Young harvests good melodies with ‘Prairie Wind’

Gabe Gott

Neil Young is one of the most prolific songwriters in the history of recorded music.

His albums span five decades and range in style from folk rock to country and even grunge.

Young’s new album, Prairie Wind, is his best one in years. The album is reminiscent of his country-tinged albums Harvest and Harvest Moon.

Young’s unique voice is just as good as ever, and, along with the gently-strummed acoustic guitars, is the thread that ties the album together. The tracks are layered tastefully with percussion, bass guitar, steel guitar, a vocal choir and various other instruments.

Highlights include “The Painter,” which is about a painter on the surface, but it is obviously a metaphor for Young looking back on his career.

“When God Made Me” is an emotion-stirring piano ballad. It is easily the most beautiful , and is one of Young’s best songs to date. Its lyrics question what God had in mind when He created man.

The lyrics on the album explore many topics. The song “He was the King” is about the king of rock n’ roll – Elvis Presley. “This Old Guitar” iis a sentimental ode to a guitar. The lyrics go:

“This old guitar ain’t mine to keep / I’m takin’ care of it now / It’s been around for years and years / Just waitin’ in its old case…”

Prairie Wind would make a good soundtrack for driving through the country on a sunny fall afternoon. It is melodic and relaxing.

There were not any major weak spots on the album; however, the song “No Wonder” is not quite as good as the others.

If there was any doubt, Prairie Wind proves that Young is just as relevant as a songwriter as he always was.

– Gabe Gott