Fuzz guitar, echo and feedback permeate opener “Walk With me” as producer Daniel Lanois (who did so much for Dylan and U2) lets Neil Young release his inner grunge. Young, at 65, shows no signs of resting on past laurels. That idiosyncratic voice which has traversed decades unscathed sounds great atop the myriad of layered noise that is “Sign Of Love.”
No band. No overdubs. Just Young on acoustic and electric guitars awash in Lanois’ sound universe of loops, distortion, synthesizers and various electronics.
“Love And War’ sheds vocal effects completely to emphasize the stark realities of Young’s lyrics. That voice is right in your ear singing a post-modern folk song, tracing his entire evolution from “the back streets of Toronto” on, making sure to admit, “I said a lot of things that I can’t take back but I don’t really know if I want to” while still ruminating on all the moms who have to tell their kids that “daddy won’t ever come home.”
This is no Lou Reed Metal Machine Music project. There’s real blood and tears, real human emotion here. Sure, Young is couched in these dream sequences that Lanois specializes in, but his compositions bite with universal truth. The personal revelations in “Hitchhiker,” for instance, tell as much about the artist as a full-blown feature interview ever could. In fact, it’s that exact juxtaposition of the personal and the synthesized that make Le Noise what it is.
In A Word: Intriguing