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Should I Buy It?,
This review is from: Fork in the Road (CD+DVD) (Audio CD)This new album raises the usual dilemma with all recent Young albums. Should I buy it?
Based on the poor reviews in the general and music press I almost avoided this one. Yet the press are curiously swayed by fashion. Despite topping the bill at festivals in Britain this summer, Young is no longer flavour of the month. This is partly due to his recent spate of archive albums. These may be great for the fans, but have left the general listener baffled. Others still seek vainly for the next `Harvest'. At arm's length, the lower star ratings in Young's recent back catalogue give the impression of a major talent who has burnt out.
Yet Young always deserves more attention than most artists. I took the plunge and bought `Fork in the Road' and have not been disappointed. It suffers from a similar fate to a Richard Thompson album: a couple of standout tracks, a couple of bummers and the rest are reasonable. Although the raw Bo Diddley style guitar suggests that half the tracks are simply throw-away, yet they are simply part of Young's style.
The only downside is an affliction which has hit major artists since McCartney's first solo album way back in 1970. This is the use of partners as backing vocalists. I'm sure that Mrs Young would be the first to admit that she is no Emmylou, Nicolette or Ronstadt. However the bland saccharine backing almost sinks the standout track.
Overall, if you enjoyed Living with War, you should buy this album. If you prefer the acoustic bliss of Prairie Wind, avoid it.