Neil Young is one of the most prolific and eclectic music icons performing and producing music today. His latest collection is his first studio recording with the band Crazy Horse in nine years. Although the audio quality and fidelity are excellent, Americana sounds nothing like a slick studio-produced album. Instead, it is a raw reinterpretation of American roots music performed by ’60s hard-rockers that sound more like a garage band of today.
Americana's a risky album in today's overheated and divided political arena because Young, always the rebel, emphasizes the protest and darker original lyrics of these familiar folk standards. "Tom Dula," Neil's hard-rock version of an old murder-story lyric, is a far cry from the Kingston Trio's sunny, sing-along "Tom Dooley," which was a number-one hit in the 1950s and is considered to have started the popular-folk era. "Clementine," a familiar folk song about a drowning victim, is another rocker that sounds new and original in Young’s hands.
If Obama's campaign is looking for the perfect soundtrack song to attract independents and support of the middle-class, to take a jab at Romney and the "one percent," they need to adopt Young's version of "This Land Is Your Land" and start blasting that at their rallies. It is my favorite cut on the album, and it is impossible not to sing along with its egalitarian chorus.
- Album: Americana
- Artist: Neil Young and Crazy Horse
- Label: Reprise
- Songs: (1) Oh, Susannah (2) Clementine (3) Tom Dula (4) Gallows Pole (5) Get a Job (6) Travel On (7) High Flying Bird (8) Jesus Chariot (9) This Land Is Your Land (10) Wayfaring Stranger (11) God Save the Queen