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Are You Passionate? Import

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Are You Passionate? + Broken Arrow
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 9 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B00005Y4A2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

1. You're My Girl
2. Mr. Disappointment
3. Differently
4. Quit (Don't Say You Love Me)
5. Let's Roll
6. Are You Passionate?
7. Goin' Home
8. When I Hold You In My Arms
9. Be With You
10. Two Old Friends
11. She's A Healer

Product Description

Product Description

Though Are You Passionate? is Neil Young's studio-recorded follow-up to 2000's Silver & Gold, it might well have emerged on the heels of Harvest Moon. While both Crazy Horse and Booker T & the MGs swing by to add ballast to several of these 11 brand-new tracks, gentle weepers such as "Don't Say You Love Me", "When I Hold You in My Arms" and the softly lilting title track recall Young's aforementioned 1992 work while suggesting that the once-outspoken social critic and on-again, off-again CSN&Y member is mellowing. Further proof of that can be found in the tender opening song, "You're My Girl"--a postcard from a father to a daughter on the cusp of adulthood and presumably inspired by Young's daughter Amber--as well as in the lazy, languid "Two Old Friends". Are You Passionate?'s one serious clunker, "Let's Roll", was inspired by the 9/11 cell-phone call Todd Beamer placed moments before he and other passengers on Flight 93 went down in a Pennsylvania field. You can't fault the guy for commemorating a heroic act and making a personal donation to the Beamer family, but all his talk of "going after Satan on the wings of a dove" and "facing down evil" sounds like a guy who's spent more time watching CNN than honing his lyrics. --Kim Hughes

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
In 1967 Jimi Hendrix wowed Buffalo Springfield's Neil Young. Neil mimics the H-man's flamboyant guitar improvisation with some pretty fancy tooth pickin' of his own in the 'Weld' video; he included Jimi's 'Star Spangled Banner' in the 'Rust Never Sleeps' film, and even offered up his own psychedelic version of the national anthem as a 'Prisoners of Rock and Roll' coda on 'Year of the Horse'. Shoot, Neil's done everything but pour lighter fluid on 'Old Black' and light 'er up! So is 'Are You Passionate' a mock-up to the Hendrix Experience debut LP, 'Are You Experienced'? Are You Crazy?
Let's hope that wasn't Neil's intent, even subliminally, because it just doesn't cut it. This album is funky, but undistinguished, and funky isn't what Neil does best anyway. Funky is done well by Booker T. Jones and Donald 'Duck' Dunn, who accompany Young here, but the wrong partner is leading the dance. Neil's guitar has a big, resonant sound throughout much of the disc, with little of the trademark distortion and feedback that often makes for a good, biting Young tune. You might call some of these numbers slick. There are even backing vocals here that are reminisient of Motown art.
The album pretty much breaks down to two sets of four songs each that open and close the album, and that sound pretty much the same. The best of the bunch are the opener, 'You're My Girl', offering standard pop fare, and the closer, 'She's a Healer' a love poem to Neil's wife that is beautiful lyrically and possessing an infectious beat and bold guitar lines.
Between these 4-song bookends are two numbers that are much heavier in their sound and character. 'Let's Roll' is a dark anthem, 'Ohio' in 9-11 time.
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Format: Audio CD
Neil Young has always been at his best when chewing up cliches. The two halves of his great strength as a songwriter, aside from the great tunes, were: first, his ability to take an old phrase and turn it upside down, to draw meaning from words that had run out of ink; second, his ability to make real, true art with his creative invention and reworking of symbols.
It's telling, then, that only three songs here features such clever use of words: the title track, the killer "Goin' Home", and the final track, "She's a Healer". When Neil sings, "Are you negative in a world that never stops... turning on you," the listener's mind hangs on every word (stops ... turning ... on you) as we round the syntactic bend and realize what he's saying. "Goin' Home" features lyrics are impressive even when compared to the rest of Young's work: "Elusively, she cut the phone / and jumped from cell to cell / really looking remarkable / -- and obviously doing well", the slant rhymes all work and grab the listener by the throat. "She's a Healer" features very evocative turns of phrase that hint at something unsaid, while using a cliche ("Let the good times roll") in a very interesting way. It features a groaner of a rhyme (that ends with "Without her, I'd be toast").
Word choice is only craft, though; what about the art? The majority of the songs here are meditations on getting old, on losing children, loves, and friends, and the majority have a very limited use of symbolism. Aside from "Goin' Home", everything means exactly what it says and nothing more. At least lyrically speaking, that means it's just not great art.
Well, when art is gone, there's always meaning, right? Well, sadly, AYP? features a shaky-sounding Shakey mouthing plagiarized sentiments a younger Young might well have mocked.
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Format: Audio CD
"Are You Passionate" is an amalgam of sessions with Booker T & the MGs and Crazy Horse. By now, the seasoned Neil Young fan isn't surprised by his habit of lumping together such disparate styles - He's been doing it for years. What is surprising is that it's the Booker T tracks that find the groove and lift this album into praiseworthiness, while the Crazy Horse tracks tend to bog it down. Much of Neil's most riveting work has been done with the Horse, but there are no sparks here. "Goin' Home," which if played with any audible enthusiasm, could have been a monster just like many other Crazy Horse anthems that came before. But it's just lumbering along, as if to say, "Been there, done that." Not bad, just a bit tired sounding. Then there's the real clinker. "Let's Roll." It was released shortly after the 9/11 tragedies in honor of the heroes who brought down the plane over Philadelphia, rather than allow it to be used as a weapon. Great sentiment, but it just doesn't work musically. I'll forgive Neil this little failure. It's one of the few that he's turned out in his 35-year career.
But there are some real gems on this album, more than counter-balancing for the one stinker. Most notably, the plaintive title track and the hip-shaker "She's a Healer." Both of these feature unusually slick and precise guitar solos meshing nicely with the punchy rhythm and Hammond fills by Booker T & the MGs.
Because of songs like these, "Are You Passionate" is distinct in the Neil Young catalog and worth buying on their merit alone.
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