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Album Review: Neil Young – Peace Trail

2 min read

Politically charged, vigorous and greatly involved, the modern western-esque landscape of America has yet again fallen coveted victim to Young’s intoxicating blend of grunge-folk music. With a sprawling career ranging the greater part of nearly six decades, there’s little left to prove for the godfather of grunge. That’s not to say a new record is groundless, and at this point extensively utilises a contemporary sound design with an undeniable Young work ethic.

Neil Young - Peace TrailYoung’s voice is now as ever full of life and transmitted sincerity, carrying snippets of pain, laughter, sadness, forgiveness and a ferocity that in turn speaks in a secret dialogue with his growling guitar. Basically, every project since Neil’s early career has defined its own legacy and reflected a forward thinking direction. From his unique windings into heavy electric guitar focuses, or a gentler acoustic hug – each respective playing vernacular gravitates around a signature Young atmosphere. All of which is magnified within Peace Trail. Unearthed acoustically grounded subtleties in Show Me detail Neil’s refined and culminated vocal bearing as he includes stressing lyrical themes of political unrest and equality. “When the women of the world are free to stand up for themself / and the promises made stop gathering dust on the shelf” He regresses. Then the humble tidings unhinge as a bluesy acoustic formation folds into the poignant Terrorist Suicide Hang Gliders whilst slight auto-tune mites give way to Neil’s hardened steel string storytelling in My Pledge. The blues propagations continue to flood in with Glass Accident running along a country production – filled with percussion taps and a deepened harmonica transmission.

In the case of a heartwarming essence, Young has once again given us a sizable presentation of generous musical education. The album’s last track, My New Robot unpacks pride and programs it into a contemporary yet traditional fusion. This is the emotion gathered throughout the rest of the record – ultimately stating that at this stage in his career, Neil Young is as relevant and appreciated as ever – with the incredible recorded outcome playing as a humble awakening into a contemporary conciseness both raw and earnest.