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Fork in the Road

4 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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58th Annual GRAMMY Awards
Discover this year's nominees on CD and Vinyl, including Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, Best New Artist of the Year, and more. Learn more

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 7 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Music
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,917 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. When Worlds Collide
2. Fuel Line
3. Just Singing A Song
4. Johnny Magic
5. Cough Up The Bucks
6. Get Behind The Wheel
7. Off The Road
8. Hit The Road
9. Light A Candle
10. Fork In The Road

Product Description

2009 release from Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Famer Neil Young, who is stirring things up again. This time, he is rolling on down the road not only with an auto-centric concept album, but with his own electric ride. Fork In The Road, whose largely eco-car-themed songs he debuted in concert during the past yeare, will get a promotional push from the 1959 Lincoln Continental Young has converted to hybrid technology and which he plans to drive to Washington, D.C. With Fork In The Road as current as today's headlines, the controversial and mad-as-hell Neil Young is still rockin' the free world and once more is taking the road less traveled.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Got to love Neil in all of his eccentricity! Some pretty darn good tunes with lots of overt and underlying messages! Well, to be truthful, very many messages about politics and the environment. Neil never lives in the past and stays relevent. A real curmudgeon. His lyrics always seem to reflect what we are privately thinking!

There's a bailout coming but it's not for you!
It's for all those creeps hiding what they do!
There's a bailout coming but it's not for you!
Bailout coming but it's not for you!
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Format: Audio CD
I've been a fan of this guy for 30 years and I generally like his country/rock albums, but I also like the ones where he really gets electric and plays the hard guitar. This is one of them. If you liked Mirrorball, you'll like this one. He has a social conscience to his lyrics too. Neil knows what's going on and isn't afraid to sing about it. One of my favorite albums of his for a long time.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The quality of video AND sound is not what was expected from Neil Young Products and the DVD has only a few of his videos for the "Fork in the road"; and without the "extras" all the screen has is moving words on black; so; for the most part i'm somewhat dissapointed but "it's OKay"
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Received this 2 disc package and after listening to it I would recommend it to anyone that is a Neil Young fan!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d0e3990) out of 5 stars 83 reviews
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d113528) out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars - Recommended for Fans of the Man April 22 2009
By Feldman - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Fork In The Road is 10 new songs with a dvd of the audio and 4 video clips - 3 new song videos and Neil performing "A Day In The e Life" in October 2008 (very much the same as we saw at Farm Aid a few weeks earlier). The new songs total just over 38 minutes, so no long jams or overly complex arrangements. All the songs have a similar theme - cars, driving, being green. The feel of the songs bring to mind some of Neil's sloppier works like Re-Ac-Tor (1981), Mirror Ball (1995), and Landing On Water (1986). The package is the typical mini-lp gatefold made out of cardboard that Neil has released with his last few discs. The production is really good - I was worried based on the content that was available on-line before the album was released - it sounded pretty raw.

The songs:
1 - When World's Collide - not a bad opener, one of the better tracks.
The theme of movement and travel is present - "drivin down old route 66"
so it fits with the rest of the song content. This could be a standalone song.
2 - Fuel Line - very much in the ilk of cars and driving and being
green. Neil sings about the praises of alternative fuel electric cars
and how the world is ready, but "some old-timers" aren't. The lyrics
remind me of something you would hear in a Schoolhouse Rock song on a
Saturday morning.
3 - Just Singing A Song - this is a real good song, IMO the best one.
It has a great sounding lead guitar riff and a nice harmony. "Just
singing a song won't change the world". There is also "you can drive my
car, see how it rolls". There is a video for this song on the dvd - it
has Neil rowing a kayak on a lake and lip synching the words - very low
budget. It might mean that he is just one voice in an ocean and he can
sing about change, but how can it really make a difference. One of my
favorite songs from the collection and it could be a stand-alone song as well.
4 - Johnny Magic - Another good song that reminds me a little of
re-ac-tor. This is Neil's ode to his electric car project - LincVolt -
where he is converting a 10 mpg Lincoln Continental into an electric car
that gets over 100 mpg. I like this one as well - "home of the heavy
metal continental" with some decent guitar playing from Neil in the
5 - Cough Up The Bucks - Other than the annoying repeated chant, "Cough
up the bucks, cough up the bucks" this song could have fit nicely on
re-ac-tor. It is a little sloppy, but it rocks a little more than the
other songs with a nice harmony vocal - "where did all the money go?,
where did all the cash flow? , "it's all about my car, it's all about my
car, and my girl".
6 - Get Behind The Wheel - starts with a nice blues run and would have
fit nicely on 1988's This Notes For You (in fact, Neil uses some of the
same folks on this album as with TNFY). A blatant message for the car
enthusiast to get behind the wheel and drive. The song has a nice feel
and movement to it and some nice guitar playing by Neil.
7 - Off The Road - the first slower tempo song and a nice song at that.
It moves slowly but builds up with some nice harmonies. Almost a
lullaby in parts. "You can never take your eyes off the road".
8 - Hit The Road - Another rocking number with a bit of a phased guitar
sound from Neil. "She looks so beautiful with the top down" - so back
to the driving metaphors. The message is very clear here as it was on
"Get Behind the Wheel". "Let's hit the road and go to town".
9 - Light A Candle - Another slow number that could have been right at
home on 2000's Silver and Gold or Prairie Road from 2006. There is a
video of this song on the dvd as well - a low budget clip of Neil and
Pegi and a stainless steel trailer (that isn't moving) and a candle lit
in the window of the trailer. Another standalone song and one of the
better songs and I like it.
10 - Fork In the Road - The title track and the lengthiest at almost 6
minutes. Also a video, but it is so low budget and pixelated, I
couldn't watch it. Neil tries to mix humor with a message and I am not
sure works on either level.

So, another album from an artist with 45 plus years of creating music.
At 63, Neil is still creating and building worlds in his music that are
new and fresh and at the same time familiar. With other artists, this
would be laughable material because they wouldn't be able to pull it
off. Neil has never left the scene and that gives him the ability to
write and sing about such subject matter in a believable way. On the
negative side, and to use car-related analogies, this CD never really
kicks into high gear. Just when you begin enjoying the trip, it is
over. So, not a classic album from the starting line. If Neil were to never put out another album of new material, I am not sure I like the idea of FITR being his last such new release. Oh well, who knows what Neil has planned next....
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d11357c) out of 5 stars Not too bad April 11 2009
By E. C. Brummer - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This isn't Neil's masterpiece, or even close. I had been following the development of this disc as videos of songs were released on the internet. (The lo-fi videos of Neil singing the songs are occasionally funny, but wear a bit thin.) I wasn't too enthralled by lyrics that are often quite clunky and by music that often seemed tossed off. However, when all the songs are put together, the disc falls into a very enjoyable groove. Sure, some of the songs are weak and would have benefited from a little wordsmithing, but overall, the record is a good time. Take it for what it is, roll down your windows, and take a ride. You will be pleasantly surprised. Just don't expect to get "After the Gold Rush II".

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d1139b4) out of 5 stars Cruise control April 9 2009
By TK from Roch - Published on
Format: Audio CD
On first listen I was about to give this 3 stars. After about 6 listenings I can say this is top to bottom great stuff from Young Neil.

If you come looking for the max distortion and politics of Living with War or the manic energy of Crazy Horse you will probably be disappointed.
8 of the 10 tracks are grungy garage rock. He's been here before. But I think this is his most consistent release (achives exluded; War excluded) in quite awhile. (I love Living with War, Raw. This is equal to it but different in style).

Yeah it's about cars, conservation, eco/green and the open road. It's about waste and it's about hope. The lyrics can be serious or funny. There is a polital edge to a some of it (cough up the bucks - keep filling that fuel line), almost a scolding from a wary but not weary eye.

The music - all excellent - is evenly split. 4 mid-tempo grungers (Collide; Singing a Song; Bucks; Hit the Road). These stomp along with Neil's crunchy guitar and very tight backing. 3 faster tunes (Fuel Line with great backup vox by Pegi; Johnny Magic (love this track); Fork). Get Behind the Wheel rolls along nicely with an uptempo country swing feel - would have fit his brief "everybody's rocking" era but grungier; and two absolutely gorgeous ballads: Off the Road (electric with some nice organ work) and Candle (a killer acoustic number, ben gets a great steel solo).

These songs are for the most part short and structured. Again, don't expect any epic guitar distortion workouts. Fork is the longest song and clocks in under 6 minutes. Expect 10 tight, well crafted songs with smart lyrics and a grungy garage rock feel. No two sound the same; each is distinct.

If you like Neil I would think you'll really like this release. It took me a few listens, so give it a chance if it does not initally grab you. ps - watch out for the new Booker T and the MG's release in a couple weeks - word is Neil joined the band for the recording (i.e. on every track). Can't wait to here him and Steve Cropper go at it again!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d113d80) out of 5 stars Grunge, Neil Young Style 2009 June 2 2009
By Miguel Bandito - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Wow, what a tough audience, wish I could put out one song half as good as the worst on this album. Three Stars, gee I hope that those stars are at least comparing Fork In the Road to other Neil Young Material and not other mere mortals.

The first listen through showed this is what I like best from Neil Young and the first thing that came to mind was side two of Rust Never Sleeps, but Grungier in a modern Neil Young sense. The lyrics are not as deep, heavy, melancholy, dark, edgy, angry or reflective as most of his albums. Obama's election has allowed Neil to breath a little easier and let his hair down. The songs all seem to have a funner feel to them, or light joking tone. Even the protest songs about driving seems light hearted. I don't think Neil overworked the lyrics or the music but the production on the record is excellent and crisp. The vocals and instruments sound great and the musicians sound tight.

What makes this album special is the way the whole works together, all the songs work well together and nothing feels out of place. I think those easy lyrics and simple riffs are a big part of feel of the whole piece. Yes Neil has done the grunge rock thing and the protest before but this album has a distict feel to it even if the songs all remind a person of something Neil or someone else has done before. Yet this album style is distinct from any of his old albums, I don't know how he always fashions a new sound for each album. Every song on this album is not grunge, but the album has that over-all feel, I am not an expert enough to describe fully but I know what I like. So if you overall like the grungier style rock style of Neil Young this album should find favor with you. Give this Five Stars compared to the world pool of music and 4 & 1/2 Stars for a Neil Young album. Not as great as Rust or Harvest but certainly better than his 80's stuff. Mr Young may not have been swinging for the fence but he accomplished exactly what he wanted with it. I have really enjoyed the last ten years of new music by Neil and this album continues his great work and is well worth the mula so cough up the bucks. Hope this helps somebody.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d113e64) out of 5 stars Simple pleasures April 23 2009
By Shannon Freeman - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Neil Young is the man with the grand gesture, or the guy with a simple road map.... his fans get to call shots on which Neil they will get with each record. The one constant is the assurance the lyrics will be relevant and timely, with references to current events, delivered ala Neil's stream of conscience. For those who enjoy rockin' out with a message, this CD is a must-buy.

The songs aren't Shakespear.... nor should they be. This is one of Neil's simple road map records; garage band rocker with an everyman appeal. The title track packs a major punch set to a droll rolick..... kind of a seemingly impossible task, but Young pulls it off. "Just Singing a Song" captures Neil at his most vulnerable; a beautiful melody surrounding doubts about the effectiveness of standing up on that stage, trying to change the world one song at a time.

The CD has been promoted as a love song to the road and Young's old, refurbished Lincoln. It takes a dedicated car buff/environmentalist to pull a classic land yacht into the 21st century attempt at restoring integrity to the planet. Yet, it can also be viewed as Young's attempt to connect with the common person at a time when the guy at the corner store could use a friend. We are at a pivot point, and, as usual, Neil Young has some fresh ways of reminding us time is running out.