Neil Young

Living With War

Neil Young figured some young punks would get around to it, but after a couple years waiting, decided to do it himself. What he had in mind was an echo of classic '60s protest songwriting to deal with the current US politcal/war situation: Direct, confrontational, and to the point. Few hidden metaphors or clever double meanings.

You'll either love it or leave it.

Living With War bristles with Young's recurring power-trio sound brought to bear on Zuma, Ragged Glory, and others. Sparks are flying everywhere, and there is no doubt all involved were on fire as the hard disc spun. Drummer Chad Cromwell beats his set like there's no tommorow, which is exactly the message in opener "After the Garden." "Won't need no haircut," sings Young, "Won't need no shoe shine, after the garden is gone."

As of the time this was written, the album is only availble as an audio stream. As such, it sounds fine on my powered desktop system. I took the laptop over to the main audio rig and, no surprise, the sonic limitations are more obvious. However, the intended power and dynamics squeeze through in ample measure, and only whets my appetite for the disc release in early May.

John Atkinson's picture

Nice piece'o writing, Jon. Stephen was playing this album, via streaming audio, all day in the office yesterday, BTW.

Monty's picture

Regardless of the political message, giving this recording more than 1 star for sonics would be putting lipstick on a pig. It sounds like Neil Young and liking it on that basis is understandable. But, this disc isn't about quality of effort on the recording front. Donald Fagan's, Mary Shut The Garden Door, off of his latest release, Morph The Cat, has the political rant with the sonics and devotion to quality to go with it.