Thursday, October 20, 2005

Neil Young - Prairie Wind (2005)

Neil Young's latest CD, Prairie Wind, could be named Harvest, Volume 3 and that would be just fine with me. It's tempo, mood, and execution are in the vein of both 1972's classic Harvest, and 1992's Harvest Moon. Fans of Young's quieter music will find Prairie Wind to their liking even though, as with most sequels, it doesn't, and can't possibly live up to its two wonderful predecessors.

Prairie Wind finds Young waxing nostalgic far more than one would expect from someone of his stature. We find him singing about Elvis Presley on "He Was The King" and about his recently deceased father on the title cut: "Trying to remember what my daddy said, before too much time took away his head. He said we're going back and I'll show you what I'm talking about, going back to Cypress River, back to the old farmhouse." They are the type of sentiments that ring true with fans but seldom with critics, and that may be why the press is giving Prairie Wind positive but not the stellar reviews it deserves.

In addition to Young's electric and acoustic guitars, as well as his harmonica, there are dobros, fiddles, a gospel chorus on "When God Made Me," and a tasteful horn section on three tracks.

Overall, this is the kind of music Neil Young does best and I'm happy he returned to its virtues once again. Three stars out of four.


  1. there's a review of "Neil Young Nation" that you might want to comment on:

  2. Nice review Charlie. Although I've always liked the majority of Neil Young's music, I can't escape the feeling that the primary motivation may be financial every time he "returns" to acoustic soft rock in the style of Harvest.