Wednesday, July 4, 2012

CD Review: Neil Young & Patti Smith Release Their Best Albums In Decades

The Godfather of Grunge is back and he brought along his band Crazy Horse. It's been nine years since they recorded together and they decided now is as good a time as any to get together in the studio and see what happens. Earlier this year on Neil Young's website they released a thirty-minute studio jam to introduce to the world what to expect.

On June 5, Neil Young and Crazy Horse released a newly recorded album of classic songs that everybody has sung since they were kids. The songs on "Americana" read out like a mother goose nursery rhyme book, but songs like the opener "Oh Susannah" and "Tom Dooley" are given a darker tone when performed by Young and Crazy Horse. They include all the verses (even the forgotten ones) that push most of the songs past the five-minute mark. The boys seems to be having fun with their brand of doo-wop as in "Get A Job." They lighten the tone a little on "Travel On" and "This Land Is Your Land" by using the help of a children's choir, but you can feel Neil's pain through his vocals on "Wayfarin' Stranger." The album finishes with an all-out rock assault of "God Save The Queen" as the children's choir returns to close out the album.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse are heading out on the road in August. They will be touring until the beginning of December where they will be performing at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT. Also, fans purchasing a ticket to the show will entitle you to receive a copy of the new album (while supplies last). For more information, be sure to check out

American singer/songwriter Patti Smith released her eleventh studio album on June 5 entitled “Banga.” This is her first collection of original material in eight years and her first set of recordings since her 2007 covers album, “Twelve.” The album debuted at #57 on the Billboard Album charts.

Smith instills a lot of her poetry within this album, beginning with “Amerigo,” which reimages the voyage of Amerigo Vespucci to the New World. The album’s first single, “April Fool” gives us a glimpse of the great songwriting that Smith has been known for. The song carries a very laid-back vibe with simple, but catchy lyrics that draw you into to Smith’s vocals. She continues this trend with “This Is The Girl” written in memory of Amy Winehouse. Smith speaks her poetry in “Tarkovsky” and “Constantine’s Dream,” which brings up memories of Jim Morrison’s poetry album, “American Prayer.” Johnny Depp lends a hand on “Banga” giving the song a post-punk, grunge sound, before Smith dives back to some of her most heartfelt lyrics in years on “Maria.” The album closes with a spot-on cover of Neil Young’s “After The Gold Rush,” which fits perfectly at the end of this album.

Patti Smith is touring extensively over in Europe until September. She will join Neil Young in November for a set of seven shows which concludes on December 4 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, CT. For more information on her new album and for a complete list of tour dates, please visit

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