Andy Gill on albums: Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Year of the Horse

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The Independent Online
Reprise 9362-46652-2

Neil Young & Crazy Horse albums are a bit like London buses: fairly frequent and virtually identical - if you miss one (and last year's Broken Arrow was a good one to miss, frankly) don't worry, there'll be another one along shortly. This one's a live double-album, the soundtrack to a concert film by Jim Jarmusch which the somniferous director helmed as a favour for Young's negligible guitar-doodle score to his Dead Man film.

Like Weld, it's mostly a major fix for guitar junkies, Neil and the band stretching out across elongated versions of former glories. As before, it's in the internal contradictions of the group's style - the tight but loose playing, the tough fragility of the sound - that the magic resides, and it's the kind of magic which, on this showing, grows more mysterious and enthralling with age. Score one for the fifty-somethings.

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