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4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 18 August 2003
I can imagine the reviews this album will receive - "A concept album in 2003 for crying out loud" they'll indignantly splutter.Well, never one to listen to critics (or anyone for that matter),the venerable Mr Young has gone and delivered just such a curio and his best album since 1990's 'Ragged Glory' to boot.
Weighing in at 78 minutes 'Greendale' tells the story of the Green family,inhabitants of the fictitious town of the title.
The musical texture is thin as one would expect of a collaboration with Crazy Horse (there isn't even the extra guitar of the mysteriously-missing Frank Sampedro). Young's utterly unique,fuzzy,buzzy,scuzzy guitar sound dominates throughout.There are touches of harmonica here and there (employed to ghostly effect on 'Leave the Driving')and a pump organ (used on 'Unplugged''s 'Like A Hurricane'?) appears on 'Bringin' Down Dinner'.
Three tracks last over 10 minutes each but somehow, despite the simplicity of the music and Young's beloved one note solos,they are nothing less than riveting.
Okay I'll admit for a 58 year old man, Young's lyrics are strangely child-like and naive and his rants against corporate America offer precious little insight,nevermind answers. However, the sheer ramshackle rambunctiousness of the music tramples these misgivings and it's such a blessed relief to have a smile on my face again when listening to a new Neil Young album that I can overlook a few lyrical inanities.
The special edition of the album comes with a DVD of Neil performing 'Greendale' at Vicar Street,Dublin.Well - what are you waitng for? Click on 'add to shopping basket' and let Neil Young deliver you an aural treat of the kind you had no right to expect but which you knew deep down he was still capable of if he put his mind to it. The man is remarkable and it's a pleasure to report that once again he is producing remarkable music.
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on 1 September 2003
I usually rate a Neil Young album on musical content before I move on to the lyrics, however, there is a subtle underlying angryness about the 'concept' album Greendale, that makes you sit up and listen to this fictional story.
The majority of the tracks are played in the gritty/dirty Crazy Horse Style, however, something tells me that NY wants to keep his message clean instead of losing it in haze of white noise.
Stand out track is most definately 'Bandit' which NY switches from the electric guitar to the faithfull acoustic, however, 'falling from above' certainly sets the tone of the album.
Maybe those of you who saw NY play this album live from start to finish throughout Europe on a selection of acoustic guitars would be a bit disappointed, and I was definately was expecting something more downbeat, however NY certainly is getting back to his best. Greendale certainly eclipses the lackluster 'Are you passionate'. A must for any NY enthusiast, but I doubt it's for a beginner.
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on 18 August 2003
Rarely if ever do I gel with an album at the first listening, but here's one of the few.
This is a Neil masterpiece - more than making up for a few poor and hotch-potch albums out of the last half dozen from Mr Young, after a winning streak over the 1990's.
The theme and stories of Greendale links a full selection of musical styles with Crazy Horse offering a soulful backing to all the songs.
This is no noisy and raw Live Rust, its pure sedate polished music.
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on 18 August 2003
At first like everyone else i was perplexed by Young's new album direction. This is fundamentally a concept album based upon an eponymous town (greendale) and it's quirky inhabitants. The cd itself is acompanied with a lengthy narrative which is used as detailed anchorage to the music and offers an insight into the extroadinary goings on in this "pretty melow place".
In short the music is breathtaking.Young'sguitar has never sounded so emotive whether it be on the squeling high's or the intimate acoustic lows. I suppose the album's sound is closest to a mixture of the doom trilogy(time fades away, on the beach and tonight's the night) and everybody knows this is nowhere. It would be wrong to single out individual tracks-the album needs to be listened to as a whole captivating story of mistakes,love,and the envoirement. This is a very moving piece of work.
Perhaps the strangest thing about this album is that you feel you learn more about the enigma that it is Neil young from it as he writes in the narrative "always try to be nice to the ones you love cause you never know what's gonna happen" and"i don't think there can be a better feeling than youth making making a difference"
Whether you like it or not this is an extroadinarily ambitious and brave move by Young who still never seems to succumb to convention with his imagination sharper than ever.
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on 19 August 2003
Wow Ive just spent the whole night listening to this great cd and watching the bonus cd of Neil live in Ireland this year,(I went to the London Shepherds Bush gig which was a blast if a bit confusing,only because I didnt know the concept of 'Greendale'
To my mind this is the best NY album that Ive heard in reminds me of the old Young/Briggs productions..rough raw edged guitar solos with Crazy Horse on great Form.Neil sings his lungs out on a number of tracks,and whether you like NY country style or with those hard humbucking solos you wont be dissapointed.
I wont go into the story of Greendale cos you can see that on NY's webpage,but you should spend some time reading the story line in the sleeve..its wacky but cool.
Any real fans of Neil CANNOT miss this album..its neil at his creative best..listen hard to "double e","bandit" and "be the rain","carmichael" and "be the rain" and you'll see what I fact theres not a dud on the whole album.
The acoustic live set takes a bit more effort but persevere and you'll see why Neil Young is still the best,most inovative musician around...he's just so fresh and...Young!
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on 27 December 2003
I have been a Neil Young fan for years. He`s produced some classics, Harvest, Goldrush, Zuma, Rust never sleeps,amongst others, and in fairness he`s done some dross. I left off buying Greendale because I wasn`t impressed with "Are you passionate", but what a gem I missed.
I can`t remember the last time I bought an album I instantly liked as much as this one.Crazy horse have provided me with the missing link in music, raw, electric distortion, and how I love this music. Go get it, it`s superb, already in my top ten classics along with Ragged Glory, Blood on the tracks and Highway 61. Neil Young is one of the chosen. Along with Dylan, he continues to write and re write the music bible. Who do we have without these two?
In essence, go and buy Greendale, it is destined to be a classic of our time, from the old warrior, a genuis of our time.
God bless you Neil. I look forward to the next album.
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on 7 April 2016
Firstly a slow burner but its musical delights and the story really surface after 2 or 3 listens. Story is based on small rural town life shaken up by a local cop's murder by a local boy. Make sure you read all the notes in the CD booklet - it really helps understand the story.
Musically not too diverse but gripping nonetheless and I really love the little stories (e,g the locals outrage at the Double L ranch being re-named the Double E by two strokes of paint !!).
Another masterpiece by the master.
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on 12 February 2014
Though a Neil Young and Crazy Horse fan, I was put off exploring this album when it came out given the reviews and the concept approach. That's ten years of my life not lived to the full! Great stuff.
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VINE VOICEon 19 August 2003
In the journey that is the vast canon of Neil Young's available recorded works (almost 40 years and counting) there have been some diversions down some pretty odd routes. This is as idiosyncratic as anything Young has performed in the past but has an endearing quality that some of his more diverse offerings have lacked in the past. The album consists of 10 numbers clocking in at 78 minutes, thanks to some loping Crazy Horse riffs that groove along unobstrusively as Young's lyrics unfold and tell the story of small town America with its secrets, normality, strangeness intermingled and the struggle for the average citizen to make sense of the modern world and its seemingly increasingly questionable "values".
This is isn't Neil's finest hour by any means and would not be a recommended starting point for new listeners to Young's output. Nevertheless, it is genuinely interesting and - in parts thought provoking. Fans will revel in the guitar work and sentiments expressed in the opening track "Falling From The Sky" and the almost 13 minute centrepiece of the album "Grandpa'a Interview", which deals with the very topical issue of media intrusion into ordinary people's lives.
The accompanying DVD is simply wonderful. 105 minutes of Neil live in Dublin on his solo acoustic tour earlier this year. This represented the first half of those shows where Young performed all the Greendale songs, interspersed with long rambling narrative. However, when you see him do it, it actually works as it gets you up close and personal with the performer's wry humour, passion and humanity. Enjoy!
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on 25 April 2004
When I first heard about this album, and how all the songs were sort of astory, I expected a very gimmicy album. However I was stunned when I heardthe fantastic songs; I cannot think of one I don't enjoy listening too.The album follows the story of the "Green" family, and the story is wellconstructed and you can really begin to feel for the characters,especially when one of them dies.
The album starts with "falling fromabove" to introduce the characters, and ends with the haunting "Be TheRain", easily one of Neil's most catchy songs, with it's green theme, itis eight minutes of sheer brilliance.
Greendale is well up there wishrust never sleeps and harvest well worth the money, and the bonus DVD ofGreendale live in dublin as an acoustic concert is absolute brilliance.Buy it, Buy it now
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