ALBUM OF WEEK 25: AMERICANA

Early this year, there were some rumors related to Neil Young and a 2012 Summer European Tour, which were quickly silenced with the confirmation of an upcoming album, the 34th of the artist, with the collaboration of the band Crazy Horse.

This was great news for two reasons, on one hand, I’m always glad the Canadian keeps on recording, no matter the results are. I have to admit I’ve never got hooked to Le Noise, but I love Chrome Dreams II and Fork in the Road. And second, after many many years recording solo, he gathered Crazy Horse for a new album, which hopefully in the future will imply a world tour together.

After so many years Young is still capable of shocking the world with his projects, this time recovering Traditional American folk standards, songs supposedly learn from kindergarten, by emphasizing the true message of each of them, death and struggle, hidden in dark verses almost reduced to none, remaining much lighter versions of them. The painful birth of a nation everybody is aware of, but seems that it’s necessary some kind of reminder and Young decides to go on with such task.

Let’s imagine for a moment, you’re Ralph Molina, Billy Talbot or Poncho Sampedro and receive a phone call from Young, summoning you up for playing and recording after so many years, and once you’re there he explains what he’s got in mind. The picture I have in mind is these people with a huge WTF expression in their faces, but also think it’s hard to say NO to a genius, thus, the picture goes one with these musicians nodding and occupying their positions ready to play.

The truth is that they got it, they got this chemistry together, which makes that whatever they play, turns into something cool. Or at least that’s what I think. I like Americana, all these standards adapted to a style and rough sound, as if they had been written by Young himself, providing them of an entity and a genuine flavor, which is what makes Young kind of King Midas, in a good sense.

Americana’s sound is rough, inaccurate, and messy…but on the other hand, I think the lack of production and amendments with hundreds of layers, help this album to be more honest and straight to the listener. Length of songs might seem too extended, but it makes sense as to develop those so typical guitar solos of Young. It’s not a live album, yet  it reminds of one.

Let’s say, either you love Americana or you hate it, there’s no grey scale to be applied here. Probably I’m not objective anymore, that’s why I like it despite its mistakes, and rhythm fails. Now I only want Neil Young & Crazy Horse to visit Europe on tour, something that apparently will happen by the end of the year or early 2013. Can’t wait!

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