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4.5 out of 5 stars70
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 8 January 2004
While there are more than enough individual tracks dotted around his huge number of recordings to justify Neil Young’s major reputation there are only a few albums that, on their own, hold together as satisfyingly complete “works”. And… in the (self imposed) absence of any sensible retrospectives since 1977’s “Decade” (definitely the best place to start for any “casual buyer”) those not “in the know” could be in for some seriously expensive mistakes. So, what’s been worth the money since then? Well…for anyone looking for the mellower side of this brilliantly mercurial but annoyingly erratic artist here’s a few suggestions: “Comes a Time” (1978), “Freedom” (1989), “Harvest Moon” (1992) and “Unplugged” (1995).
“Harvest Moon”, a straight reference back to his massively popular “Harvest” which he immediately chose to move a long way away from at the time (preferring, in his own words, to head for the ditch rather than the “middle of the road”) is, amongst his peers, the rarest of things – a follow-up album not only 20 years too late but arguably better than its career-building predecessor. Over the top?... well the debate could continue for hours but, with such wonderfully laid back tracks as “Unknown Legend”, “From Hank to Hendrix” & “One of these Days”, the rolling country-rock of “Old King”, the quite beautiful “Harvest Moon” (brilliantly re-worked by Cassandra Wilson on “New Moon Daughter”) and the deeply reflective “You and Me” it’s a close call indeed. Mellow music at its best and an album that leaves you feeling… happy. Money well spent!
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on 30 July 2004
Being a huge NY fan, I've had this album tucked away in my collection for a while. There are probably albums that I would reach for before this one, however, one dark night I decided to give it a spin.
This album has definately matured, and maybe in my haste before, I missed the absolute acoustic gem 'You and me'. The lyrics are emotional, the guitar playing that of an acoustic genius. If you're an folky NY fan, this album is worth this track alone. 'Such a woman' and the live track 'Natural Beauty' are also crackers. In my eyes, Neil Young is king, and this album sets him on the way to his corination.
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on 19 January 2001
Out of all the Neil Young albums I've heard, THIS is the one. It's a beautiful, atmospheric album of the likes I've never heard of before or since. The reverb makes it a very 'night' record and every song is brilliant, apart from maybe 'Old King' which spoils the mood a little. 'Natural Beauty' is phenomenal and the album as a whole is the perfect record for atmospheric summer nights or cold winter days. Miles better than Harvest.
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on 1 December 2006
This is an excellent CD, and you don't have to be a 'Neil Young Fan' (whatever that means!) to enjoy it. The opener, Unknown Legend, is an excellent introduction to the laid back quality of the album, which continues without a real duff track right the way to the end. Even Natural Beauty, clocking in at an impressive 10+ minutes, holds my attention right until it merges into the rainforest noises at the very end. Songs like One of These Days and Such a Woman are almost ethereal, they somehow sound timeless, hints of a Nashville sound coming and going here and there. If you have been put off Neil Young by impressions of an angry guitar weilding man playing long guitar solos, well, rest assured, THAT Neil Young does not make an appearance here.

I don't find myself thinking about the original Harvest album when I listen to this- I think this stands on its own as a great CD. Sure, there are echoes of the original, but owning the Harvest album is not a per-requesite to enjoying this. James Taylor and Linda Rondstadt supply some backing vox, along with longtime collaborator Nicolette Larson.

I am also very impressed by the photos in the CD booklet of the moon. They are an excellent added bonus to this album.
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This is a very mellow album in which the tempo only picks up on Old king, a track that features a banjo. Even there, the banjo is somewhat restrained. This album therefore won't get your toes tapping but it has a different kind of appeal.

Among the mellow songs, I particularly enjoy the opening Unknown legend (about a woman motorbike rider), the following From Hank to Hendrix (which is actually about a relationship, with music providing the metaphors), One of these days (hinting at Neil's musical influences) and the romantic title track. Neil mostly avoids politics in this album although in War of man, he sings about a theme that he has explored more on other albums, but here he contents himself with pointing out that there are no winners.

With background singers that include Linda Ronstadt, Nicolette Larson and James Taylor, this is a fine album in its way. Neil Young's fans are many and diverse, and like his music for a variety of different reasons. If you enjoy hearing him sing mellow folk-rock music as I do, you are likely to love this album.
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on 13 February 2010
After the excesses of `Ragged Glory' and `Weld' he (and we) probably needed a bit of a break. (That word `excesses' is not used critically, by the way, I love them both).

This either is, or isn't, a follow-up to the 20 odd years before `Harvest' - it isn't if you listen to Neil Young, it is if you listen to anyone else. There's no guitar histrionics on here; just some quiet, gentle (some would say hokey) tunes played with some old friends (the great Ben Keith for one), and some backing vocals from the likes of James Taylor and Linda Rondstadt.

I struggle to listen to the album as a whole (it's a bit too laid back taken all at once), but when the odd tune pops up on my I-pod it nearly always brings a sigh, a smile and an urge to put on a dirty old check shirt.

Best songs: `Unknown Legend', `From Hank to Hendrix', `Harvest Moon', `Dreamin' Man' and, best of all, `Natural Beauty'.
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Canadian songwriter/performer Neil Young's 1992 album "Harvest Moon" has weathered the years well, and remains the highest point in his long, successful if somewhat uneven career. The album's rich, expansive and often melancholy songs evoke the huge landscapes of the West: of desert sunsets, memories of loves lost and wisdom gathered from long experience. This is music for the soul: poignant, fine, memorable, brought to life by a master of the genre.

Young's always distinctive and individual style here catches up with middle-aged maturity to distil a brew so fine, so wholesome that the listener is compelled to re-visit again and again to savour the flavour of a creative spirit in its prime.

The album is full of accomplished song writing with a deeper and more serious feel than the excellent but more youthful "Harvest" and "After the Gold Rush." From the opener "Unknown Legend" with its evocative lyrics, laid-back pace and full rich sound with a harmonica laying down the minor-key melody, Young utilises predominantly minor keys to transport the listener on a journey through some of the best work he has ever produced and reveals himself as a writer and performer of the very highest quality. The album really is a beauty: there are no indifferent songs here, no album-fillers. All the tracks are individually at least good and some excellent, and as a whole listening experience is even better than the sum of its parts.

"Harvest Moon" may be destined to become Neil Young's definitive career masterpiece. It sounds just as fresh after 18 years as on first listening in 1992. If you've never heard it, don't know Neil Young's work at all or don't much like the bits you have heard, you should give it a try. The effort will be rewarded.
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Although the title track is by far my favourite on this release, every track is brilliant. This album is full of calm and tranquility, easy to listen to and to let the day fade away with. One of Neil Young's finest releases and an essential for any fan of his.

It's also less morose and melancholy than some of Young's other songs, or hard hitting (think of Don't Let It Bring You Down and you'll see what I mean).

The steel guitars and the general dreaminess of the vocal delivery makes it easy to imagine lying in a garden after a barbeque, under the stars on a summer evening.
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on 30 January 2004
Well I'm not sure what Mr Parkes (see other reviews) has against this album, it wasn't meant to be a sequel to anything, and stands up beautifully on it's own. It is somewhat different to the noisy but brilliant 'Ragged glory' but that's the nice thing about Mr Young he doesn't allow you to get bored, he likes to change the tempo. I would recommend this album to anyone, most of the people I know who are not into all of Neil Young's stuff love this album, and when they have bought maybe a few of his albums this seems to always be there.
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on 13 February 2002
This is an absolutely beautiful album. It's tranquil and peaceful in a way that other Neil Young albums are not.
Even Harvest and Silver & Gold are raucous in comparison. On the Unplugged album manages to capture anything like the warm glow of these recordings.
The best tracks are 'You And Me' and 'Natural Beauty'.
A lovely album, perfect for relaxing to. Which is a strange thing for Neil Young.
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