Neil Young + Promise of the Real: The Monsanto Years

neil youngNeil Young + Promise of the Real
The Monsanto Years

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Neil Young + Promise of the Real, an L.A.-based band (Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah singing and playing guitar along with Anthony Logerfo playing drums, Corey McCormick on bass and Tato Melgar on percussion) have released the brand new album, The Monsanto Years. “New Day For Love” opens with banjo and schunky snare drum, then folds into an over-driven electric tune revealing a silly lyric and noisy lead at its end. “Wolf Moon” follows, a loose-sounding country ode, showcasing both Young’s harmonica and his distinctive voice (he can still almost hit that paper-thin tremolo high end) though this tune does tend to drag on a bit. We are back to simply loud smashing on “People Want To Hear About Love.” The backing vocals from both Nelsons with Young are effective, as is Melgar, way in the background, but this simple, loud tune is not made any better by a cringe-inducing lyric.
“Workin’ Man” tells the story of a farmer, over blistering electrics and straight-ahead snare in what could be a send-up of Bob Dylan at his “Maggie’s Farm” best. I liked the muted stomp of “Rules Of Change” and even its lilting, dripping chorus sounds good, but again Young drops the ball with a trite lyric. It seems all has been leading up to the plop and chuck of the slinky title track. It is the best song here by far, but by the time we get to this second to last tune, Young has exhausted my caring about, once again, the same lyrical concepts he has bludgeoned us with across the whole of these nine songs.

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