Top positive review
26 people found this helpful
on 9 November 2011
I`ve heard this shambolically tight rock masterpiece sober, drunk, and most points inbetween. I`ve heard it on LP, on CD, and on the advice of a very alternative therapist. I`ve heard it when in the mood and not in the mood. I`ve listened to it happy, sad, strung out, depressed, overjoyed, tired, lit up, lovelorn and loved-up.
It`s one of the greatest rock albums ever made, of that I am in no doubt. I`ll bet Dylan (who`s fond of NY) loved it to death.
I`m playing it, for the umpteenth time, as I write, and it sounds like all the rock albums ever made rolled into one. It certainly `contains` Harvest, Goldrush, Time Fades Away and On The Beach in its sometimes tenuous embrace.
There isn`t a dud track, nothing that should embarrass or frighten any horses, plenty of raw soulfulness, a spontaneous feel to most of it, little piano trills where you least expect them, the fiery catchy Downtown in the middle of a lot of troubled angst, and the whole thing sounds like it`s been around since the dawn of time - Greil Marcus`s `old weird America` come to call with an insistent urgency that won`t be denied.
Neil plays plenty of his trademark intense spidery guitar, he has a tremendous band with him - including the wonderful Nils Lofgren (a too-often unsung hero of thoughtful American soul-rock) on guitar & piano.
I wouldn`t be so crazy as to single out particular songs. This is one record that lives in the world as an entity, one track seeming to segue into the next. For example, when the unhurried Speakin` Out goes right into the relatively jaunty World On A String, it all feels just right! After the welcome rough magic of Downtown, the downhome ramblings of Mellow My Mind are exactly what the sawbones ordered.
These classic rock albums from the 60s & 70s - Astral Weeks, Forever Changes, Five Leaves Left, Happy Sad, Blonde On Blonde, The Band, Sailin` Shoes, Countdown To Ecstasy, Blue, Neil`s Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere - now have an aura of wonder about them that can never be dispelled.
A reluctant, pained masterpiece. Hear it if you haven`t. Hear it yet again if you have.