Simply immaculate. Another masterpiece from Neil Young,
This review is from: On the Beach (Audio CD)
On the Beach is the fourth album I've listened to from Neil Young. Prior the this listening, I'd laid ear to the commercially successful Harvest, Everybody knows this is Nowhere and my personal favourite After the Gold Rush.
I'd read a lot about Neil Young's state of mind during the recordings of On the Beach, and as such I was prepared for something unsettling and depressing. My first listen, however, gave me another impression. At first it seems pretty light. Especially the opener sets an easy mood, and the immediate impression was that the album title seems fittingly enough.
After a few listens, my first impression was put to ground, and the many reports I'd read about it seemed truer and truer. Just take a listen to the last 3 tracks on the record (one of the greatest trio's of songs ever made).
The album is mostly very mellow and, in a way, weighty (On the Beach, Motion Pictures, Ambulance Blues) but also raw and aggressive (Revolution Blues, For the Turnstiles, Vampire Blues), and you get the idea that the opener is actually a diversion of sorts. A diversion to lull you into a calm state of mind to suddenly imprint a state of ambivalence instead.
As a lasting final note I'll recommend you all to give the album-closer, Ambulance Blues, a listen. If you put the fact that it is the singular greatest song of an immaculate album aside, it is also the greatest indicator of the kind of album it is. It's hard to point towards a single feeling, since it is the overall atmosphere of the album that makes it worth your money.
Of the 4 Young-albums I've heard this is my favourite, by far. After the Gold Rush was a great collection of songs. On the Beach is a thing on its own, something else, something completely atmospheric.
From start to end, this is one of the most pleasant listens I've ever lended my ears!