Neil Young: Fork In The Road

Brian Wilson and Bruce Springsteen are famous for writing songs about cars, but Fork In The Road is the the first album that I can remember that is about one car. The vehicle in question is Neil Young’s precious Lincoln Continental that he’s had converted to hybrid technology. Now he wants you to know all about it.

This album is more than a mere tribute to an automobile. Young is weighing in on the energy crisis, and the need for “green fuel.” In “Johnny Magic” he says the car “burst from the garage, in a blare of silence, at lightning speed,” and “she did all that on electric power.” No need to worry about the performance of your hybrid.

This is very much an electric album, featuring Young cohorts multi-instrumentalist Ben Keith, and bass player Rick Rosas. The one exception is the lovely acoustic song “Light A Candle,” in which Young urges us to take advantage of this opportunity to change our path so “others might see ahead.”

The title track sums it all up. It addresses the financial crisis (“there’s a bailout coming but it’s not for you”), file sharing (“I’m a rock star. My sales have tanked”), the onset of age (“Got a pot-belly”), and the War in Iraq.

Frankly, I was surprised by this album. I was afraid it might be a slapdash affair. Instead, it’s a spontaneous and powerful statement on the times we live in.

In A Word: Environmental