Arts & Entertainment, The Muse

Young at Heart

Neil Young sings, ‘Taking a trip across the USA, gonna meet a lot of people along the way,’ in ‘When Worlds Collide,’ the first track off of his newest album ‘Fork In The Road.” Following his 2006 release, ‘Living With War,’ Young has refueled, regeared and buckled up his listeners for a politically-infused roadtrip through wherever America can be found on today’s maps, which, after listening a few times through, sounds to be somewhere on a dusty, pot-hole-covered backroad facing one of the biggest forks our country has ever seen.

Young has once again done his best to bring the brink-pushing freedom of speech from the 60s into the minds and power of today’s youth. Through tracks like ‘Fuel Line,’ ‘Get Behind The Wheel’ and ‘Hit The Road’ Young takes energy conservation for a ride, specifically promoting his LincVolt project’ (a mission aimed at turning out-of-date automobiles into electricity) in the fourth track off the album ‘Johnny Magic.’ With rhythms as soulful as cornbread, that uniquely folky voice which never does quite seem to change and lyrics boasting that ‘the Motor-Head Messiah was tuning the system in,’ you can’t help but want to be right at the wheel for all of America’s uphill changes.’ As he sings in ‘Fuel Line,’ the second track on the album, ‘the world is ready for a whole new game,’ and with Young’s lyrics of insight and inspiration, our nation’s youth should be ready to suit up and play.

It takes a while to get past his automobile binge, but, as the tracks go on, Young makes the call for broader change ‘-‘- targeting misdirected bailouts, unnecessary wars and even illegal downloading. In the title track, which happens to be the last song on the album, Young places himself alongside the middle-class suburban American, singing, ‘there’s a bailout coming but it’s not for me, it’s for all those creeps watching tickers on TV.’ Rather than taking the in-your-face approach, Young subdues his activism, sneaking in the back door and looking at the future alongside his listeners rather than talking down to them.

With his traditional folk-rock sound, lyrics literally telling us to ‘hit the road’ and tour dates already set for this spring, ‘Fork In The Road’ reminds us as Americans to get involved in mapping the route we want our country to take.

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