Neil Young - Fork In The Road
Fork In the Road is the new album from the suddenly prolific Neil Young.
On this effort, the Canadian rock icon has written a string of songs all in ode to the automobile. For the most part, that automobile is his old Lincoln which has been retro-fit to run mostly on electric power. It's a concept album in every spirit of the term.
Never one to mince his words, Young is pretty front and centre on his feelings with this record. He attacks corporate bailouts, car companies, and big oil with fervour. At the same time he's equally enthusiastic about 'the awesome power of electricity' ("Fuel Line").
No, not all of it is poetic, and 'bumper to bumper in a giant cloud of fumes' ("Hit the Road") is about as subtle as the lyrics get.
For my money that's a major drawback of the album. Sometimes, strike that, often I want to enjoy the music without being hammered over the head by the message. Fork In the Road doesn't offer that.
It's a shame because the musicianship is superb. We're given, for the most part, the hard rocking, grungy Neil Young rather than the folky. That makes songs like "When Worlds Collide" and the title track great road trip music with road trip themes.
There are a couple of instances where Young pushes the musical envelope. "Fuel Line" features a surprisingly soulful set of backing singers, while the chorus of "Cough Up the Bucks" boasts what, for lack of a better term, could be described as rapping.
While a little heavy handed with the message, Fork In the Road is raw and dirty...like that old gas guzzler your dad drives.
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