Top critical review
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3.5 stars would be fairer
on 30 August 2009
3 stars always seems harsh for a NY album. But "Prisoners of Rock `n` Roll" is such a poor and cliched song, despite it`s obvious critical target being the totally deserving David Geffen, that you couldn`t award 4 stars. "We Never Danced" is just too syrupy, as is "Inca Queen" (a shame, as the subject has been so well-addressed by Neil in the past, obviously with "Cortez The Killer", but also on the less-acclaimed "Like An Inca", from Trans).
"Mideast Vacation" is a great opener though, one of the best songs Neil produced in the 80s, the nearest we have got to the dark side since the ditch trilogy, and particularly, "Revolution Blues". "When Your Lonely Heart Breaks" is also such a powerful and dramatic ballad that you would have to be mad not to be moved by it. These songs possibly edge it above a mid-to-low ranking NY album...but the rest of the songs are, well, pretty average, occasionally dipping above that and occasionally below. ("Long Walk Home" is a good example of this. It seems like it might be great, but then rather loses pace and falls flat).
It`s worth a listen, now and again, but isn`t really quite what you might want from Neil and Crazy Horse. By any other artist you`d be raving about it for weeks. It`s all relative.