8 years later, this CD holds up brilliantly. Young was certainly intoxicated by the breath of fresh, extremely competent and challenging musicianship that Pearl Jam offered him, much as he was by the power trio of the FREEDOM CD. How much Crazy Horse can one man take? In any case, as a band, not just a leader with a pack of bungling sidekicks, Young and Pearl Jam deliver one of the best CDs of his career. There are some truly great numbers here: "Peace and Love", "I'm the Ocean" (which would resurface on GREENDALE as "Be the Rain"), "Throw Your Hatred Down" (which resonates more profoundly given the current geo-political crises) are absolutely classic Young songs on a level with "Hurricane" and "Powderfinger". The throwaway cut here is "Downtown," which at the time was the "hit." He needs to lay off anything that might even suggest Danny Whitten.
The rest is amazing stuff and seems to suggest that in the effort to somehow validate ourselves via the fetishization fans embrace for rock stars, or for that matter any icon of the cult of personality, we lose sight of what is so precious about our own lives, become tranfixed and mesmerized by the glittering lights bouncing off the mirror ball. Extend that to a national scope and it becomes a pandemic of nationalistic narcissism, which of course begets the cultural wars fed by isolationist persecution complexes.Well, maybe I'm reading a bit into this. Truth is, there was a time Young could inspire you to think. Anyway, for those who just want to rock and roll, this will do it for you. Young would find additional inspiration in his return to Crazy Horse, although his return to CSN would actual deaden his focus. The guy who eschewed the pop stardom of HARVEST, would somehow seek it out at the end of the nineties. At this point, though, Neil was firing on all burners and this is a great, great testament to a songwriter justifying his reputation.