Album: Neil Young, Fork in the Road (Reprise)
Friday 27 March 2009
For the past few years, Neil Young's hobby has been what's known as the Lincvolt project, converting his treasured 1959 Lincoln Continental to run on eco-fuels, the vehicle then being driven across the USA. Now, as is often the way with this most prolific and spontaneous of rockers, he's made a record about the experience – a single-issue album which, Neil being Neil, gets sidetracked occasionally into rants about whatever drifts across his radar. Both the title track and "Cough Up the Bucks" find him firing off weak salvoes at bankers and politicians, which reveal him to be no Robert Peston. Unfortunately, he's no scientific genius either, which renders the string of eco-car songs little more than bland automotive boogies, the sound of Fork in the Road being largely unvarnished blues-rock of undistinguished quality, ragged but nowhere near as glorious as he can deliver. "Johnny Magic" is a tribute to Jonathan Goodwin, his boffin partner in the Lincvolt business, while the funk-rock strutter "Fuel Line" is a lazy would-be eco-anthem too drab and clumsy to be adopted as a clarion call. "Just Singing a Song" touches on the nub of the problem with this album, Neil clearly believing his hands-on action is the way forward, and that "just singing a song won't change the world". Well, not this song. But isn't that what he does?
Download this: 'Johnny Magic', 'Just Singing a Song'
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