Neil Young - Homegrown

Pitchfork 88

After 46 years, Neil Young unearths a lost but highly consequential album, a collection of humble, stripped-back love songs he began writing at what was arguably the artistic zenith of his career.

Wed Jun 24 05:00:00 GMT 2020

The Guardian 60

Young’s ditched 1975 album, featuring seven unheard tracks, is one for completists only

“Lost” albums have usually been mislaid for good reason; they simply aren’t up to scratch (Springsteen’s electrified Nebraska) or have collapsed under their own pretensions (Pink Floyd’s Household Objects). Scrapped on the eve of its 1975 release, Homegrown has long held a fabled place in the swollen volumes of Neil Young folklore, the missing link to turn his mid-70s “doom trilogy” (Time Fades Away, On the Beach, Tonight’s the Night) into a quartet.

Homegrown turns out to be a lesser creation than the latter two albums. It shares their unpolished production and lyrical desolation – Young and actor Carrie Snodgress had just broken up, a year after their son was born – but lacks their cohesion and wider disillusion with the hippie dream. Moreover, some of its best songs – Star of Bethlehem, Little Wing – have already seen release on other records. Of the seven unheard cuts, four are short, acoustic love calls. Separate Ways and Try are wounded but tender breakup songs, Kansas a gentle reflection on a one-night stand. An unremarkable band blues and an unlistenable finger-on-wineglass affair contribute little to an album that’s well-found but, like much of Young’s recent output, for the committed.

Continue reading...

Sat Jun 20 15:00:50 GMT 2020

The Guardian 0

Recorded after a relationship breakdown then never released, this mid-70s set has a pleasurable lightness of touch rather than big statement songs

It feels apt that the tapes began rolling on Homegrown after the music had started, so that the first you hear of it is the middle of a fat bass note in the opening bars of Separate Ways and the wobble of an analogue tape machine getting up to speed. It’s as if Neil Young were simply dipping a bucket into the ceaseless river of music that seemed to flow through him in the 70s. The flow was so strong he simply couldn’t keep up: Homegrown is the second previously unreleased studio album from the decade from Young’s Archives series, following Hitchhiker, the 1976 album released in 2017. Last year he mooted another 29 archival releases, including a further three studio albums from the 70s, as well as Lincvolt Chronicles 1-5, which is, per Rolling Stone, “an in-depth look at Young’s attempt to turn his 1959 Lincoln Continental into a hybrid electric vehicle”, and which may be only for those who felt 2003’s rock opera Greendale was too cravenly commercial.

Homegrown was recorded almost entirely in December 1974 and January 1975 after Young split up with his partner Carrie Snodgress, then cancelled in 1975 because he felt it was too personal. Instead, he released Tonight’s the Night, a desolate album concerned with two deaths. While Homegrown might have seemed personal to Young, it sounds breezy compared with Tonight’s the Night or the album that preceded it, On the Beach.

Related: Heart of gold: Neil Young's online archives are a revolution in fandom

Continue reading...

Thu Jun 18 11:00:47 GMT 2020