"Neil Young has explored lots of musical territory and taken some interesting chances, but in my own view as a longtime fan, he's at his strongest when he's at his most acoustic and mellow. The "godfather of grunge" was also the guy who invented "unplugged."For those whose tastes match my own, _Harvest_ is likely to rank as a favorite among Young's many albums. (And longtime listeners will recall that at one time Young had planned a follow-up to _Harvest_ to be entitled _Homegrown_. Two cuts intended for this album -- "Star of Bethlehem" and "The Deep Forbidden Lake" -- appeared on _Decade_.)_Harvest Moon_ is a conscious attempt to recall, celebrate, and go beyond that earlier album, and it reassembles all of the key personnel: the beloved Stray Gators, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, even arranger Jack Nitzche. (Even one or two songs from the old LP are deliberately invoked: "You and Me," a spare and lovely duet with the late and sorely missed Nicolette Larson, makes explicit reference to "Old Man.")But Young didn't exactly stand still during the two decades between the two releases. _Harvest Moon_ is a much more mature and satisfying collection -- better written, better performed, better produced. Young's lyrics are wistfully evocative; his voice and guitar are clear, solid, and strong.I could carry on at length about my favorites ("Unknown Legend," "War of Man," and "You and Me,") but I won't try to describe them. I'll just say that anyone who loved _Harvest_ will probably love this one even more."
I Wouldn't Trade This CD For Anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Todd W. Smith | Midway, KY | 10/18/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's autumn, and the greatness of this album compels me to comment on it. Yes, this is a mellow, folky, almost country-ish offering-and I'm convinced that's what Neil does best. As good of an album as Harvest was, Harvest Moon is decidedly better, even though it was made years after Harvest. The concept album shows great maturity, not to mention some of the most beautiful folk ballads I've ever heard. There is also a lot of great harmony, featuring James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt. Neil is in your living room reflecting on past friends and lovers, and the beauty in this life. A great album to snuggle up to with your loved one on a crisp, late autumn evening. This is timeless music that will endure through the ages. For anyone who has ever loved anything Neil has done or folk music, you owe it to yourself to add this to your collection. P.S.- Nov. 2007: I just wanted to comment on a couple of people who said this album was too slick and overproduced. I just don't see it. One person commented on how the harmonies seemed too obviously overdubbed. First of all, I don't think it's uncommon for harmonies to be overdubbed. That's really only apparent on "One of These Days"- I know what he's talking about. It was an intended effect- and it worked. Superbly."
Not a Sequel . .An Equal!
Brent Evans | Rockhampton, Australia | 05/10/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When in 1992 Neil Young declared his intention to revisit HARVEST,critics waited with sharpened pens to deride the end product as a mere carbon copy of the original masterpiece.How dissapointed they were!HARVEST MOON takes the same country boy from HARVEST;making him older and wiser but still astonished by love of a woman and of nature.Old friends participate:James Taylor,Jack Nitzche, Nicolette Larson,Linda Ronstadt and the Stray Gators.There is classic Young on this release: UNKNOWN LEGEND,DREAMIN' MAN,OLD KING,HARVEST MOON and FROM HANK TO HENDRIX.Young paints a vivid picture of rural America in HARVEST MOON;many images can also apply to my territory,Australia. There is a cost to living free,but it is not unpayable.Do not look to HARVEST MOON as simply a HARVEST sequel;it is an equal;a version for the 90s and beyond."
One for those cold fall evenings.
Jon Berger | Oslo Norway | 07/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To me, Neil Young is two artists; one is the hard rockin' rock-god backed by Crazy Horse. The guy Pearl Jam cite as the "Godfather of Grunge".The other is a gentle, introspective and philosophical poet. This album is probably the latters masterpiece.Sure, the name was obviously used as a way of enticing old fans of the massivly successful "Harvest" into buying this, but "Harvest Moon" is no cheap rip-off sequel. Instead, we have a charming collection of accousticly flavoured songs that you find yourself singing along to.These are songs about times past, old friends lost, past glories and the dreams of youth. These are melancholy testaments to days gone by, and there's a quiet sadness flowing throughout the album. Fear of getting old? Memories of the past getting you down? Sure, it's here. But also a certain careful optimism about the future. More than a collection of songs, this is also a poetic masterpiece and a modern American classic. One you really ought to have in your collection."
Jon Berger | 11/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I get a new album, I typically listen to it once, then put it away for a few days or weeks. If I *really* like it, I might listen to it again the next day.When I got "Harvest Moon", I listened to it three times in a row, without pause.The album is... simply beautiful. It sets a mood from the opening notes, and continues it for the next fifty minutes. Very rarely do an album's lyrical and musical content harmonize so well. Topics include weariness, lost loves, fond memories, old friends, times gone by.This was THE album that got me into Neil Young. If you've heard and liked any one song off of "Harvest Moon", you won't be disappointed by the rest of the album."