Psychedelic Pill, by Neil Young and Crazy Horse
While many of his contemporaries have ossified, Neil Young claws at the marrow like a deranged miner, digging deep in ways that confound expectation. He launches his new double album with a track thatâ€™s almost 28 minutes longâ€”and that largely revolves around two chords. Itâ€™s one of three songs on this nine-track effort that top 16 minutes. Thatâ€™s hardly the sort of stuff that warms a radio programmerâ€™s heart.
Even when Young goes short, he refuses to play nice. The three-and-a-half minute title track, which recalls Youngâ€™s much-beloved â€śCinnamon Girl,â€ť uses a flanging effect that makes it sound like itâ€™s doused in a jet engine vapor trail. (An alternate mix removes the flanging; while more accessible, itâ€™s less compelling for the lack of sonic vertigo.)
Yet for all the barriers it puts up, Psychedelic Pill shows off Youngâ€™s guts and skill. His tremulous tenor remains untouched by time, and many of his lyrics riff on personal subject matter.
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