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Rance Garrison / Blog

Album Review: Neil Young--Le Noise

Here it is. I’m supposed to be writing a journal entry for my “Writing Your Life” class and the only thing I can think of the sound of Neil Young’s guitar, specifically from the song “Rumblin’” from his newest album, Le Noise, produced by my favorite producer of all time, Daniel Lanois. Lanois is great at crafting ingenious sounds capes to add texture and depth to any musician’s work, and the artists he has worked with range from Bob Dylan to U2, to Willie Nelson and Dashboard Confessional. Needless to say, anytime Lanois produces anything, I’m there. And come hell or high water, I’m there with Neil Young, too. I was first introduced by Neil Young’s music by my father, who used to play After the Goldrush and Rust Never Sleeps almost constantly as we rode in the Subaru he owned in the early 90’s. Young’s past few albums have disappointed me greatly. I’ve constantly gotten my hopes up over the past few years, hoping he’s reclaim some of his 1970s glory. Hell, I’d even settle for some of the 1990s glory. At least that decade gave birth to the strangely beautiful Sleeps With Angels and the Pearl Jam collaboration Mirror Ball. The current decade, though, has been less than stellar for Young. Instead of the great Young songs of yesteryear, we’ve gotten mediocre albums such as Are You Passionate? which was severely lacking in the passion department and the eco-driven rock opera, Greendale. Le Noise is definitely the best Young album in a long time, but don’t expect it to be mainstream. The entire album features Young solo on an electric guitar, with only Lanois’ electro-sounds capes to accompany him. There are only eight songs, and the album comes off as more of an EP-demo than a full fledged album. But if this is any indication of what Young and Lanois could do with the addition of a full band, then I only have to ask what the hell the two of them are waiting on. I’m really hoping that Lanois can do for young what he did for Dylan thirteen years ago: resuscitate a career that has long needed it.