Don't spook the horse? Too late. Neil Young and one of the greatest garage-rock bands in history reunite on their first studio LP in nearly nine years on Americana, a charged set of familiar folk tunes and murder ballads brilliantly re-imagined by the tireless guitarist/provocateur and his able mates.
Young has never been predictable, and during a time when his adopted country is largely at a crossroads and dealing with issues related to economic disparity, political fallout, and social upheaval, the Canadian native upends everything on this salient statement, as contemporary as it is timeless. Long preoccupied with topics relating to freedom, justice, and common people, Young turns in what's one of his most salient and relevant reflections on these matters and more by turning to history and tradition.
Featuring standards such as "Oh Susannah," "Clementine," "God Save the Queen," and "Wayfarin' Stranger," the record takes aim at modern issues through the lens of tunes that were bonding agents and communal anthems in the past. Young and Crazy Horse assume a position that functions as a voice of America, speaking to a heritage while sounding alarm bells and wake-up calls to heed in our present. The collective performs Woody Guthrie's signature "This Land Is Your Land" with the original verses, restoring the song's biting verve and fearless intent.
Young's seriousness is reflected in the liner notes he penned to accompany each track. As always, the analog aficionado ensured optimal recording methods deliver stunningly lifelike dynamic sound on LP. Young, John Hanlon, and Mark Humphreys produced; John Hausmann, Jeff Pinn, and Hanlon engineered.
As a thematic bookend to Bruce Springsteen's recent Wrecking Ball, and yet another pertinent Young & Crazy Horse effort, Americana is a seminal collection that no music fan should be without.