Neil Young: Chrome Dreams II

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Neil Young: Chrome Dreams II

Leave it to ol’ Neil to make the sequel to an album that never came out

Chrome Dreams II is one of those “instant” records Young pops out as it suits him, reflecting his state of mind at any given moment.

Here, he squeezes his favorite colors onto a palette and slaps some paint on a series of canvases, unconcerned about overall style or coherence, giving his right-brain free rein. The results are less fully formed than the elegiac murals of his most recent “serious” work, 2005’s Prairie Wind, but the preoccupations are the same—the road of life, the end of that road and the preciousness of family. On CDII’s ten laidback songs, this freewheeling approach yields haphazard results, but it enflames the rockers, especially the two epics, “No Hidden Path” (14:33) and newly unearthed 1988 track “Ordinary People” (18:13). On both, Young uncorks his storied one-two punch, mounting a pair of sweeping, detailed social narratives while ripping away at the guitar strings, laying his psyche bare. Long may he rave.