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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Diverse, interesting and enjoyable
'Chrome Dreams II', Neil Young's 30th studio album, is - bizarrely - a sequel to a late-70s album that was never released and, I must confess, when I heard that fact and saw the title, I feared the worst. Quite honestly, I shouldn't have feared anything as this album is wonderful, a continuation of the artistic roll that Neil has been on for a considerable amount of time...
Published on 17 Feb. 2008 by Andy Sweeney

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CDII
I still don't really know where I'm going with my opinion as far as Chrome Dreams II goes- I mean, I like it... but it hasn't grabbed me with the same urgency that Living With War did, nor with the same emotional relevance that Prairie Wind did. It's almost like a... Greendale...

But yeh, I'm well aware that several of these songs are old Neil Young songs, and...
Published on 18 Dec. 2007 by Neil


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Diverse, interesting and enjoyable, 17 Feb. 2008
By 
Andy Sweeney "music was my first love" (Brighton, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Chrome Dreams II (Audio CD)
'Chrome Dreams II', Neil Young's 30th studio album, is - bizarrely - a sequel to a late-70s album that was never released and, I must confess, when I heard that fact and saw the title, I feared the worst. Quite honestly, I shouldn't have feared anything as this album is wonderful, a continuation of the artistic roll that Neil has been on for a considerable amount of time and is very similar in feel to his 1970 masterpiece 'After The Gold Rush'.

The first track, 'Beautiful Bluebird' is, indeed, beautiful. A gentle, romantic piece of acoustic tenderness, it convinces you immediately that this album is going to be no dud. It, like all the first three tracks, was written and shelved in the 1980s during Young's well-documented artistic struggle with Geffen. Incredibly, 'Ordinary People', a stunning horn-laden epic, manages to last for an amazing 18+ minutes without ever overstaying it's welcome. Such ambition doesn't end there - 'No Hidden Path' also clocks in at 14 minutes and 33 seconds and also manages to be both a great piece of music and also continually interesting.

In fact, this album has enough depth, texture and diversity to make it one of the most varied, most intresting and fulfilling Neil Young album for quite a while. Although arguably the majority of Young's releases in the past 15-20 years have been excellent, it can be argued that even the very best of that work has been a little one-dimensional, with Young tending to pick a genre, dedicating the whole album to the pursuit of that particular idea or feeling. 'Chrome Dreams II' doesn't suffer from that particular trait and, as a result, feels more complete and is certainly more engaging than much of his recent work.

Chrome Dreams II highlights all of Neil's strengths without really revealing any of his limitations whether it is the country-influenced folk of 'Ever After' or the Weld-era gritty, grungy rock of the enjoyable 'Dirty Old Man'. This album should be a must for any Neil Young fans and is so good that you could also probably recommend it as a great starting point for any music lovers new to Neil's particular sound. Great stuff!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not the best thing Mr Young has ever done but..., 6 Nov. 2007
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Chrome Dreams II (Audio CD)
Bloody brilliant all the same! If it helps to show where I stand on Neil Young albums, my favourite was, is and forever will be Zuma closely followed by the "Rust" albums so those are what I am measuring this work against. Chrome dreams II has a fascinating mix of styles which it would appear has upset some of the purists, but if you come at this as a lover of rock music and not necessarily a Neil Young obsessive then you will find much to enjoy here. Superb playing by all concerned, Young's singing is above par (for him!), and even the 18 minutes of "ordinary people" flies by with nary an indulgent, unnecessary moment (honest). I've heard some good stuff this year and this is well inside the top 10.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing short of excellent - Neil is back!!, 20 Oct. 2007
By 
Terrapin (Connemara, Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Chrome Dreams II: +DVD (Audio CD)
Man, was I waiting for this one! Close your eyes and you go back 20 years, to all the ragged glory and passion that Neil brings to his work. "Ordinary People" is just one of the real stand-out tracks, a real belter with 'Old Black', his trusty Gibson, in overdrive heaven. Every song brings something good to this, his best album in years.

If you are a fan, don't even think, just get it. If you aren't, well, get it anyway. And thanks, Neil!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars epic & superb, 18 Oct. 2007
By 
Mr. M. Sheppherd "marty" (liverpool) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Chrome Dreams II: +DVD (Audio CD)
heard this today... its great, mish mash of lots of young styles...so much better in many ways than his previous last few records...ordinary people is superb and goes straight into legend as a lost young classic....every song works well on its own level and even tho some of the songs are country flavoured there are no yee-har moments here...

all in all 9/10 well done neil we still love u!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes - it is the best for a long time!!!!, 28 Dec. 2007
By 
Mr. David Atkinson (Northern England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Chrome Dreams II: +DVD (Audio CD)
Some years ago Neil Young meant everything to me. I loved the classics (no need to mention their names here.) I also found great value in a lot of his more lowly rated and ignored music also. Time goes on and Neil has become more and more of a challenge! The last Neil release of new material that really did the job for me was 'Broken Arrow' with Crazy Horse. That was 1996!!! Nearly twelve years ago!!! 'Silver & Gold' is a reasonable, reflective little album but there are some shoddy releases, 'Road Rock,' 'Are you Passionate,' 'Prairie Wind' and the utterly pathetic 'Living with War.' I got off to a bad start with 'Greendale' after sitting through Neil play it in its entirety at Manchester Appollo to an increasingly restless audience. Try as I might I cannot look back on that night as great and memorable. My old hero visited my home town.............what a waste!

Now, 'Chrome Dreams II.' I think we should forget all about 'Chrome Dreams I.' I do not believe there is any connection whatsoever between these two. I believe Neil is just being a little obscure and deliberately enigmatic. If I have to compare this to another Neil album I will choose 'Sleeps With Angels.' Both of these albums are BIG, they are LONG, they are of MIXED STYLE, they contain an enjoyable rocking throwaway in 'Dirty old Man / Piece of Crap,' they contain a lot of JAMMING. They were both conceived in MIDDLE AGE. Let's not make comparisons with 'Everybody Knows this is Nowhere.' Neil was a young lad when he made that and a number of other truly WONDERFUL recordings. How different are you now to what you were twenty or thirty years ago? Or more?

In all honesty I am writing this review a little too early. 'Sleeps With Angels' took many plays for me to appreciate just how much of a gem it really is. I didn't rush out to buy 'Chrome Dreams II' on the day of release. After Neil's recent form I almost didn't buy it at all!

I will say now that this is a chunky, proper rock record and I am getting the odd little adrenalin rush as I listen to parts of it. I don't know for how long these feelings will last but at the moment I have to say that I think this album is pretty good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CDII, 18 Dec. 2007
This review is from: Chrome Dreams II: +DVD (Audio CD)
I still don't really know where I'm going with my opinion as far as Chrome Dreams II goes- I mean, I like it... but it hasn't grabbed me with the same urgency that Living With War did, nor with the same emotional relevance that Prairie Wind did. It's almost like a... Greendale...

But yeh, I'm well aware that several of these songs are old Neil Young songs, and that it's not really supposed to have been conceived as an album... and yes, some of these songs do sound like they belonged elsewhere er... examples, examples... "The Believer" could have been on Are You Passionate?, "Dirty Old Man" is a new "Piece of Crap", except it's good (the highlight for me) and "Piece of Crap" was just what it said on the tin.

Yeh, "Dirty Old Man" a stomping garage rock song. Nothing new, but it's certainly more "Barstool Blues" and "Sedan Delivery" in quality than "Piece of Crap". I like it; I think it's good!

Elsewhere there's nothing really that I don't like, but equally there's nothing that I would put on a Best of Neil Young compilation (just yet). I've read a lot about "Ordinary People" the 18 minute workout, but I'm not enamoured with it like a lot of people are, and like I am with "Cowgirl in the Sand" or "Like A Hurricane" or even "Love to Burn". I just don't think it was a good idea to play that song for 18 minutes. The horns are good, and Neil amazes me with his ability to keep pulling these excellent solos out of nowhere - honestly, 40 years of that guitar style, and he can still improvise something different every time. Don't get me wrong; it's not a song that drags, I just hoped it would be one that I'd be digging heartily.

The other 10+ minuter on the album, "No Hidden Path" is probably a little better, but still misses out on classic Young status.

There is one other highlight for me, and that is the last track "The Way", with it's wistful tune and school choir vocals. It sounds to me like what you would get if you asked The Flaming Lips to provide a soundtrack to The Wizard of Oz (someone should do that), but without the bells, whistles, bleeps and whooshes that would necessarily adorn such an undertaking.

In summation, I guess it's a fairly solid album. Certainly nothing to be ashamed of, it's just that I enjoyed his last two albums a lot more. I think Chrome Dreams II is just too long, whereas Living With War and Prairie Wind were direct and concise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent enough effort from Neil, 28 May 2009
By 
A. Macfarlane (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Chrome Dreams II (Audio CD)
I suppose I have to put myself in with those people for whom Neil Young can't really do much wrong. That's not to say I like everything he's ever produced, just that I'll give his stuff more of the benefit of the doubt than many other artists.

So I suppose I'm warning you take my 4 stars with a pinch of salt! This is a good CD, Neil Young fans will approve. Some songs are right up there with his best, such as Beautiful Bluebird and Ordinary People. Some of these were written in his heyday so it will probably come as no surprise. The tunes range from light acoustic numbers to self-indulgent guitar heavy epics that will please those people who like classics such as Heart of Gold or Like a Hurricane.

Those people unfamiliar with Neil Young will find this a decent enough introduction. He doesn't travel too far from a fairly well-worn path. Which is perhaps why this is not a five star review. The trouble with Neil Young is some of his old stuff is *so* good newer work will always compare slightly less favourably.

But that being said I think this is a good album full of good songs. Well worth a listen.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Listen, and listen again, 30 Oct. 2007
This review is from: Chrome Dreams II (Audio CD)
I love Neil Young's stuff and bought this as soon as I saw it on the shelf. The first listen was disappointing, it sounded like he was rehashing things he had visited over the years, but the second time around I began to realise what a good album this is. A real mix of styles, some great vocals and guitar work, and a sense of spirit running through it. Not as great as some critics and reviews suggest, but well worth its place in the Neil Young collection, showing he can still write and perfom songs that touch a chord in us.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Release Chrome Dreams 1 - Now!, 22 Dec. 2007
By 
Kristopher Gray "mrbassman" (Gerolstein, Germany) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Chrome Dreams II: +DVD (Audio CD)
So if the stories are to be believed Neil Young dumped number one because Carole King thought it sounded like demo's, do we care? no! So this is a heart felt plea to Mr Young to release it now, if it is anything like number two it will be close to perfect. However, I am having a problem believing he would make such a major decision based on her opinion, not like him at all.

Still this is the Neil Young album I have been waiting for, having been a loyal fan since Buffalo Springfield I have seen him him through tremndous high's, Goldrush, Rust Never Sleeps and the 100% perfect 'On the Beach'that I waited an eternity for on CD to the dreadful lows of Old Ways and Are You Passionate to name but two but not to mention the ranting of the anti war effort which had some high points. This is up there with Goldrush, Sleep and Beach, well almost Beach, so don't mess around buy it now, you wont be disapointed!

So now all we have to do is wait for Mr Y to get the message and let us have a listen to number one.
Are you listening Neil?
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Continuing the Tradition, 17 Nov. 2007
By 
Steve Keen "therealus" (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Chrome Dreams II: +DVD (Audio CD)
Back in 1970 my mate played me After The Goldrush. Some time later I stayed up late one night and listened to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young's Four-Way Street on Kid (now David) Jensen's Radio Luxemburg programme, heard Harvest, and bought Heart Of Gold on a second-hand single. Young himself did a live show broadcast on the BBC, and a subsequent girlfriend of mine had CSN&Y's Déjà Vu, which got played quite a lot, though mostly for Graham Nash's paean to Joni Mitchell, Our House.

I then put Neil Young and his mates away in a cupboard until the next millennium, when on a whim I bought first Goldrush, then Harvest, Harvest Moon, and Silver & Gold. So far, so folk/country/soft rock.

Buying Four Way Street and really listening to it, as opposed to dozing intermittently during a crackly radio broadcast, made me realise there was something more to Neil than a laid back West Coast sound. But imagine the effect when I bought Decades and first heard Like A Hurricane. I was, as the man says on that song, "blown away". Those of you who have followed the twists and turns as they've happened can only imagine the almost orgasmic euphoria of hearing that guitar lick for the first time three decades after its first release, dispelling in one stroke all those years' preconceptions.

Subsequent purchases - Mirror Ball springs to mind; Old Ways too - further testified to the modality of the protean Mr Young's oeuvre.

Chrome Dreams II, the work of a man of pensionable age, a CD/ DVD accompanied by a booklet whose artwork looks like the publicity material for a very groovy old folks' home, in its own small way continues the tradition.

Note "small way". There's enough here that's familiar to render it close to the comfort food zone, so you could trace the lineage of opening track Bluebird back through Silver And Gold to Harvest Moon and Goldrush, and Dirty Old Man sounds like recycled Piece Of Crap (aficionados will know of what I speak, even if they don't actually agree).

But while my NY collection is one of my largest, I don't think there's anything in there to quite compare with Ordinary People, a kind of Stax-on-acid, I guess, with raging brass and howling guitars, which makes it a neat fusion of Are You Passionate (soul), Prairie Wind (brass) and Broken Arrow (guitars), but with some Freedom (Crime In The City) thrown into the lyrics insofar as they deal with very prosaic subjects, but this time the folks are striving for good.

At 18 minutes this is about as long as any Neil Young track I can think of bar Cowgirl In The Sand on Road Rock Vol 1 (anyone know what happened to Vol 2? Is it with Chrome Dreams I?), and has the same wailing guitars and false endings. There are also some great instrumental breaks - on tenor sax, not at all like that on Crime In The City, and muted trumpet, only precedented for this artist on She's A Healer from Are You Passionate, to my knowledge, though I admit that at 26 CDs my collection is less than complete. This guy is Prolific!

In Shining Light we are treated to the quavering NY voice we got a lot of on Silver & Gold, to the backing of what could be a straight 3/4 waltz but may be in 6/8, interrupted by some nice guitar part-way through.

Spirit Road for me is the heartbeat of the collection, and certainly the one I've been singing in my head lately. Where Ordinary People has an element of anger and grit in the lyrics, Spirit Road is much more upbeat: you can sing it with a smile. Reminds me a little of Goin' Home from Are You Passionate rhythmically. But it's more different than similar.

And talking of Old Ways, which I did some time back, there's also Ever After, a slide-dominated country piece.

No Hidden Path, the other "long" track, is a nice laid back thrash which is both recognisably Neil Young and certifiably new. It's a chance to lean gently but firmly into a chunky guitar riff, occasionally relieved by vocals or a straight ahead guitar break. Delicious. Classic stuff. And long enough to satisfy the appetite but not so long it outlives its welcome.

The closing track, The Way, has all the ingredients to be mawkish, including a kiddie choir, a piano and some old geezer singing lead. Clive Dunn? Granddad? It's not. It's a thing of beauty.

2007 has been a great year for music, with releases by Joni Mitchell (how unexpected was that?), Lucinda Williams and Springsteen, a superb solo sax adventure by Steve Coleman, and even some new Coltrane - from beyond the grave. Chrome Dreams II stands up there with all of them. I wouldn't want to say definitively which is best, but there will be days when Neil Young is it!
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Chrome Dreams II by Neil Young (Audio CD - 2007)
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