youngNeil Young – Fork in the Road (Reprise)

A crunching album about the credit crunch? Sounds clever and Neil Young’s fifth release in four years has its moments.

Loosely themed around the 63-year-old eco-warrior’s love affair with his 1959 Lincoln Continental and his experiment to make it more fuel-efficient, FITR gives new meaning to the term garage rock.

The album kicks off in rousing style with When Worlds Collide, an instantly appealing song, reminiscent of much of his work on his anti-Bush Living With War. Indeed, this is very much a follow-up to that with its rough-edged fuzzy sound and anti-government message.

But if it’s polish, finely crafted songs, melody or even Young’s whimsical, folksy music you crave, this isn’t the album for you. Critics will claim, with some justification, Fork In The Road is documentary proof of Young’s lack of quality control.

While some artists write 30 songs and then choose 10 for their eventual album, he releases three albums. But tracks such as Light A Candle, the excellent Johnny Magic and the riff-laden opener demonstrate that at his best, the Canadian is still in the Premier Division of songwriting. (IM)

rushonrock rated: 6/10 Young At Heart