Neil Young: Le Noise

Neil Young: Le Noise
I try to not read anything about the album’s I am reviewing before I listen to them once through. So I was hoping that Le Noise would be Neil Young‘s grand exploration into noise rock. I also secretly hoped that the album was produced by Thurston Moore. Unfortunately none of that is true, but Le Noise is definitely not your dad’s Neil Young record.
The album’s title is actually a titular pun on the album’s producer, Daniel Lanois‘ last name. With that said, the album is fairly noisy. “Angry World” starts with Passion Pit-esque vocal sampling before fuzzed-out electric guitar kicks in. But what’s amazing about the record is that it is mostly electric and it is all Neil Young solo. The album is just Neil Young playing distorted guitar and singing except for some atmospheric clicks and hisses.
Oddly, the songs that work the least on Le Noise are the songs that sound more like traditional Neil Young. “Love And War” is a fully acoustic song that could easily be off of Harvest. By itself the song is not bad or hamhanded, but in the context of Le Noise the track sticks out like a sore thumb. The only other fully acoustic song is “Peaceful Valley Boulevard”. On the track, a great amount of effects like reverb and echo are applied giving the track the illusion of a lot more going on than actually is. It works much better in the album’s context than the completely stripped down “Love and War”.
In the end, the album might not go down as a Neil Young classic but it is nice to hear a Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Famer try something new. Other hall of famers have tried new things to disastrous consequences (I’m looking at you Dee Dee Ramone rap album). Young handles the experiment with tact and to pleasant results.
Rating: 8.5/10
MP3: Neil Young “Angry World”
Buy: iTunes or Insound!

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