At the end of 2021, Neil Young released his latest album with Crazy Horse, an alliance which goes all the way back to their debut album in 1969. Today, Crazy Horse features Ralph Molina on drums, Billy Talbot on electric bass plus multi-instrumentalist Nils Lofgren, who was a founding member of the Horse and played on ‘Tonight’s The Night’, ‘After The Gold Rush’ and ‘Trans’. This is Young’s 41st studio album, and his 14th with Crazy Horse and there is apparently a film to go alongside this release which was directed by Young’s wife Daryl Hannah (I must admit I knew Young had divorced Pegi, but had no idea he had married Hannah).

The album artwork may be lowkey, but what is inside is of the highest quality. Here we have everything one wants from Young when he works with these guys, namely both his gentler acoustic numbers, some blues, and then the times he wrenches chords out of his guitar which shows yet again why he is sometimes referred to as the ‘Godfather of Grunge’. On “Shape of You” he sings “I may be old, but I’m still dreaming”, and that is just so apt for someone who has never been anything but the hippie activist he has always been. He has always been contrary, following his own path, but in many ways this finds him come all the way back to what everyone loves to hear. I have not seen the film, but this sounds as if the tracks were recorded live in the aforesaid barn, and on “They Might Be Lost” there are some times after playing harmonica where Neil is standing a little too far away from the microphone and we get the feeling of space. This may be also why some of the songs fade out as opposed to finish properly, which is always a major issue for me, but that is realistically the only flaw on what is a wonderful album which will be appreciate by all of those who have used Young as the soundtrack of their lives.

Here are four musicians, all now in their Seventies, who continue to find a spark of magic between them, and I cannot think of any rhythm section in the world who have been together as long as Molina and Talbot, 55 years and counting. For anyone who doubts just how good this album can be after all these years, just put on “Human Race” and hear the angst and power still there like it was on ‘Rust Never Sleeps’ all those years ago. Superb.

Rating: 9/10