Top positive review
Mournful, Frenzied — A Classic Album
Reviewed in the United States on February 28, 2021
I’ve always loved this album, re-play it frequently — never could figure out why. For me, it’s better, for all his raw honesty and ragged lyric genius, than Neil Young solo, better than CSN&Y. Solo, Neil Young always seems like Canadian Blue Skies with he flight of geese overhead or grunge rock cramped urban alleys with abandoned needles and overflowing garbage & CSN&Y, beautiful harmonies, great songs interrupted by protests filled with seething rage. ... But this album, Down By The River, Cinnamon Girl, Cowgirl in the Sand!..... It’s not folk rock, grunge rock or flat out Rock & Roll.... it’s something different. And, then, one day leafing through a book of glorious Charles Russell paintings, it hit me: this album’s like the soundtrack of a Charlie Russell painting — better said, like a sonic equivalent, vibrant colors crushed into a vivid soul. The music, Neil Young’s voice, somewhere between a wolf’s howl — mournful, mystical — and a buffalo stampede — guitar work, frenzied, wild, wide-open, out of control, There’s energy, mystery, a hint of violence, it’s morning coffee in the high country, drinks at midnight in an almost empty bar. A genuinely classic album! Immortal? — maybe not. But lasting? — it’s lasted for me for fifty years now, hits the spot, seems to flow and surge like a white water river crashing into and navigating rapids. Nothing before or after exactly like it, that hits its heights..... except a Charlie Russel painting maybe.