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Living With War

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 9 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Music Canada
  • ASIN: B000FI9OSG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,854 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. After the Garden
2. Living With War
3. The Restless Consumer
4. Shock and Awe
5. Families
6. Flags of Freedom
7. Let's Impeach the President
8. Lookin' for a Leader
9. Roger and Out
10. America the Beautiful

Product Description

Product Description


Even if you don't agree with Neil Young's politics, you can't help but be daunted by the intersection of his genius and ire on his second album in less than seven months. It is the very rare artist who is able to channel indignation and moral disgust in such a coherent and forceful way--without sacrificing any of the vivid imagery, passion, or the high level of musicality that we have come to expect from him over the past four decades. But that's not what elevates this album: it's his pure, naked, visceral reaction to the Bush administration's foreign policy, building on a canon of outrage that he began with 1970's "Ohio," penned in the wake of the Kent State student deaths. But here he goes one better, filling in the lines that he began to draw on 2003's Greendale about a family caught in changing times. But Young's done with musing about lost ideals. On Living with War, he demands much more from his audience, and himself. This is nothing less than a call for fearless action in extraordinarily fearful times. --Jaan Uhelszki

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Audio CD
Living with War is Neil Youngs latest and probably strangest album he's ever done. Some of the old rockin' hippies style and guitar flare is evident here but from a purely musical and artistic standpoint the album feels and sounds a little empty.

However, from a lyrical and spiritual perspective, one gets nothing but the honest truth and a powerful cry for justice and freedom for America and the world.

Some of the tracks sound and feel a little silly, (a little forced as well.) That's about the only thing that is obvious. Neil gets very personal and is purely sympathetic throughout the album for the victems of War and serious human problems like poverty, senseless death, children scarred and so on. The messages within the lyrics speak volumes. Very high conscience for the suffering that this latest American v.s. Iraqi conflict has inevitably created.

Also there is a genuine all out attack on President George Bush.

And most importantly, a great cry for peace and brotherhood.

Largely the album is enjoyable do to the force of intent that you feel Neil has expressed in this album. To do something to help and to give an answer and to really say something, but every track feels rushed and not very well played or thought out at all. It sort of comes across as a demo. The best song on the album for me was the good ole "America the Beautiful" which is all gospel in its rendition and has no Neil in it that is audible.

Its an anti-war album with class and good intentions but its a big splash in stead of a smooth ride. Not the best of Neils work. Its an obvious album to enjoy if you are anti-war but the album in its entirety is not fabulous.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Russell on Sept. 30 2006
Format: Audio CD
The issue of Neil Young's politics has been a contentious one ever since he put out "Ohio" as part of CSNY waaaaaaay back in 1970, a powerful song that definitely dumped Young into the bleeding heart liberal category of rockers. This is the man who gleefully announced Nixon's resignation onstage four years later, but also stated "Even Richard Nixon has got soul" in his 1976 song "Campaigner". For a Canadian (who maintains his Canadian citizenship, no less, even though he's resided in the States since the mid sixties), NY got extremely patriotic and jingoistic towards America by the time of 1980's "Hawks And Doves"; he then went on to spend most of the decade supporting and praising the hardline conservative Reagan administration, to the dismay of many fans and critics.

But so much for the history lesson...coming on the heels of the remarkable "Prairie Wind" album, NY brings us "Living With War", recorded over four days with his Prairie Wind rhythm section, as well as a 100-voice choir and trumpeter, both of which add very distinct melodic touches to these ten tracks. From a musical standpoint, one has to wonder why Young didn't make this record with Crazy Horse, since musically it would be right up the Horse's alley (minus the ten minute guitar solos). Anyway, as was mentioned everywhere from CNN to Jon Stewart's "Daily Show", "Living With War" is essentially a ten song rant about the failures of the second Bush administation post-9/11 and especially their adventures in Iraq. On this album, Neil Young makes his feelings about these issues painfully clear, he is clearly against the war, and his outspokenness on the subject should endear him to the left wing/anti-war movement everywhere.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 353 reviews
352 of 398 people found the following review helpful
Not for the faint of heart May 9 2006
By Randolph Von Dingleton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is electric Neil, not acoustic Neil.

I'm one of those people who is (I suppose) middle of the road and when i heard about this album was interested in how Neil would deliver his 'message'. Well, it's direct. Brutally so.


Shock and Awe is an all time classic Neil song (think Rockin in the Free World on steroids). Bank on that. The Restless Consumer is another great song. Families is a toe tapper. Let's Impeach the President is, well, a pretty decent song (musically a cousin to Powderfinger) but the lyrics are -well wow (Flip/Flop). Listen yourself. There are very few weak moments on this album. This isn't Harvest, Rust or Everybody Knows - but it's a good CD if you like electric Neil.

As someone wrote earlier, this may be the best protest 'album' ever recorded. It is sure to elicit some type of response from you, positive or negative. That's why it gets 5 stars. I highly recommend this album.

If you ever (even if just for a brief moment) think this country is going back to the days of "no taxation without representation", you should listen to this - even if just to admire what someone can do with his art with first amendment protection.

Unlike the brave "A Kids Review", I think we're all capable of knowing this is Neil's perception - not the person reading this (or writing it for that matter).
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Refreshing to Hear The Truth For a Change May 11 2006
By Bruce Rhodes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Great music with an inspiring message. Neil stresses that America is a wonderful country, but that it currently has an ugly side. Neil wants the USA to be a truly free, compassionate nation, led by people (not necessarily just white males) with integrity. Neil is sincere and constructive in the messages of his lyrics; he is not America-bashing. Some of the people who rate the album one star reject "yet another Hollywood or rock star" getting political. Since when are they supposed to keep their mouths shut? All of us are entitled to free speech, provided we steer clear of libel, slander, and defamation of character. Rock on, Neil... kudos to you for taking a stand. Others are free to disagree with you, but you and everyone else ought to be free to express opinions about our leaders and our nation's policies.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Just listen. May 10 2006
By Richard D. Hodgson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There's not much I can say that hasn't been said in other reviews. I will only say that everyone in America should hear this album. No-- not just hear it. Listen to it. Absorb it. I would strongly suggest that one should listen to this the first time, as I did, while reading along with the written lyrics in the booklet. This is powerful stuff, written and performed by a man who is using his music (and yes, his clout as a musician) to express the anger and outrage that he shares with a good many of us who care enough to speak out against this illegal and unnecessary war and the so-called leaders who put us there.

Numerous references have been made comparing this to "Ohio". I don't want to sound like the proverbial broken record, but this is indeed probably the most important music he has written since then. Musically it is a bit rough at times. But this is Neil Young, after all. Even at his most polished his music has always been purposefully rather primitive and rough around the edges. It's part of what makes him Neil, and in this context it fits perfectly. This is angry music from a deservedly angry man, speaking for an equally angry populace. Some have criticized the choral rendition of "America The Beautiful", saying that it breaks the mood and seems out of place, but I disagree. It makes a poignant statement, and (much like "Find The Cost Of Freedom" did on "4-Way Street") it closes the album-- and the statement-- perfectly. When the song ended I found myself sitting silently for several long moments, just staring at the album cover. I was genuinely moved.

Those on the right will continue to criticize Young because he's from Canada. To this I have two replies. First, while he was born and raised in Canada, he has spent much of his life living in America. And second, what this nation and its leaders do affects all nations. Was it wrong for those to criticize Hitler who did not live in Germany? It is an absurd argument presented by those who have no other valid arguments to offer.

I will say it again. Everyone in America should listen to this album. It's raw, and it's real, and it's honest. Our country is in deep trouble, and something has to change. My hat is off to Neil for being one of the few in today's music world-- and hopefully the first of many-- to have the guts to tell it like it is.
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
I love it. May 9 2006
By Feeling Great - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The good news is a performer of note finally put our anger, disgust and frustration to music with powerful lyrics and has preserved our thoughts and feelings for future generations.

"Maybe it's Colin Powell...to right what he's done wrong." Neil has documented forever what happens when a good man does not speak out.
52 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Phil Ochs with a Gretsch... May 8 2006
By o dubhthaigh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Getting close to dying tends to sharpen your focus. First the elegiatic paean to his father, PRAIRIE WIND, and his tour de force concert film, HEART OF GOLD, and now the most revved up, furiously infuriated rock record since FREEDOM (he must love the Bush family), finds Young in a more defiant mood than he's been in since, well, Papa Bush. The result is incendiary. Working with Chad Cromwell and Rick Rosas, as he did in FREEDOM, Young let's loose like a metal version of Phil Ochs with songs that on occasion are slogan-riddled ("Impeach", "Looking For a Leader") that would not have been out of place on I'M NOT MARCHING ANYMORE. But there are also some extraordinarily superb Young compositions that sit with his very best, as well as with anything on Ochs' PLEASURES OF THE HARBOUR: most notably, "After the Garden is Gone", "No More Lies", "The Days of Shock and Awe" and "the Flags of Freedom (Dylan references included)."

The CD closes with an absolute masterpiece in the "Cortez the Killer" vein: "Roger and Out" says more by suggestion than anything Young justifiably shakes his fist about in all that precedes it. If you have ever lost a friend to war, this is a little too close to the bone. I'd even swear Neil knew what he was talking about. If you were ever afraid you might lose someone to this war in particular, this will upset you. Almost funereal, the CD closes with the choir intoning "America the Beautiful." Is it for thee I weep?

The recording sounds quite immediate and raw, but that's Neil anyway. The trumpet, the choir, the urgency throughout all speak to the way a somnambulent America needs to wake up out of its torpor. The tar flats are gathering around the Yank heels and you don't even need a Canadian to tell you that. To paraphrase Ross Perot, that sound you're hearing is your future getting swallowed in debt to the Chinese and the Arabs. You got stuck with the bill for the lies of Cheney, Rumsfled and Pinocchio. Was there ever a leader who deserved a particular fate? But that's up to you folks. That trumpet is playing taps.

All in all, with a revived Stephen Stills regaining his edge and compositional skills, one can only hope that this summer's Freedom of Speech Tour (albeit a few years late) awakens a political fervor long lost to self indulgence among a generation of a certain age. Certainly Crosby has been extolling the courage of those who stand up against tyranny for ever, and perhaps even Nash will find a way to harden his act and deliver something worthy of the man who wrote "Chicago" and "Military Madness."