Album review: Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Psychedelic Pill

Young and his trusty steed return after nearly a decade with a sharp, epic double-album mixing brave new territory into their familiar rock.

After the summertime warm-up record that was Americana, Neil Young and his legendary band release this sprawling, epic double-disc album, recorded at the same time.

Their first ‘proper’ new material in nearly a decade finds Young lamenting the inefficacy of the ‘60s dream, bitter about MP3 sound quality and still transfixed, derailed even, by the beauty of the fairer sex.

His lyrics are less vital, less cogent than other records in his more recent prolific period, shoved into the back seat for guitar solos to take the wheel through the widescreen prairie and twisting, intense woodland of Crazy Horse’s sonic world.

The 27-minute Driftin’ Back opens the album, a sharply focused reverie that just doesn’t tire, squeezing fresh juice from the fruits of Buffalo Springfield, CSNY and Crazy Horse.

There’s breadth - Walk Like A Giant’s standard Crazy Horse trudge descends into a distortion-addled, Neanderthal swamp, while Ramada Inn is a beautiful 17-minute illumination of love’s eternal bond - and familiar but well-executed Young songs fill the remainder. A resolute success.

4 stars

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