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Sleeps With Angels

4.0 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Aug. 16 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B000002MUC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,241 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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1. My Heart
2. Prime Of Life
3. Driveby
4. Sleeps With Angels
5. Western Hero
6. Change Your Mind
7. Blue Eden
8. Safeway Cart
9. Train Of Love
10. Trans Am
11. Piece Of Crap
12. A Dream That Can Last

Product Description

Product Description

Certified gold by the RIAA 10/94


If Neil Young has a pronounced weakness, it's a lack of focus. Restless to a fault, he's apt to rush into the recording studio without fully forming his ideas. Sleeps with Angels is that kind of album--and yet it's one of his best. Jarred by the death of Kurt Cobain (the rock & roll martyr quoted Young in his suicide note), he dashed off this collection of songs in 1994 with backing from his steadfast electric warriors, Crazy Horse. At least two songs--the title track and "Change Your Mind"--seem to directly refer to Cobain. Others--"Driveby" and "Safeway Cart" among the most striking--are mesmerizing and gloomy. Still others--"Piece of Crap," "Blue Eden"--are raw and cutting. Goes to show an elegy, no matter how somber, needn't be a hushed affair. --Steven Stolder

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I hated to album when I first heard it, but I really didn't give it close attention. I expected something to reach out and grab me the way "Freedom" or "Ragged Glory" did, and my initial assessment was a sloppy, tired, boring failure. But over the years a lot of people have prodded me, telling me it's much better than that, and having given it a real chance, I have to admit I was wrong. It's one of Neil's most interesting albums, sonically and lyrically. The harrowing atmosphere has been compared to that surrounding "Tonight's The Night," but the sound is very different. Here, it's almost apocalyptic, with a heavy and occasionally experimental production that you won't find on Neil's more well-known albums.
"My Heart" is pretty strange and off-kilter song. On paper, the words could have come out of a Broadway show, but when you hear this song sung in a quivering, straining vocal, occasionally double-tracked in a way that feels slightly off, and played on that tack piano out of "Touch of Evil," it really gets under your skin after awhile. This pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the CD where just about everything has something disturbing about it. On the title track, the immediate impact and tremendous loss of Cobain's death on his wife is surrounded in the most oppressive sound to ever grace a Neil Young record. He may have achieved greater levels of distortion elsewhere, but the dirge-like lyrics with the desperate, off-key chorus occasionally surfacing throughout the song makes this even more harrowing, the aural equivalent of a Franz Kafka novel.
I could go on an on (the ominous throb of the strange road epic "Trans Am", etc.) if I had the space.
But it's not all doom and gloom.
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Format: Audio CD
Neil Young and Crazy Horse never fail to amaze, and this album is no exception. This album is one of the darkest, if not the darkest ever released by Neil Young. I first heard this album when I was 12, but did not buy it until I was 15, and I am glad I did.
The majority of the album is comprised of electric songs, with two piano songs placed on the album as bookends. Here is a song-by-song analysis.
MY HEART: Great intro, simple but beautiful song. This song features Neil on tack piano.
PRIME OF LIFE: Features Neil on flute, great melody and lyrics.
DRIVEBY: Very slow, sad song, excellent track.
SLEEPS WITH ANGELS: This song was written when Neil heard of the suicide of Kurt Cobain. Very slow, dark, moody song.
WESTERN HERO: Classic Neil Young melody, great storyline in the lyrics. This melody creeps up later on another song on the album.
CHANGE YOUR MIND: Without a doubt, the best song on the album. Great guitar solos after every verse. This song is sort of a sister to "Cowgirl In The Sand" found on the album Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, released well over two decades before this. Not exactly sure what this song is about, but that doesn't matter. Chock full of great guitar solos and a beautiful vocal melody. One of the best songs he has ever recorded with Crazy Horse, definitely recommended. The songs clocks in at over 14 minutes long.
BLUE EDEN: Great jam. Very slow and bluesy.
SAFEWAY CART: This song is another slow one, very dark and eerie, yet soothing at the same time. Love listening to it at night with headphones.
TRAIN OF LOVE: Same melody as "Western Hero," see that song for more info.
TRANS AM: This is a classic Neil story-song. Quite dark, great chord progression.
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Format: Audio CD
Four stars because, well, 5 for the great, 2 for the bad, means 3.5, and let's give Neil the benefit of the doubt, because the good outweighs the bad and he's Neil Young and we love him. The ones you don't like, don't listen to them. The bad are bad...but who cares, if you're thinking about buying this you're probably die-hard Neil, like I am, so go ahead, you'll be glad you did. First, it's no real eulogy for Kurt Cobain. Much of the feel is definitely elegaic, expressive of mourning for the loss of that which was great, but in this case that seems to be the case more for America and its myths than for any one person. Western Hero and Trans Am chart that territory really well in their lyrics, even if they leave something to be desired musically. But they're OK. Despite that I think that lyrics are not enough without excellent music (read poetry if you want, there's lots of good stuff out there) I'm still touched by Young's tender presentations of the American past in all its violence and his representation of the historically shifting protagonist in its modern situation as untenable. This beautiful ideal got us here, and we're all messed up, and we deserve annihilation, it seems to say. Though in Trans Am, with its ending in two guys going out to do a job, it situates itself in working class American manhood trying to get by, humanizes itself, even in the ambiguity of violence and rescue in which the woman with the Trans Am north of Barstow's left in. The feminists might not like it, but it shows guys being guys, and I think we're OK, after all. Now the middle of this CD is the 5 part. Personally, I think Change Your Mind is Young's greatest composition.Read more ›
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