others.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No disappointment, 23 May 2002
This review is from: Are You Passionate? (Audio CD)
I suspect this album was a bit to subtle for some of the critics - not to mention some of the fans at Brixton the other night. I hated it at first listen, but its charms become apparent with repeated spins and the title track in particular is very insistent. Some of the vocal performances are a touch weak and strained, but the musicianship is outstanding, and Young's guitar playing much more lyrical than on any album since This Note's For You. The classic Going Home might have been better saved for the next Horse album, which would have made this one trimmer and perhaps more unified, but I'm not going to complain. I seem to be one of the few people who quite like Let's Roll - I certainly don't share the political sentiments expressed in that totally stupid and absurd last bridge, but otherwise the song works quite well and has a suitably menacing quality which worked brilliantly live. Top tracks - Are You Passionate, Mr Disappointment, She's A Healer, Two Old Friends. And if you buy it, give it time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Shakey and the MG's, 24 Dec 2008
By 
Fletch-a-sketch "Fletch" (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Are You Passionate? (Audio CD)
Neil Young's soul album, Neil Young gets the best soul backing musicians in the business Booker T and Donald `duck' Dunn, and then writes an album of songs in keeping with this backing. Both unmistakably Booker T and the MGS sound along with the Neil Young sound, Neil's guitar `Blackie' never sounded both so loud and restrained.
The first song `You`re my girl' sets a nice pace almost `time is tight' (Booker T & the MGs) backing to a corking Neil Young song, followed up by another strong song `Mr Disappointed'. The most disappointing song on the set for me is `Lets roll' admirable sentiment but just a bit turgid in execution. The set does close with a classic Neil Young song the 9 minute plus `She's a healer'

Good album for fans of Soul and Neil Young next stop Crazy Horse
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not much to be passionate about here, 9 April 2002
By 
Mark Goodman (Chippenham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Are You Passionate? (Audio CD)
After last year's superb tour this is a bit of a let down.
Much of this collabaration with Booker T sounds more like one of those cheesy three piece bands that play on Saturday night's in seaside hotels.
The album is very different from any of Neil's previous work, it has a very 'soul' feel to it. The first two songs are okay but nothing special. The third song Differently is actually quite good. However as the album continues you get the feeling that all the songs are starting to sound the same.
At last I reached track 7 'going home'which was so great on the tour last year and the only song on the album played with Crazy Horse. This is the best track so far evoking memories of such classics as love and only love and change your mind. Not as strong as on the tour though and has a very odd abrupt ending.
When I hold you in my arms was one of the best songs on the tour for me, but here it is not as good. It is still a good song but is spoilt by the fact that the piano is to far back in the mix and the organ and drums have that cheesy 'seaside hotel band' sound. This would have been much better with a stripped down mix.
The rest of the album is very ordinary, especially the awful 'two old friends' until we reach the albums closer 'she's a healer' which is the high point of the album. A good groove with excellent muted horns during the instrumental section. A really good song but again a very abrupt finish.
All in all the album fails to deliver with many of the songs and Neil's guitar sounding the same. For die hard fans it is worth getting for Going home and She's a healer. While Differently, Mr disappointment and when I hold you in my arms are worth having.
One last point, the back of the album cover lists the eleven tracks plus 'Gateway of Love' which was a real tour de force during last years live shows. I wonder why it is not on the album. Should have been icluded in place of acouple of the weaker songs !
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A late classic from NY, 16 Dec 2010
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Are You Passionate? (Audio CD)
I`m utterly baffled by the lukewarm reviews this received on its release. Among his 21st century albums it`s better than Chrome Dreams or even a fine set like Prairie Wind. This one has an atmosphere all its own, helped by tight, moody backings from no less than Booker T and the MGs, though sadly without their guitar legend Steve Cropper, who was doubtless surplus to requirements since NY himself handles the sinewy, succinct solos.
In an odd way I can`t quite explain, its sound & feel remind me a little of some of Dylan`s more recent albums. It has something of the fabled `wild mercury sound` associated both with much of His Bobness`s music and some of what we now call Americana. (Dylan being a fan of Neil Young, I bet he appreciates AYP.)
There`s not a bad track, nothing you want to skip over - which you can`t say about every NY record - and I believe that in years to come this will be seen as a great underrated set of songs, much as Dylan`s wonderful Planet Waves & New Morning have been lately reassessed.
I`d place this beside On The Beach, Sleeps With Angels and This Note`s For You, as one of NY`s more introspective, less `out there` efforts, and it deserves to be spoken of in such company. Not quite the classic that is On the Beach, but definitely as good as, if not better than, the excellent This Note`s For You, which in some ways, for example its soulful feel, it resembles.
One plus is his deft, brief guitar solos, played in an uncharacteristically restrained style that`s almost a balm to the ear! His hero Hank Marvin would surely be proud.
This is a subtly superb milestone in Neil Young`s fascinating ongoing musical journey. The more I play this consistently fine album the higher it leaps in my estimation. It would be in any NY top ten of mine.
Ignore the nay-sayers. Recommended.
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Are You Passionate? by Neil Young (Audio CD - 2002)
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