Neil Young & Crazy Horse / Neil Young

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Neil Young employs Crazy Horse to help him bash out a guitar-drenched hard rock set made up of thrown-together material. The group plays fiercely, as usual, but the lyrics are sketchy, seemingly improvised (the nadir is the nine-minute "T-Bone," which consists of the lines "Got mashed potato/Ain't got no t-bone" repeated over and over), and frequently cranky, as in "Motor City," which finds Young criticizing Japanese cars, and "Rapid Transit," which takes a belated swipe at new wave music while sounding like second-rate Talking Heads. For the second album in a row, Young seems to be just fulfilling his one-album-a-year record contract. The exception is the album-closing "Shots" (written by 1978), a more substantive and threatening song given a riveting performance. Later, it would be revealed that Young was finding time for his music while giving most of his attention to caring for his disabled son. Still, he might have been better advised to have suspended record-making for a few years instead of turning out half-baked efforts like this one.

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