Boy, was I excited for the new Neil Young album, Prairie Wind. I’m a long time Neil fan, and even through rough patches (by which I mean insanity like Trans and Neil and the Shocking Pinks) he’s always bounced back with something good.
Well, not this time. Coming off his latest rough patch (the Broadway show wanna-be Greendale) he moves right to another. I had high hopes for this album, and was even fooled by the (poorly written) marketspeak:
Prairie Wind is quintessential Neil Young, a masterpiece that completes the trilogy of his best-selling albums Harvest and Harvest Moon-direct yet poetic, country and folk yet rock.
I love Harvest and Harvest Moon! I bought Prairie Moon as soon as it was released. Damn, what a disappointment. You can hear some good songs in there, struggling to get out – but they’re buried under unnecessary strings, horns, and choruses.
I don’t have the liner notes in front of me so I don’t know who (over)produced it, but in my opinion they ruined an album that had tons of potential. [Edit:The album was produced by Ben Keith, who also produced Harvest Moon, Comes a Time, American Stars & Bars, and Old Ways.]