Neil Young - Silver And Gold

Amid rumours of a Buffalo Springfield renunion and around the time of a genuine Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young reunion, comes a new solo Neil Young record. It nods to his past, it makes absolutely no bones about being new or fashionable. It's just a bunch of mostly acoustic Neil Young songs. And so, a couple of unassuming classics decorate the first half of the album. The title track indicates that nobody can sing the word 'gold' quite like Neil Young. Indeed, this is the kind of song that should have appeared on Harvest Moon, but didn't. The opening track is in a similar vein, it's such a simple song, has such simple melodies and playing. This is Neil forgetting about Grunge, forgetting about his 90s revival. This is just such a sweet little song! Then, we get some kids thing that is for nobody but Neil and his private life, I should think. Yeah, 'Daddy Went Walkin' leads into 'Buffalo Springfield Again', an obvious autobiographical nod towards his former group. And, delightful! I make no bones about not being grammatical. I make no bones about enjoying this little unassuming record, but. Of my opinion, and some people are in accord with me, this record is a little too mellow and unambitious and forgettable to rank alongside the really good Neil Young records.

And as such, the second half of the album is simply dreary. It goes down to 'Harvest' territory but without the ambition or conviction. We've got the little acoustic bits, the little piano bits. We've got a song such as 'Horseshoe Man' which starts out so delicately and wonderfully straight, yet never gains anything. There is no detail, no shading. It remains something just a little on the wrong side of dull. Still, the best songs here are good enough and the rest is listenable. It will do for now.

Good To See You / Silver & Gold / Daddy Went Walkin / Buffalo Springfield Again / The Great Divide / Horseshoe Man / Red Sun / Distant Camera / Razor Love / Without Rings

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