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3.3 out of 5 stars
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on September 29, 2010
When listening to Le Noise - Neil Young's sparse solo album produced by Daniel Lanois, I'm reminded of the gritty beauty of the instrumental soundtrack he composed for Jim Jarmusch's 1995 film "Dead Man." It too resonated with Young's signature, distorted electric guitar sound channelled through a warm tube amp, with chaotic stray notes and string wipes filling the ether. That this album is further enhanced by the soundboard magicianry of Lanois and a rich storytelling lyrical construct makes it even better. A few tracks glow like the burning embers of songs like "Sleeps With Angels". I heard a pre-album-release track on CBC Radio 2 a couple of weeks before this hit the store shelves and was instantly in love with the concept.

A sea change of sorts is immediately evident, with Lanois utilizing a bevy of effects that would feel more at home on a Caribou album than on the work of an old master like Neil Young. Track 5 "Angry World" opens with a loop of a lyric fragment that plays in the background throughout the entire song. The application of Lanois' production isn't heavy handed, but it is definitely a key factor in the presentation.

A somber tone is generated right from the opening riff. Young is reflective, and serves as a tour guide on some of the lesser episodes in his past. This is most notable in "Hitchiker" as he recalls a few indulgences in the various locales he's hit over the years. He is also observant - and his eyes see destruction and despair. In "Peaceful Valley Boulevard", one of the two acoustic tracks, he effectfully sings "Who will be the one to lead the nation, who will be the one to protect God's creation?" Suggestions of caution and preservation are the overwhelming themes at work here.

Stripped down. Interesting effects. Neil Young. Daniel Lanois. Perfection.
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on October 1, 2010
Le Noise by Neil Young
got this yesterday, listened to immediately after getting home, excellent best he has put out, in years. has gone back to his roots. interesting, life experiences lyrics, looking at complex social context in a different way. he tells a story most will feel. the one thing that i don't like is that the album only has 8 tracks. still a good buy, in my opinion. lots of people won't love it because he has a minimilist, theme, the rock grit is not gone. it's not the tuned down folk stuff. but I think it is a progression in his music carrier, old becomes new again. amazing that only a guitar fills all the music aspects perfectly.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon June 11, 2011
I'm not going to lie, I have Neil Young albums, I've seen him in concert, however, I'm not a big fan! Let me explain this, I RESPECT Neil Young, I can APPRECIATE his work, but he's never "hit me where it counts". NOT UNTILL NOW!!! Daniel Lanois is a genius, his solo work was very misunderstood and when I saw him open up for the Tragically Hip years ago I was saddened to see people in the crowd throwing water bottles at him!! (Some people's kids... sigh..) Either way, Lanois is a sound genius (no references necessary) who has managed to bring something out of Neil Young that I've NEVER heard before!! It is incredible!! I don't care if you hate both of them because you're going to eat those words after listening to this masterpiece.. I have one complaint, it's very short, but then again, if it was 3 hours long I would still have wanted more...
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When I first heard that Neil Young and Daniel Lanois were doing a CD together I had visions of Bob Dylan's "Oh Mercy" (Lanois produced that CD in the 1980's)which is not a bad thing. Well I should have known that Neil would not do what's been done before. What Mr. Young and Mr. Lanois have done is creat a very atmospheric CD just using Neil Youngs Voice and Guitar. The electric songs do sound like something from "Arc" or the "Dead Man" Soundtrack and the acoustic numbers (there are only 2)would fit into the song set on "Silver and Gold" but the song writing is better then anything done on those CD's. I would give this CD 5 star's but I don't think it's for everyone. But if you are a Neil Young fan of all his music not just a few CD's (You know the "Harvest" people! they know who they are) this should be for you. It is also cool that Neil talks about his Canadian roots. Now we all know the first place Neil smoked hash was in Toronto (LOL). Neil You rule "Keep On Rockin' In the Free World"
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on October 1, 2010
Brilliant!! Neil has done it again. Lanois helps to create an almost gothic sound and mood on the electric tracks. Neil has an even bigger sound than on Ragged Glory here. The White Stripes and Black Keys have mastered the stripped down Guitar and Drums sound but Neil goes even further here by not only losing the drums but exploding the guitar sound and the pieces fall all around your ears and stick in your mind. The album opens with the magnificant WALK WITH ME which sounds like Neil is talking to God and the guitar seems to answer in a crash of explosive sounds and images. Makes the hair on your neck stand up! The only critisim is the acoustic tracks seem to meander a bit as if Neil doesn't know where to take them next like he's in the process of writing them. But that's nothing really, as they still hit home and wrap themselves around your brain. I really didn't know what to expect when I first heard he was doing this. Coupled with the rather silly album title I actually was worried but I'm pleasantly surprised. This album is a masterpiece! Way to go Neil!! Great stuff.
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on February 13, 2016
Sound quality is very good. There are only 3 songs (my taste) that are interesting out of the 10. It's the acoustics ones, the others are quite a contrast.
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on October 31, 2010
I am going to give a little different view of the 4 and 5 star "Le Noise" reviews we are seeing. First I am a very big lifelong Neil fan and own everything he's ever released, have seen him live countless times from the 70's to present including having been to his Bridge Scool Benefits a few times. Lyrics are great but for as many different directions musically Neil has taken on albums over the years this one doesn't work and I know Langois reputation for working with U2, Dylan and others has been legendary but this coloboration doesn't work for me. In my humble opinion doing this album electric with it's mixing ruined what could have been a classic. From a fan that has followed and enjoyed even some of Neil's "out there" work or concepts for over 40 years "Le Noise" was very dissapointing perhaps expectaions were too high. Here's a positive thought though again of what "could have been" in my opinion, if Neil would have taken these songs and did them solo with an accoustic guitar staight up alone no effects I truly believe this album would have been up there with Harvest & Comes a Time. I know that's a bold statement but that's the fine line from being an ok release to a classic. Neil has many classics with different sounds, concepts and musicians or just plain solo and this could have been up there. I have tried over and over to change my opinion as Neil's work is usually an automatic 4 or 5 as I can always find a way to get into where he's going with the album, sound, lyrics and concept but I can't get there with "Le Noise". Neil, please release it somwhere in a future archives set just with you and an accoustic guitar and I think it would be an instant classic that could compare to the likes of Harvest. Respectfully, AP
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on February 3, 2016
What's not to love about Neil Young.
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on July 3, 2014
Always like Neil Young
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on February 4, 2015
Its ok, no more
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