Neil Young – Chrome Dreams II

{mosimage}Neil Young releases the follow up of an album
that never saw the light. In 1976 in a fire at his house, the Canadian
songwriter lost the tapes of his project Chromes Dreams, an album that was
intended to include classics like Powderfinger, Like a Hurricane or Too Far
Gone
. That project was lost and all those songs popped up later on in different
albums.

Chromes Dreams II does not have much to do with that project, and it
presents Neil's music wandering in different forms like acoustic ballads or
long guitar-driving epic songs.

This new album is built around an old song.
Young opens his archives and brings back Ordinary People, an 18-minute song,
recorded during the sessions of the This Note's for You in 1988. It was only
played live a dozen times at the time and since then it has been a favourite
among hardcore fans. It includes very good narrative lyrics and horns. It
reminds some of those long Dylan songs.

That’s not
the only unusually long song. No Hidden Path goes beyond 14 minutes. Not with
Crazy Horse this time, but it brings back the atmosphere of the underrated
album Sleep With Angels (1994).

But Chromes
Dreams II
is an album of many different sounds, that evoke all the signatures of
the Canadian. There’s a bit of country (Beautiful Bluebird is a sweet opening),
pop (The Believer), rock (Dirty Old Man) and a surprise waltz tune with a
children’s chorus to end the album (This Way).

Even though
it might lack the wildness and the energy of a younger Young (no pun intended),
Chromes Dreams II will satisfy all the fans as it presents the most surprising
and diverse Neil Young album in many years.

Rating 4/5