on September 8, 2014
I expected a vinyl record, not a cd, so I was disappointed.
on August 10, 2014
Young when young. Great music.
on March 23, 2008
It strikes me that Harvest Moon is clearly a hearkening back to Harvest, released some 20 years earlier. As such, it (unfortunately) begs to be reviewed by comparison....I say unfortunately because my appreciation of this album dropped dramatically once I had heard Harvest again.
The magic of Harvest was that the themes and their presentation were varied and fresh, almost naive, Neil was pushing the cusp of his world, groping for his identity amidst the dramatically expanded world in front of him (thanks to his success as a very young musician).
Harvest Moon, while I will agree with other reviewers who note its overall quality, tightness of lyrics and seamless music, comes off as a well textured choreographed album. It has none of the quite rawness of Needle and the Damage Done or the angst of Alabama, nor really the expansive grace of Heart of Gold, let alone the introspective waltz meets boxing match of 'Old Man'.
Indeed, this brings us to what I see as the heart of the matter: Neil Young at the time of this record is a older man, and his record sounds like it, too much like it in fact given the emotion he brings his old and new songs alike in live concerts.
A major drawback for this album is the production. It is way to smooth, overbalanced. This dampens the variance in the songs, homogenizes their disparate textures.
There are some great songs on this album, and it sits well as a whole, but for me it never reaches up to fully grasp my attention, to make me really care about what he is singing about.
That said, I am much closer in age to the Neil Young that wrote and recorded Harvest than the one that wrote and recorded Harvest Moon. And there in may lie the difference.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2004
I can't say enough about this album. To me, it is his best work. He is an ever-changing musician, just when you think you know him, BAM he comes out with something different, yet not far off from what he is all about.
I absolutely love this work. I keep waiting for him to come out with something that is similar. I know he will. It is soft, melodic, wonderful. Everyone, not just Neil fans, will love this one.
Do yourself the favor, if there is one Neil album that you should buy it is this one.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2004
This is a great CD. I have listened to it many times.
"Harvest Moon" and "War of Man" are very good. "From Hank to Hendrix" is a very interesting. You get a lot of insight into Neil from this CD. Wonderfully Done!! :)
on March 2, 2004
"Harvest" is still a catchier album in terms of the music, but lyrically "Harvest Moon" is far more rewarding. The writing is richer and more mature, and while "Harvest" may be more tuneful, that's not to say "Harvest Moon" is lacking in melody. The CD is full of breezy, easy-going hooks, like the title track and "One of These Days," the latter unabashedly steeped in wistful nostalgia but perfectly sweet without ever sounding too sentimental. The best numbers are the first two, which are at the very least minor classics, and the last number, "Natural Beauty," which at 10 minutes is twice as long as anything else on the CD. It's a meditative, somber ecological song that is very evocative of how the natural world is slipping away, and it's beautiful in its spare arrangement, surrounding Neil and his guitar with an echo-drenched chorus (not digital echo, as Neil would want to point out) and a few mirimba notes.
I wouldn't go as far as to say it's his best work, but it's one of his most accessible works, and a good entry point for anyone wishing to familiarize themselves with Neil's acoustic side.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2004
Although this album features some strong song-writing, I found it to be overproduced. Both Young's voice and those of his background singers sound processed, as if the producer were trying to smooth over Neil's rough edges, which is the very thing that has always given him such an authentic, human sound. The arrangements are also needlessly complicated and synthesizer-drenched. The above-mentioned flaws are most noticeable on "Natural Beauty," "War of Man," and "Such A Woman." Several of the songs on "Harvest Moon" also appear on Neil's "MTV Unplugged" disk, where they benefit from the sparer arrangement.
on September 2, 2003
This album was all Neil could do in 1992. The years before had brought successively harder and louder rock albums: "Freedom," "Ragged Glory," and the incredibly ear-piercing, distorted, feedback-drenched double live album "Weld" had taken their toll on Young's hearing and he couldn't have handled putting out another grungy, hard rock collection (apparently he contracted tinnitus). Thus, he returned to the pastoral feeling of "Harvest" (although he vehemently denied that it was a sequel), and to fine results. The best track is arguably the title one, and I'd buy this for "Old King" alone (a hilarious banjo tribute to his late dog Elvis). It's Young's most unusual release of the 90s; after this he released "Sleeps With Angels" and the incredible "Mirror Ball," both of which helped build his image as the "Godfather of Grunge." "Harvest Moon" is kind of a peaceful interim between the loud rock and roll of the other albums, and that's just fine, something he and his fans needed to give their ears a rest after "Weld."
on July 8, 2003
I don't know many people who can say much that's negative about Neil Young and his music. He's had a long and productive musical career, one which has spanned well over 30 years. He's made innovative rock with Buffalo Springfield, wonderful harmony vocal albums with Crosby, Stills, and Nash, as well as his own solo albums. He's done folk, rock, hard rock, experimental electronic vocals, even rockabilly. I can go on about how this man's life has been beyond any musicians dreams, but i'll just cover this album.
"Harvest Moon" is the logical successor to Young's early 70's breakthrough release "Harvest". The latter was a massive success in its day ('Heart of Gold' is his biggest song to date; you can hear it on literally every rock station). It was characterized by a mostly folk approach, blended with country and rock and roll sounds. This album is much the same, not only in the approach to sound, but with lyrics as well.
This albu takes a very similar appraoch. The instrumentation is fairly simple, almost purely acoustic and without too many extraneous overdubs. It also features the most heart-felt and honest lyrics of any NY album i've heard. He reflects on rural, simplistic idealisms, revealing a man with a passion for a lifestyle that the average rocker would find incredibly boring. Then again, he's far from average. The guy never makes the same album twice in a row.
With numerous guests, as well as the good ol' reliable Crazy Horse fellows providing that extra little bit of flavor to the music, it's hard to beat. I can listen to it anytime, because it's an album that is not only pleasant to the ears, but provides a sort of message; that life doesn't have to be so fast-paced, always moving and never looking back. This album shows that there is heart to be found in the sweetest (and sometimes the bitterest) of memories.
on January 29, 2003
First of all, this is not one of Young's "rockin" albums. Do not get it if you're looking to jam. The songs are slow, atmospheric and HAUNTING.
There is one uptempo piece, OLD KING, about a guy remembering his old hound dog. It features a delightful banjo, and is a great song to sing along to, and just makes you feel good. It's a nice break.
All the other songs are beautiful and lyrical and mixed with melancholy. HARVEST MOON is a terrifically romantic song...guys, I highly recommend it. Frankly, the whole album is best enjoyed in a darkened room. If you could actually listen to it outside during a full moon, you'd get goosebumps, guaranteed. Never has Young's quavery, unique, hardly beautiful but oddly haunting voice sounded better.
Again, this is not a MODERN album. Even my 60 year old parents listen to it eagerly, and they hate rock. It's Young's own brand of folk. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!