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Neil Young announces new album


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The news that Neil Young has a complete album in the bag shocked all of us at JamBase. On the heels of his very successful 2005 release, Prairie Wind and with his award-winning documentary Neil Young: Heart of Gold in theatres now, no one saw this coming.

Filmmaker Jonathan Demme (who filmed Neil Young: Heart of Gold) recently sent an email stating; "Neil just finished writing and recording – with no warning – a new album called Life in War. It all happened in three days."

Young has long worked under the "strike while the iron is hot" mentality, often working in creative spurts and never forcing it. Well, it seems the iron must have been burning bright for him to create a complete album in three days!

As Katherine Silkaitis at Harp reported, Demme went on to say, "It is a brilliant electric assault, accompanied by a 100-voice choir, on Bush and the war in Iraq... Truly mind blowing. Will be in stores soon."

Details are sketchy at best, but the featured song, "Impeach the President" contains Bush's voice accompanied by a choir chanting "flip/flop."

Stay tuned as JamBase will be sure to report as details unfold.


http://www.jambase.com/headsup.asp?storyID=8330


And also...

"Yesterday, I had the most incredible musical experience of my life.

Have you, like me, been recalling the great protest songs of the sixties, and wondered where the new protest songs are?

Yesterday, I found out.

On Wednesday, I was at work when I got a call for a Neil Young session the next day. Needless to say, I was excited about it - Neil Young is one of my musical heroes. When my husband and I got to Capitol, we found 98 other singers, a collection of L.A.'s finest. All I knew was that we were singing on a new Neil Young record, but when the lyrics we were supposed to sing flashed on the giant screen, a roar went up from the choir. I'm not going to give the whole thing away, but the first line of one of the songs was "Let's impeach the President for lyin'!" Turns out the whole thing is a classic beautiful protest record. The session was like being at a 12-hour peace rally. Every time new lyrics would come up on the screen, there were cheers, tears and applause. It was a spiritual experience. I can't believe my good fortune at being a part of this.

It was also recorded on analog in the A room at Capitol Records, which they're talking about selling and turning into condos. No ProTools, no 'flying in', no Auto-Tune. Just real singing, and real songs, from a real artist. And to hire a hundred live singers? Incredible.

I got a chance to talk with Neil for a minute, and I told him that every word of every song expressed what I've been screaming about since 2000. I've never been at a recording session that was more like being at church. Heck, I've never been to a church that was more like a church than that session. We stood up for 12 hours (except for lunch and dinner) and I got a massive headache by the end, but I didn't care. It was worth the price of admission. We finished the session by singing an a capella version of "America the Beautiful" and there was not a dry eye in the house.

If I do nothing else for the rest of my life, I can say I was on that record. Whether it sells or not, it's the truth, and I got to be a part of that. What an honor; what a privilege.

Neil said it should be out in 6 to 8 weeks. I hope all of you get a chance to hear it."

from
http://lastleftb4hooterville.blogspot.com/


Looks interesting. And so soon after Prairie Wind.

Who else can't wait?
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It´s name will be Living With War, he said on his homepage. Besides the title song one song will be called "Impeach The President" and one "Flags Of Freedom", if I understood a Neil fanpage right.

Ouh damn, very exciting.
As I read three days I had to think of Broken Arrow (sounds like it was recorded in one day wink.gif and maybe is - sorry, I don´t know much about Neil, I just like his music), but the 100 singers need a clean recorded sound, I think. cool.gif
I hope there will be a tour, too ...
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I'm psyched, as always, when Neil puts out something new. (The guy never stops; this will be his fifth studio album this decade. Heck, Prairie Wind was released just last September!)

I am a little worried about his seeming obsession with spontaneity. I know that's always been his thing -- write the songs in one burst of energy, record 'em immediately, keep the first take, release the album -- and you can't really quibble with the results as a whole. BUT, he seems to be carrying his quest for spontaneity to new extremes, and at the same time his songwriting has been getting less sharp (esp. in the lyrics department). Part of me wishes he would do what he sometimes used to do -- hit the road with his new songs and THEN record them, once he figures out what works and what doesn't. [For example, "Greendale" would have been amazing if he had recorded it after the tour . . . or simply made it a live album like Rust Never Sleeps or Time Fades Away. Instead, he recorded the first draft and improved the songs in concert.]

That said, every time I think Neil's losing it, he comes out with something amazing. (But it has been a while, hasn't it?)

I wonder if he will tour to support this one. The odds are always about 50/50; it's equally likely that the tour (if there is one) will be to play songs from the NEXT album.... I love that guy.
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QUOTE(Lonely Pilgrim @ Apr 17 2006, 04:27 PM) [snapback]1021471[/snapback]

he comes out with something amazing. (But it has been a while, hasn't it?)


What do you mean, "something amazing has been a while"?
Well, "Prairie Wind" as a whole album was not really something amazing (but really great to hear a record like this in the time full of pop barbies and mainstream, I like it really), but amazing songs on it were "It´s A Dream" and "Here For You". The next album I can mention is Broken Arrow (as I said, I´m not a real big Neil fan, so I don´t have all the records), again; a good record but not "something amazing", good songs on there: Big Time (great line: "I´m still living the dreams we had")and Slip Away for example - all in all the record is like one big (bad recorded wink.gif ) dream.

What I want to say: He releases still great records, has he always anyway, but it´s not "something amazing" and wasn´t in the early years, too (but I really LOVE the "Rust Never Sleeps"-concert and one or another record).

P.S.: Nice to chat to someone "Lonely", too. wink.gif
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QUOTE(Lonely-Valentine @ Apr 17 2006, 02:41 PM) [snapback]1021488[/snapback]

What do you mean, "something amazing has been a while"?
Well, "Prairie Wind" as a whole album was not really something amazing (but really great to hear a record like this in the time full of pop barbies and mainstream, I like it really), but amazing songs on it were "It´s A Dream" and "Here For You". The next album I can mention is Broken Arrow (as I said, I´m not a real big Neil fan, so I don´t have all the records), again; a good record but not "something amazing", good songs on there: Big Time (great line: "I´m still living the dreams we had")and Slip Away for example - all in all the record is like one big (bad recorded wink.gif ) dream.

What I want to say: He releases still great records, has he always anyway, but it´s not "something amazing" and wasn´t in the early years, too (but I really LOVE the "Rust Never Sleeps"-concert and one or another record).

P.S.: Nice to chat to someone "Lonely", too. wink.gif

I wasn't knocking Neil -- believe me, I absolutely love the guy and know all of his albums inside and out. By "something amazing," I mean something beyond the okay-to-good albums that he has been releasing since "Sleeps With Angels" in '94. Ever since then, I've liked most of his albums (except "Are You Passionate," which I thought was horrible), but I haven't been blown away by any of them. To be sure, he's put out some wonderful songs over that time ("Truth Be Known," "Big Time," "Distant Camera," "Bandit," "It's a Dream," to name a few), but each album has its share of clunkers or underwritten songs.

I guess I'm waiting for the next "Freedom" or "Ragged Glory." (I don't mean an album that sounds like those; I just mean an album that is unbelievably great from beginning to end.) I know he has another great one in him..... He's done it so many times in the past, and often right when people start to wonder about him.
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QUOTE(Lonely Pilgrim @ Apr 17 2006, 05:41 PM) [snapback]1021573[/snapback]

I wasn't knocking Neil -- believe me, I absolutely love the guy and know all of his albums inside and out. By "something amazing," I mean something beyond the okay-to-good albums that he has been releasing since "Sleeps With Angels" in '94. Ever since then, I've liked most of his albums (except "Are You Passionate," which I thought was horrible), but I haven't been blown away by any of them. To be sure, he's put out some wonderful songs over that time ("Truth Be Known," "Big Time," "Distant Camera," "Bandit," "It's a Dream," to name a few), but each album has its share of clunkers or underwritten songs.

I guess I'm waiting for the next "Freedom" or "Ragged Glory." (I don't mean an album that sounds like those; I just mean an album that is unbelievably great from beginning to end.) I know he has another great one in him..... He's done it so many times in the past, and often right when people start to wonder about him.


Alright, I know what you mean.

Keep on rockin´. cool.gif
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QUOTE(Kooly @ Apr 17 2006, 08:27 PM) [snapback]1021937[/snapback]

In my opinion, Greendale is a masterpiece. Especially in conjunction with the movie.

I have mixed feelings about Greendale. I think the song cycle is great, and I absolutely LOVED the tour -- I had seen two shows before the album came out, and I remember thinking that it was going to be the masterpiece I was waiting for. I was really disappointed by the album itself. The songs are good, but they sound like tossed-together demos, and were devoid of all the power that the live arrangements had. For example, I thought Bandit done solo was exceptional; the "band" version on the record was only half as powerful. And that HUGE (30-person) chorus in "Be the Rain" just made that song for me; on the record, it's just Poncho and Pegi, and it sounds slight. Also, the long instrumental passages, which were powerful live, were kind of lifeless and meandering at times on the record. I guess I wish he had simply waited until the tour was a month old, recorded one or two shows, and released the product of those recordings, Rust Never Sleeps style. As it was, I was so disappointed in the Greendale album --- the curse of high expectations, I suppose.

And I can never be convinced about Are You Passionate, but that's all IMHO, of course....
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As rumored, Neil's hitting the road with CSN. It will be the fifth CSNY tour -- and the third in the last six years. It's called the "Freedom of Speech" tour, and here are the dates:

July 6 – Camden, NJ (Tweeter Center at the Waterfront)
July 8 – Ottawa, ON (Scotiabank Place)
July 10 – Toronto, ON (Air Canada Centre)
July 14 – Winnipeg, MB (MTS Centre)
July 15 – Minneapolis, MN (TBA)
July 17 – Morrison, CO (Red Rocks Amphitheatre)
July 20 – Phoenix, AZ (Cricket Pavilion)
July 23 – Fresno, CA (Save Mart Center)
July 25 – Concord, CA (Chronicle Pavilion at Concord)
July 27 – Auburn, WA (White River Amphitheatre)
July 28 – Ridgefield, WA (Amphitheatre at Clark County)
July 30 – Irvine, CA (Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre)
July 31 – Los Angeles, CA (Hollywood Bowl)
August 8 – West Palm Beach, FL (Sound Advice Amphitheatre)
August 10 – Atlanta, GA (Philips Arena)
August 12 – Bristow, VA (Nissan Pavilion)
August 15 – Uncasville, CT (Mohegan Sun Casino)
August 16 – Mansfield, MA (Tweeter Center)
August 19 – Saratoga Springs, NY (Saratoga Performing Arts Center)
August 20 – Holmdel, NJ (PNC Bank Arts Center)
August 22 – Wantagh, NY (Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre)
August 25 – Hershey, PA (Hersheypark Stadium)
August 29 – Columbus, OH (Germain Amphitheater)
August 31 – Auburn Hills, MI (Palace of Auburn Hills)
September 2 – Noblesville, IN (Verizon Wireless Music Center)
September 3 – Tinley Park, IL (First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre)
September 6 – Milwaukee, WI (Marcus Amphitheatre)
September 7 – Maryland Heights, MO (UMB Bank Pavilion)
September 10 – Burgettstown, PA (Post-Gazette Pavilion at Star Lake)
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QUOTE(Lonely-Valentine @ Apr 28 2006, 08:03 PM) [snapback]1030288[/snapback]

It sounds very interesting, doesn´t it?
What do you think about it, Lonely Pilgrim?
The whole thing reminds me partly very much of Broken Arrow.

Living With War, the song sounds beautiful ...

I'm loving it so far, and agree that the song "Living with War" is a definite highlight. Musically, it's a lot like Mirror Ball -- the last hard rock album he did without Crazy Horse. (It's a little like Freedom too -- another non-Crazy Horse rock album). Great melodies. I really like the choir. AND, the lyrics, which look awkward and simplistic when written on a page, really come to life in the context of the songs.

I'll need to listen to this a few more times, but I think it's the best thing he's done in more than a decade.

What do you think of it?
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QUOTE(Lonely Pilgrim @ Apr 28 2006, 03:29 PM) [snapback]1030055[/snapback]

The new album is being streamed HERE.


Thanks for the link! I'm listening it right now, sounds good so far.
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QUOTE(Lonely Pilgrim @ Apr 28 2006, 10:11 PM) [snapback]1030294[/snapback]

What do you think of it?


Well, I´ll give it to you song by song:


1. After The Garden: I don´t wanna mention it too often, but this one reminds me really of something on Broken Arrow, but a great, great opener - the chorus goes straight into my ear ... but not out. wink.gif Nice chorus. 4/5

2. Living With War: Wonderful, excellent! Great "riff" of the trumpet! Has all the things a song has to have to be a classic. I like the song really much ... 5/5

3. Restless Consumer: Good song, not my favourite on this record, but a good constant song. 2,5/5

4. Shock & Awe: An agressive song and one of my faves on this record. His voice is nice here. 4,5/5

5. Families: Fits good to the rest. 3/4

6. Flags Of Freedom: Nice harp solo, cool idea to add a harp to a rough rock song like this. 3,5/5

7. Let´s Impeach The President: Definitely a (maybe THE) centric piece of the whole record. "Let´s impeach the president for lying" - he says directly what he wanna express. In the middle of the song there is a speech of Bush and they all sing "flip - flop". I´m German, so maybe that´s a slang term I don´t understand? What does it mean to say "flip - flop" in the context of a speech of someone you don´t like?! Maybe something like "blablabla, talk what you want, I´m not listening and you lie anyway"?

8. Looking For A Leader: Nice song, nothing special like "Restless Consumer", but fits again nicely into the rest of the material. 2.5/5

9. Roger & Out: Good, slow rock ballad. Nice harmonies. 3/5

10. America The Beautiful: For me that´s not a whole song, that´s just something like an outro, a melodie, a harmonie, a "glorious end".


All in all I have to say that the songs base on excellent song-ideas. He was very productive in only a few days and well, this is the result of a few days and seriously, that´s a stunning result!
By the way: To add to a few of these rock songs a trumpet is really fabulous ...


Do you share my opinion, Lonely-Pilgrim?
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flip-flop means something like "jemand dreht sich ein Blatt im wind". like when someone keeps changing their mind, if you listen to the audio bites of Bush in that song, you will see that is what it is all about, it is not a speech, it is audio of him contradicting himself....

I've been listening to the new record over and over and some of the songs you lo-rated, I wouldn't have, but to each his own.
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QUOTE(treechrist66 @ Apr 29 2006, 12:57 PM) [snapback]1030677[/snapback]

flip-flop means something like "jemand dreht sich ein Blatt im wind". like when someone keeps changing their mind, if you listen to the audio bites of Bush in that song, you will see that is what it is all about, it is not a speech, it is audio of him contradicting himself....


Ahhhhh, *click*. Thank you very, very much for the explanation.

QUOTE(treechrist66 @ Apr 29 2006, 12:57 PM) [snapback]1030677[/snapback]
I've been listening to the new record over and over and some of the songs you lo-rated, I wouldn't have, but to each his own.


I´ve recognized the same thing with the new Springsteen record (I like We Shall Overcome & Froggie very much, but there are so many with another opinion), but hey, it would be boring if everybody likes the same song. wink.gif

Bytheway: I´m listening to Comes A Time from the Rust Never Sleeps concert - such beautiful and timeless music, wonderful ...
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I just downloaded the Neil Young Encores 3 disc collection from the solo euro greendale tour.......great great stuff.......don't be denied!
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QUOTE(Lonely-Valentine @ Apr 29 2006, 10:45 AM) [snapback]1030672[/snapback]

QUOTE(Lonely Pilgrim @ Apr 28 2006, 10:11 PM) [snapback]1030294[/snapback]

What do you think of it?


Well, I´ll give it to you song by song:


1. After The Garden: I don´t wanna mention it too often, but this one reminds me really of something on Broken Arrow, but a great, great opener - the chorus goes straight into my ear ... but not out. wink.gif Nice chorus. 4/5

2. Living With War: Wonderful, excellent! Great "riff" of the trumpet! Has all the things a song has to have to be a classic. I like the song really much ... 5/5

3. Restless Consumer: Good song, not my favourite on this record, but a good constant song. 2,5/5

4. Shock & Awe: An agressive song and one of my faves on this record. His voice is nice here. 4,5/5

5. Families: Fits good to the rest. 3/4

6. Flags Of Freedom: Nice harp solo, cool idea to add a harp to a rough rock song like this. 3,5/5

7. Let´s Impeach The President: Definitely a (maybe THE) centric piece of the whole record. "Let´s impeach the president for lying" - he says directly what he wanna express. In the middle of the song there is a speech of Bush and they all sing "flip - flop". I´m German, so maybe that´s a slang term I don´t understand? What does it mean to say "flip - flop" in the context of a speech of someone you don´t like?! Maybe something like "blablabla, talk what you want, I´m not listening and you lie anyway"?

8. Looking For A Leader: Nice song, nothing special like "Restless Consumer", but fits again nicely into the rest of the material. 2.5/5

9. Roger & Out: Good, slow rock ballad. Nice harmonies. 3/5

10. America The Beautiful: For me that´s not a whole song, that´s just something like an outro, a melodie, a harmonie, a "glorious end".


All in all I have to say that the songs base on excellent song-ideas. He was very productive in only a few days and well, this is the result of a few days and seriously, that´s a stunning result!
By the way: To add to a few of these rock songs a trumpet is really fabulous ...


Do you share my opinion, Lonely-Pilgrim?

I pretty much agree, Lonely Valentine. I've now listened to this thing about 10 times, and I love it. Now, I admit that, after reading the lyrics, I was pretty worried that this would be another one of his "near misses" at best (and one of his half-baked and half-finished genre experiments at worst). Don't get me wrong; I agree with the sentiments expressed in the lyrics, but they seemed kind of artless and awkward, and that's been his problem for a while -- his lyrics. His heart's in the right place, but I must admit I miss some of the more evocative lyrics from the earlier days (I'm thinking about stuff like "Thrasher" or "Powderfinger"; heck, even more overtly political songs like "Rockin' in the Free World" left something open for interpretation. These songs don't.)

Now that I've really listened to the album several times, my concerns about the lyrics have fallen away, largely because the music is so darn powerful; heck, it's so good that it brings the lyrics to life (which is why reading rock lyrics on the page rather than in the context of the music is often a dangerous game -- even Bruce's lyrics can look kind of ridiculous if read as poetry.) The first seven songs are each really strong; only "Lookin' for a Leader" and "Roger and Out" haven't really moved me. But the rest of it . . . fantastic. I love the trumpet. I love the choir. I love that he's using Old Black -- the guitar that gives him that chunky, heavy sound that evokes Broken Arrow (although I still think that, musically, this album is much more like Freedom or Mirror Ball).

"In the Garden," "Restless Consumer" and "Families" are all up there with the best Neil songs of the last decade. "Living with War" may be even better; that song really grabbed me. "Let's Impeach the President" does what it sets out to do; the "flip-flop" section, with the Bush quotes juxtaposed against each other, was very effective -- it doesn't tell us anything we didn't already know (and this is true of the whole album, really), but it works. And "Flags of Freedom" is clever -- it's an obvious tribute to Dylan's "Chimes of Freedom." In fact, it borrows the same melody and mentions Dylan by name. Very cool.

It will be interesting to see if this album causes any stir at all. It's so simple and direct, and yet there's a real ambivalence in Neil's words. "Families" alone proves that, as does the fact that he ends with an absolutely straight reading of "America the Beautiful." It's such an unusual album for a mainstream rock artist to make; it's a lot like Greendale, in the sense that the songs aren't really meant to be standalone songs, but really portions of one big song. (As with Greendale, I can't imagine Neil playing any of these songs 10 years from now. But that's not his purpose; he seems to want to make a record as immediate and as disposable as a newspaper, or as a pamphlet that someone hands you as you are walking down the street or about to get on a subway. He has a point to make, he wants you to hear it and think about it for a few minutes, and he knows we'll all then move on. In those terms, it's an unqualified success).

Again, I think it's his best since the mid-1990s. I'm thrilled by it.
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QUOTE(Lonely Pilgrim @ Apr 30 2006, 07:24 AM) [snapback]1031126[/snapback]

I pretty much agree, Lonely Valentine. I've now listened to this thing about 10 times, and I love it. Now, I admit that, after reading the lyrics, I was pretty worried that this would be another one of his "near misses" at best (and one of his half-baked and half-finished genre experiments at worst). Don't get me wrong; I agree with the sentiments expressed in the lyrics, but they seemed kind of artless and awkward, and that's been his problem for a while -- his lyrics. His heart's in the right place, but I must admit I miss some of the more evocative lyrics from the earlier days (I'm thinking about stuff like "Thrasher" or "Powderfinger"; heck, even more overtly political songs like "Rockin' in the Free World" left something open for interpretation. These songs don't.)


Yes, I really know what you mean. Some of the lyrics are maybe too direct, but I can´t explain it like you can. But the lyrics of Living With War are outstanding.

Will you attend one of the upcoming CSNY shows? Do you live in the states?
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