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Living With War CD-ROM
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LIVING WITH WAR MUSIC
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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
All right, politics time, much as some may not like it. This is, by its nature, a PROTEST ALBUM. Therefore, politics must play heavily into the reviews. Neil Young has, over the years, been a talking head for what he feels is the state of our nation and of our world. When he feels the need to say "WAKE THE F@%& UP!!!" he does a protest type album.
I do not think he asks you to agree with his beliefs, just that you listen and make your mind up about what you believe. We have become, to an extent, a nation of lemmings. We know our politicians are crooked, but we want to just ignore it, hoping it will go away. Neil, I think, is saying with this, "What is wrong with you? Open your eyes!" You don't agree with him, great. You do agree, great. I personally agree. And before you call me an aging boomer, check some of my other reviews. I'm a Gen-X'er, baby. Born in 1973. My mom is a grade school teacher, my dad does IT. They weren't exactly protesters in their youth, just good down home Midwestern kids.
What makes our wonderful country great is that any one of us could have created this album and not have to worry about being assassinated, or otherwise disappearing, for our beliefs. Welcome to America. Check your Bill of Rights kids. This is peaceful protestation. We as Americans need to take a step back and see the corruption that is happening and actually do something about it. Get out there and bang the drums of protest. Loudly! Otherwise don't cry about the pathetic crap that is happening in D.C.
So, on to the politics. George W. Bush is the worst President in the short history of our country (and I dread to think that there will be even worse to come). I sometimes find it hard to believe that I'm actually living through these years, and I never ever thought that I would find myself looking back on the Nixon years with fondness, but Bush actually makes Nixon look good. Thank you Neil Young for waking up and realizing what a dangerous situation we're in. American, Canadian, Mexican, whatever - we are all in jeopardy with this evil regime in power. Impeachment cannot come too soon!
For the musical content, I would give this album 2 1/2 stars, but because I agree with the message, I give it 4 stars.
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