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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.