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Niel Young --Living With War


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let me start out by saying that i am politically biased to favor this album. however, i think that nonetheless the album is brilliant, and that the outlandish political stance cannot be held against it to the extent of not giving it a chance. also, people who hold the fact that he is canadian against the album is the most ridiculous thing i've ever heard. that's like saying that because we're not iraqi we can't voice our opinion on how they should i run their country. (oops, too late.) change that to iran. moving on...

the album. all the songs have the same general sound, most likely due to the short amount of time in which they were recorded. the sound however, is one that you wouldn't mind listening to over and over. backed by a power trio, a trumpet, and a hundred voice choir neil young rocks as hard as ever about the president, foreign policy, and of course, war. what i like the most about this album is the fact that i always listen to music protesting and opposing what's going on at some point in the past, and it's nice to finally have a new album come out that i can think back on as relating to my growing up.

1. After the Garden: for those who awaited the release of the album, (me), the opening chords are just a wave of beauty. it's a solid opening song with nothing too dramatic, though a pretty bleak outlook if you look at it in a certain way.

2. Living With War: the song that best deals with the fact that we are living in a time of war in this country, and how exactly we should, and can, live with it. one of the slower songs on the album, it shows the wavering emotions, being less angered and more confrontational. my favorite lines;

and when the dawn breaks

i see my fellow man

and on the flat screen we kill

and we're killed again

and when the night falls

i pray for peace

try to remember peace

3. The Restless Consumer: a good contrast to the previous song, the Restless Consumer is on of the hardest rocking songs, a feedback drenched song comperable to "Cowgirl in the Sand". Dealing with business and foreign policy, the song builds up a feeling of anger against our current administration, the first real sign of this on the album. It's basically summed up by;

Don't need no terror squad

Don't need to damn jihad

blowing themselves away in my hood

but we don't talk to them

and we don't learn from them

hate don't negociate with good

Don't need--!

4. Shock and Awe: is the real retrospective anger song on the album. Looking back on the "days of shock and awe", "the days of mission accomplished", and when "we had a chance to change our mind" (about our president).

5. Families: a solid song that i like because it breaks the tension of the previous two. Young's touching lyrics backed the hundred voices on the word "family" raises the emotions to a more personal level. this doesn't mean the sound is any softer than the rest of the album though.

6. Flags of Freedom: honestly, not one of my favorites. Others have claimed it to be the best song out of the bunch, but it just doesn't have the same verosity and message as the others seem to. But obviously, different songs mean different things to everyone.

7. Let's Impeach the President: the most hyped song on the album, it meets up the most expectations. While not my favorite, it's a song that would make someone with my views very excited to hear what we've all been thinking. A special touch; instead of any real solo, the bridge is filled with Niel's cheers of "Flip...Flop" accompanied by recording of our President. ("War is my last option"..."We're gonna smoke 'em out, bring 'em on"). The line that means the most to me, that i've actually thought deeply about before;

Let's impeach the President for hijacking

our religion and using it to get elected

For dividing our country into colors

and still leaving black people neglected

8. Lookin' For A Leader: the most optimistic song, Young challeges those out there to lead our country down a better road, and perhaps suggests we get some new blood in the office, (it's not a monarchy, we don't need another clinton or bush).

9. Roger and Out: my favorite song out of the lot, it's a song that some how manages to be slow and relaxing while still having two electric, feedback driven guitars and a bass. Reminds me of Cortez the Killer a little, musically more than lyrically. It grabs you from the opening line;

Trippin' down that old hippy highway...

10. America the Beautiful: frankly, i was dissapointed with this last song. Not the song itself of course, but when i saw that it closed the album i was looking forward to hearing just Neil with an acoustic guitar sealing the deal. Instead, it's the 100 voice choir singing it the way we've heard it a million times before. It serves as a proper end to the album however, showing that despite everything that's wrong with our nation, it's still the country we love and that we are proud to be a part of.

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