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Neil Young: Are You Passionate? (Reprise)

Bud Scoppa, Rock's Backpages, April 2002

NEIL YOUNG'S new studio opus opens with a quintessentially sultry Stax/Volt groove, courtesy of the Booker T. & the MGs rhythm section, over which Young’s unmistakable electric guitar hovers sorrowfully. Right there we get the yin and yang of this challenging album, which embraces life while pondering loss. The song, 'You’re My Girl', was written in the days before Young’s daughter was due to leave for college, and its narrator savours the intimacy of a loving relationship while dreading an impending separation. Its underlying power derives from the realization that every loving relationship ends in separation on this mortal coil. What follows is a gripping meditation on life’s fundamental issues—disappointment, regret, the struggle for acceptance of the human condition, the quest for something to believe in.

Total word count of piece: 414