Protest Around The Campfire
Neil Young makes a forceful comeback with backing band Crazy Horse (Billy Talbot, Ralph Molina, Poncho Sampedro, and Neil Young); their first full album back together since 1996’s Broken Arrow. But after 32 studio records, don’t set your expectations on hearing any new music from Young. Americana is filled with 11 nostalgic tracks of some semi-recent childhood past. There’s an undeniable factor that these garage rock reinterpretations of well-worn classic American folk songs will bring you back to your boy scout campfire days, this time with a lot more edge.
Immediately diving into Americana is elementary school favorite, “Oh! Susannah” showcasing Young’s raw and sharp guitar in the not-so-innocent sounding musical version of the Stephen Foster classic. The lyrically depressing “Clementine” gets a rock makeover with grungy guitars and gritty rifts, while fully ending the album on two patriotic notes with “This Land is Your Land,” and “God Save The Queen”; tying together emotions that still resonate to this day and, of course, ending on a slightly sarcastic note.
Young beautifully strings together the raw fabric of Americana past with the rebellion on which we’re founded. Sure, after nine years, it would be nice to hear something new and original from Neil Young & Crazy Horse, but Americana will hopefully be the new folk classics we can all jam around the campfire.