Psychedelic Pill – Neil Young’s second album since reuniting with Crazy Horse earlier this year – is his most eagerly anticipated new recording in years, if not decades. The reasons for this are, of course, obvious. It’s a new recording of original material from Neil Young & Crazy Horse already.
The good news is that this is also Neil Young’s best album – Crazy Horse or otherwise – in a good long while.
One of the things that makes Neil Young, well, “Neil Young,” is the way that he has steadfastly – some would say stubbornly – followed his artistic muse over the course of his long and legendary career. But it has also just as often as not, alienated bandmates (including those in Crazy Horse); frustrated fans; and at one point, even caused his own label to sue him for failing to make “Neil Young” records.
The thing is, Neil Young always manages to find his way back, even following these long periods of what at least appears to be artistic flux. He last did it with Freedom in 1989, a “comeback” record made following nearly ten years of often confusing, confounding genre experimentation.
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Neil Young has had one of the most remarkable careers in the history of music. He hasn’t just outlived many of his contemporaries – some of whom were great inspirations for him (“From Hank to Hendrix,” as one of his own songs says); his artistry lives on through those he has inspired (Pearl Jam, Radiohead), and he remains relevant and vital well into his fifth decade of making music.
Young also continues to crank out records at a rate that would kill most artists half his age. Between his solo and live albums, and his work with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, his remarkable career has spanned well over 50 albums.