Saturday, June 9, 2012

Reviews- Neil Young/ Americana and Joe Walsh/ Analog Man

Neil Young With Crazy Horse/ Americana (Reprise, 2012)
Let's give credit where credit is due: Neil Young could have just slapped some lyrics on these arrangements of traditional folk songs and passed them off as originals, and no one would have been any the wiser. Instead, he and the reconstituted Crazy Horse stretch, massage, and strangle these 19th and 20th century traditional folk songs into living, breathing works that require an honest look here in 2012.
How many people would honestly give Jesus' Chariot (She'll Be Comin' Around The Mountain) a listen otherwise? I know that I have sat down with the lyrics to these songs, something that I have never done even though we've all heard them countless times before.
Gallows Pole is frickin' incredible, sounding like Neil Young and Crazy Horse crash landed in a 19th century shanty town and set up their instruments to play for the downtrodden. Unbelievable. Oh Susana is super catchy, and again, Neil could've slapped some of his own lyrics on here and completely fooled everyone into thinking it was a new song. Get A Job is another Back to the Future moment, sounding like Crazy Horse crash landed in the '50s. I love this album. 

Joe Walsh/ Analog Man (Fantasy, 2012)
Welcome back, Joe! Analog Man, which ironically was recorded digitally, is a great album. It clocks in at 36:36, a tad short for such a long wait. Still, I am of the mindset that I'd rather have shorter album without an ounce of filler than an 80 minute opus filled with lackluster tunes. Every song on this album is good, hitting every style that Joe has dabbled in over the years. There are those moments that sounds familiar, and you're like Oh yeah, this sounds like Joe Walsh. He has made no effort whatsoever to fit into any modern marketing demographic. You won't see this on the counter at Starbucks...but maybe you should. There is only one song, India, which sounds like it was made this century.
This may be his most honest album, lyrically speaking. Analog Man is hilarious, pure vintage Joe with his sense of humor intact. Some of the lyrics show Joe as older, wiser, and, dare I say it, spiritual. They're not overly preachy or anything, but Joe does seem to acknowledge his higher power a few times, only this time it ain't his homegrown.
Funk 50 is the third in a series, with Funk #49 being one of The James Gang's signature tunes. This drum beat on this borders on hip-hop, but leans closer to funk. I bought the standard consumer edition of the CD and got gypped out of two bonus tracks. Sonofabitch! I didn't want the frickin' DVD, man! Shenanigans!
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