Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Le Noise

Le Noise 2010 - Neil Young

So I sold my soul to the devil by buying this record.  The act of purchasing vinyl from Amazon.  As my alibi, I did it solely for the price.  Local stores were retailing this one for about $37, and I cannot justify paying that much for ONE record (unless is has been encrusted with gold plated rubies).  I honestly feel awful for small record stores, because I have no idea how they are supposed to sell new vinyl to folks who aren't rich or stupid, or both?

The album is, as far as I can tell, strictly guitar and vocals which are melded into a feedback drenched apocalypse.  The guitar is full of grit and static, and just might be played in an echo room vortex.  Neil is exorcising some real demons in the form of an "end of the world/end of his rock life" rock out explosion of ennui.  I mean, Eddie Vedder must be just pooping his pants right now.  That is not a dis.  Neil is doing what he does best.  He is dissecting himself and everything around in the most basic and honest ways.  Having really feasted on Neil's back catalog lately (most recently the really obscure 80's cannon) this is refreshingly diverse, odd, and unencumbered by anything resembling bullshit.  It is totally legit.

Produced by fellow Cannuck Daniel Lanois, the two Northerners kick up a good deal of drift and side winding washed out fuzz.  It works, I'm really not sure why, but it seems Neil really was just digging doing his thing.  There are flourishes of spanish guitar, tidbits of tunes long lost, and a slew of nimble/catchy odes to the art of singing about love and war.  He even gives a shout out to the greatest Neil Young album of all time, "TRANS" during the song, "Hitchhiker" where he lifts the hook from "Like an Inca".  Way to go Mr. Y, sampling your own work.  Neil has this strange knack for sounding like he is doing things on purpose; the purpose of making music that is interesting to him.   If you can tune into that, then you're golden.  He's jumped into all sorts of genres over the years and certainly had his share of drug induced/producer induced WTF moments committed to record, but this one seems truer than true. My question is does anybody actually still care?  For some reason I feel like Neil may have just blown straight past any actually radio format.  Will he ever get play again and really, does it matter?

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