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Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Dec 29th, 2014

Neil Young: Storytone [Deluxe Edition]

neil young storytoneNeil Young
Storytone [Deluxe Edition]
(Reprise)

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Storytone is the 25th studio album from Neil Young. This Deluxe Edition features Young playing the songs solo, plus the actual album of these songs recorded with an orchestra.

The solo “Plastic Flowers” opens with Neil’s high voice breaking over simple, pretty piano, but it kind of goes nowhere. “Who’s Gonna Stand Up?” follows with a Neil fla-fla-flanky rhythm on what sounds like a dobro. The lyrics here cover banal ecology ground and are not so worthy of Young’s usually great lyric writing. The orchestra versions of both are overdone….even with the ominous cellos laying the bed on “Stand.”

I do like the electric guitar strut mixed with piano and horns on the “band” version of the honky-tonkin’ “I Want to Drive My Car,” and the strings are sweet and sweepingly effective on “Glimmer.” It’s amazing how delicately high Young’s voice still sounds. This is a sweet love song, brought to better high effect with the lush strings.

There’s a big band of organ and horns, popping bass and some neat-o muted distorted guitar on “Say Hello To Chicago.” It’s not a great song, but it proves how interesting Neil Young can still be.

“Like You Used to Do” fares better as solo Neil on electric and harmonica. I love the lyric “I got my problems, but they mostly show up with you.” The band version is plucky cool too. I just like hearing the harmonica more than the horns here; it reads as two wholly different tunes in each version (which of course is the point, no?) And the love song, “I’m Glad I Found You,” is sweeter as well with just Neil’s voice and piano.

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Neil Young: Storytone [Deluxe Edition]