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NPR streams The Monsanto Years: “Taut” and “snarly”

10407532_760324400706134_8756850788598829929_nNPR writer Tom Moon seems to like Neil Young’s latest release: “The Monsanto Years.” NPR is streaming the album on its website at:

http://www.npr.org/2015/06/21/415234582/first-listen-neil-young-promise-of-the-real-the-monsanto-years

We’ve heard enough about it for months now. The album will be officially released June 30.

Moon writes:

“Having written some of the rock era’s most tender odes to love and devotion, Young, now 69, might well be a little conflicted. He understands how love can be an escape; he appreciates the notion of the love song as a salve for the soul. But he’s a chronicler of his times, and there’s so much going on in the world, from the erosion of basic freedoms to the erosion of the soil, and he feels a responsibility to sound the alarm. The title line is repeated often, in unwaveringly consonant ’60s-Coke-commercial vocal harmonies — a contrast to the acidic voice Young uses to inventory the many unpleasant realities that have riled him up.”

He calls the song: “People Want To Hear About Love”  the most artful moment on The Monsanto Years, Young’s 36th studio album as a solo artist. “Taut” is his word for it, and Young is describes as “Snarly.”

“Here, we have a series of taut and stone-simple Neil Young songs that fit together under a catchall concept (about companies wielding extraordinary influence over many aspects of our quality of life), each powered by its own supply of righteous fury. Enjoyment of it probably depends less on whether you agree with Young’s positions than on how much tolerance you have for a mantra, repeated frequently, using the three syllables that make up the trade name Monsanto. It also helps to like your harangues set to three-chord rock and expressed through triadic melodies. This is not subtle, Harvest Moon Neil, brooding at the piano. This is ornery, snarly Neil. Give him a megaphone and a transcript of these lyrics, put him on a street corner and watch what happens.”

Decide for yourself.

Read more, and listen here:

http://www.npr.org/2015/06/21/415234582/first-listen-neil-young-promise-of-the-real-the-monsanto-years

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