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At the full moon, to the barn: Neil Young is back to nature

At the full moon, to the barn: Neil Young is back to nature

With Young, choosing the right time also means choosing the right place: the recording was made under the full moon. Young: “I like to do this because it works so well for me. I don’t know if it works for everyone, but it works for me because you can feel the energy when the cycles of the moon change.”

Young was once again accompanied by his classic band, Crazy Horse – they now also include multi-instrumentalist Nils Lofgren, who also plays in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. He has been replaced by young comrade Frank “Poncho” Sampedro, retired for health reasons.

open fire

Barn begins softly: In Song Of The Seasons, you can almost hear the crackling of fire as accordions and harmonicas vie and Young dusts off the sound.

If there is any dust left, the electricity now blows it away for a long time: “Heading west” leads you faintly to the land of memory, “the good old days.” “Change will never happen” is a disturbing environmental blues: even old men have a heart for environmental protection!

“Canerican” is a bit subtle about Leung’s dual patriotism (a native Canadian became a US citizen in order to be able to vote against Trump). “Shape Of You” feels like Bey’s visit to the local salon, and “The They Might Be Lost” is a dark song about to disappear.

Hence, Human Race is the centerpiece – guitars groan and groan under their chords, and Young howls the climactic apocalypse song. Immediately afterward, a gentle piano from “Tumblin’ Thru The Years” provides relief: love and family provide support. “Welcome Back” then passes through an eternal eight-and-a-half minutes before “Don’t Forget Love” celebrates the hopeful ending as a mantra, while Young taps guitar: Don’t Forget Love!

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Bottom line: This album doesn’t have the indomitable power of “Psychedelic Pill” from 2012 – certainly not the power of “Ragged Glory” from 1990. But it’s a lively and closely related statement.
In the deluxe version there is also a documentary of the same name for “Barn”, filmed by Young’s wife, actress Daryl Hannah.