Album: Neil Young, Dreamin' Man Live '92 (Reprise)

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The Independent Culture

"It's just the feeling behind this song," murmurs Neil Young, introducing "Dreamin' Man", "there's nothing literal in here".

But the whole album has the aspect of a dream – specifically, a wistful reverie about times past and friends forgotten. Recorded at various solo performances in 1992, these 10 songs would later that year comprise Neil's cosy country-rock comeback album Harvest Moon. But 17 years on it's like a double-flashback, looking fondly back at songs which look fondly back: in "Unknown Legend", ageing hippies yearn for the freedom of their youth; in "From Hank To Hendrix", a man facing divorce reflects upon a fading relationship; and in "You And Me", a reference to an "old man" short-circuits the mind back to that song on Harvest, as Young ponders "how lifetime flies". There's even a song in which Neil apologises to old musician chums summarily abandoned as he flitted from style to style: "I never tried to burn any bridges, but I know I let some good things go," he acknowledges. Delivered to gentle strummage and occasional gusts of organ or harmonica, it's all pleasant enough – but if Neil's going to do an 11-minute number called "Natural Beauty", I'd much prefer it if Crazy Horse were saddled up alongside, quite frankly.

Download this Harvest Moon; From Hank To Hendrix; Unknown Legend