Neil Young is back, and he has no plans of stopping anytime soon. At 64, the legendary rocker returns with Le Noise, his latest in a long line of adventurous records, this time produced by famed producer Daniel Lanois.
Le Noise is Young’s most intimate album to date. With no band, the 8-song album is stripped raw with just Young and his electro/acoustic guitar, taking music to a completely different level to bring one of the most emotionally compelling albums since Ragged Glory or 2000’s Silver & Gold. The match up between Young and Lanois proves to be more than successful. It’s “folk-metal” done right.
Young’s voice and heavily distorted guitar blend in perfectly eerie harmony to fill out a cloud of mystery with psychedelic echos. While “Walk With Me” and “Sign Of Love” start the album off with a lackluster approach to Young’s folk-metal, the album soon kicks into standout songs “Love and War,” Young’s protest song, and “Hitchhiker,” which dives intimately into Young’s long sorted history. They’re rounded out with “Angry World,” a dark yet relatively optimistic song with matching, rough guitar strings that picks up where the lyrics lay off.
Yet, Le Noise isn’t about the lyrics, it’s about the sound of a man who’s not ready to give up. A man who has overcome years of trials and tribulations yet always seems to find the silver lining and pushes himself, and his music, to new levels.