Silver & Gold

Neil Young

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

Silver & Gold Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Silver & Gold went through a number of incarnations before it was finally released in the spring of 2000. The endless delays raised hopes for the album, as did superstition -- dedicated Neil Young fans believed he was creatively reborn at the end of each decade. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Rust Never Sleeps, and Freedom added credence to this theory, but those records were knocked out quickly, appearing a year after their predecessors. In contrast, Silver & Gold appeared four years after Broken Arrow. During those four years, all sorts of projects were in the works for Young, including a 1999 reunion with Crosby, Stills & Nash. His three songs on their comeback Looking Forward were pleasant acoustic numbers that often seemed a little slight. It was easy to assume that Young was saving the real treasures for his solo record, but Silver & Gold doesn't confirm that theory. Instead, it's a continuation of his Looking Forward contributions, performed with the warm, amiable ramble of Harvest Moon. A pleasant sound, to be sure, but not exactly what Young followers were expecting. They also may be a little dismayed to realize that two of its best songs, "Silver & Gold" and "Razor Love," date from 1982 and 1987, respectively, suggesting that Neil may not be at the top of his game. Still, there are no truly bad songs here, although the light-hearted, light-headed reminiscence "Buffalo Springfield Again" treads close to the borderline. It's a low-key, charming, comfortable record, which is hardly a bad thing at all -- it just doesn't quite live up to the abnormally high expectations. Fortunately, those expectations fade upon repeated plays, and Silver & Gold reveals itself as a nice Neil Young record. Nothing particularly special, but nice all the same.

blue highlight denotes track pick