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Neil Young: After The Gold Rush

Mark Williams, Oz, 1970

To start with Nell Young ain't tryin' anything flashy – he does what he knows and he does it with the perfection of a trained craftsman. In fact a lot of the material on this record draws heavily from some of the cuts on his last effort with Crazy Horse: 'Only Love Can Break Your Heart' cribs off 'Round and Round'; 'Southern Man' up-tempo's the basic riff used in 'Cowgirl In The Sand' and 'When You Dance I Can Really Love' uses that riff yet again. Frankly this tendency towards repetition doesn't bother me a jot, mainly because Young's music, however simple, is astoundingly original and also because his spell with CSN&Y has taught him new ways of arranging and recording his songs, particularly the vocals, which give them new depth. So I can't understand why this latest album has gotten such shitty (or at least careless) reviews. Neil Young is his own man and his stuff should be judged by suitable standards – this is no heavy rock-freako-acid-guitar-bashing-crud with fifty thousand wonderful watts of belching feedback to obliterate every mistake he makes; no sir!

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