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Neil Young & Promise of the Real: The Visitor

Neil Young & Promise of the Real
The Visitor
(Reprise)

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The stomping, ragtaggle, heavy power-chord opener, “Already Great” begins Neil Yong & Promise of the Real’s second studio collaboration, The Visitor. Young’s whine lends wonderfully to this song as much praising America as he is taking a satirical stab at the man who campaigned with a certain slogan the song takes its title from.

“Fly By Night Deal,” with another trashy beat, sees Young talking more than singing. It follows in very much the same style as the opener. We get some harmonica/acoustic guitar Young by the third tune, “Almost Always.” After the first two seemingly noisy for the sake of being noisy tracks, this is a slightly stretched-too-long mid-tempo conga-led, not-completely-competent-vocal-harmony rumination.

Things get chunky again with plucked electric on “Stand Tall,” another call-to-arms. Young’s lead work here is reminiscent of one of his rockin’ spiky leads from years ago. The backing vocals though are still not so great, which is odd since Willie Nelson’s sons, Lukas and Micah, who lead Promise of the Real, are good singers.

“Carnival,” is a spoken word Mexican-flavored acoustic rock song with a nice clear lead electric that sails. Though again, this is another tune from The Visitor that goes on way too long. “Children of Destiny” crashes with big horns in the choruses, then flows into  string-heavy verses. It’s an odd mix of a tune, and even with a few listens I’m not sure if the obvious lyric and the bombast works.

There is solid songwriting here (although some tighter editing could have been employed) and good playing, but The Visitor won’t get much more visits from my ears, sorry to say.

 

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