Album Releases by dr. Uncut - The Best Albums Of by year-end. A New Day For Love. Wolf Moon. Big Box. Workin' Man. Rules Of Change. Monsanto Years. If I Don't Know. Reprise Records. Sell This Version. Reprise Records , Warner Music Group. Warner Music Japan. Where he often railed against war, here the purported target is the agricultural company Monsanto, a firm that, among other things, specializes in genetically modified crops, but Young uses that as a pivot to rage against all manner of modern outrages.
Apathy among the populace, avarice among corporations, and cultural homogenization provide the throughline on The Monsanto Years , and while the weathered hippie takes some time to lay down his electric guitar and breathe, this isn't a mournful album like Living with War , his W -era missive. This is a raging record and to that end, Young hired the Promise of the Real, a ragtag outfit led by Willie Nelson 's guitarist son Lukas , to approximate Crazy Horse 's lop-legged lumber.
Usually it works: the group roars not with righteousness but with their own glee at making noise. Plus, the Promise of the Real is adept at the softer side, too, so they ably follow Young , laying down the electric and harmonizing in a fashion reminiscent of an unwashed CSN. Young is blessed with a younger, wilier version of his old compadres and that suits his tunes, which feel comfortable yet have a bite. Young uses his sturdy footing to lash out at what he perceives as destructive forces -- to our dinner tables and social fabric -- and if the individual message may wind up fading like yesterday's newspapers, the music will keep The Monsanto Years burning bright.
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July Learn how and when to remove this template message. Neil Young. I find the Promise of the Real to be a quality garage band - better musically than Crazy Horse really I see this whole Monsanto Years excursion as based on his new life with Darryl, and as a reach out to the Millenials with the Nelson brothers and Promise of the Real. I love the dirge that is the title track building up to a classic crescendo , and Rock Star Bucks a Coffee Shop is a very catchy ditty that you can tell is angling, indeed craving, for broader popularity.
Can't wait to hear the rest of it - but when I watch the video of Neil jamming with POTR on Down by the River I can only think - well, if I'm doing anything remotely like this when I'm pushing 70, then I've got it made!
I've heard of Monsanto, but can someone please tell me who or what Monsaaaaahntow is? I know Neil's always had fairly "unique" phrasing, but this just sounds so off. Thanks for the shout-out, Thrasher. Thanks to all for responses. To clarify on a couple of points, Neil Young's music is inspired by his life.
All I'm saying is that I don't prefer a strictly biographical approach to criticism. We who've read Shakey, Waging Heavy Peace, know something of the stories behind the songs, but I'd argue that just the fact that this stuff happened to him isn't what makes it compelling.
It's that sometimes the same things have happened to us, and we can relate, albeit each in his or her own way, to the thoughts and feelings he's relaying in his words and music. For me at any rate, it's not the biographical minutia that bring the pleasure. On the Beach is a great example: do I need to know what was going on in the writer's life to grasp the human truth s? I just think it's a pity to look at Storytone only as the "Daryl" album. You could be missing something beautiful because you're caught up in something that you can't control.
I'd like to think that Plastic Flowers" and Tumbleweed, two of my favorites, would resonate with me just as much were I completely unaware of the circumstances in the artist's life that inspired the songs at the more concrete level. Even if there are specific experiences without which he wouldn't have written those songs, we don't have to share in those precise experiences to understand and appreciate them.
It seems limiting of scope to evaluate an artist's work purely within a biographical frame of reference. A great deal of what is interesting or compelling in the work of an artist like Neil Young, is the same basic material we can find in our own lives.
As Neil said, "I'm not different from anyone else". I know that Bruce Berry was a roadie and friend of Neil Young, but it's not as though "Tonight's the Night" should mean zilch to me if I didn't know that. As to whether Neil is getting more topical, he clearly is deeply passionate about environmental causes and has been singing about that for some time Here we are in the Years, After the Goldrush, Natural Anthem.
Since the advent of global climate change in our cultural consciousness, there has been a new movement in which he seems to have grown steadily more immersed. On the whole, Neil's been carrying on a legacy of social consciousness and outspokenness since the days of CSNY and even before, so there's no sea change in regards to his political involvement as far as I can see.
Moreover, his last few albums have been largely inward-gazing. Storytone had one overtly political song, and apart from that was much more about love and relationships.
A Letter Home was deeply personal with limited commentary. Psychedelic Pill is another largely people-focused album the only embedded social commentary seems to be on mp3s. Even Americana is not a protest record. I'd argue that Fork in the Road was the last album with a mainly political trajectory, and before that Living with War and Greendale.
So it's really been a while since we've had an album that was topical or focused on direct commentary on issues in our society. It's also worth noting that in between Psychedelic Pill and Storytone, we had two years without an album of original songs, which again, makes his recent spirt of activity seem to make more sense: two years, by NY standards, is a long time for things to build up.
Unknown - great quote by critic Piero Scaruffi. Yes, it sums up Neil pretty well. We've read his full analysis of Neil's career and must say it was pretty definitive when it was written back in the 90's or so.
Need to revisit it sometime. Babbo B. For most of Neil's songs if not all of them , his personal life is embedded in his music. Not expecting a change going forward. And if the guy is now happy and the music is not as good, isn't that OK? Wouldn't you hope for him to be happy at this stage of his life? Also, you really think this is for publicity?? That would be a change but we're not buying it.
It's too late for him to sell out as he's admitted. And nice to hear you're humming along Now better musically than Crazy Horse? Let's have a tour or 2 1st before having that discussion. Ian - And thank you again for the original comment and this followup. And good to see you again.Aug 14, · View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the Vinyl release of The Monsanto Years on Discogs/5(6).