Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill

Wayne Robins

By Wayne Robins

on 11.05.12 in Reviews

Psychedelic Pill

Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Going on, like the road, forever

On which Neil Young & Crazy Horse get on their ponies and ride…and ride… and keep on riding, as three of the eight new songs on Psychedelic Pill just go on, like the road, forever. Or at least north of 16 minutes. Opener “Driftin’ Back” is nearly 28 minutes of NY & CH in excelsis, rambling gorgeously with dream fragments and meditations that include sightings of Picasso, the Maharishi and Rust Never Sleeps. Yes, Young sings, he wants “a hip-hop haircut.” No, he repeats, he still “don’t want my MTV.” These images are offset by the reliable barbed wire instrumental sound of Crazy Horse – the layered guitars, the steady drums, the limited-range solos that travel like Morse code moving down a telegraph wire between isolated western train depots. The sprawling, unhurried “Walk Like a Giant” laments the failure of Young and his larger circle of friends to change the world, and ends with four minutes of musically-generated Godzilla stomps. Among the shorter tunes, “Born in Ontario” may be Young’s long-awaited response to “Sweet Home Alabama,” while the winning “Twisted Road” carries shout-outs to the Grateful Dead, and to Bob Dylan, “poetry rolling off his tongue/ like Hank Williams chewing bubble gum.”