The Canadian music hall of famer and former member of Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young is responsible for hits like Southern Man, Heart of Gold and Harvest Moon. But on his newest record, to be ti... more »tled Living with the War, Young is taking a page from Bob Dylan and putting together an album of protest songs against the actions of American President George W. Bush. One of the tracks on the upcoming release, which as of yet has no release date, is said to feature the single Let?s Impeach the President whose subject is fairly obvious. Not a stranger to protest music the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young tune Ohio was written in reaction to a protest against the Vietnam War.« less
The Canadian music hall of famer and former member of Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young is responsible for hits like Southern Man, Heart of Gold and Harvest Moon. But on his newest record, to be titled Living with the War, Young is taking a page from Bob Dylan and putting together an album of protest songs against the actions of American President George W. Bush. One of the tracks on the upcoming release, which as of yet has no release date, is said to feature the single Let?s Impeach the President whose subject is fairly obvious. Not a stranger to protest music the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young tune Ohio was written in reaction to a protest against the Vietnam War.
Tom A. (CTA4him) from ANDERSON, SC Reviewed on 3/14/2015...
Stayed away from this cd for years because of the bad reviews and has showed me again to ignore the critics. This is or as good as anything Neil has released in recent years. As good as "Harvest" no, but what is. If you're a Neil fan then you need this disc.
Marvin C. (marty) from MOUNT AIRY, MD Reviewed on 2/16/2007...
The music is good, but the message is a little too political for my taste.
Not for the faint of heart
Mark A. Cartier | Portland, Or. USA | 05/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is electric Neil, not acoustic Neil.
I'm one of those people who is (I suppose) middle of the road and when i heard about this album was interested in how Neil would deliver his 'message'. Well, it's direct. Brutally so.
Shock and Awe is an all time classic Neil song (think Rockin in the Free World on steroids). Bank on that. The Restless Consumer is another great song. Families is a toe tapper. Let's Impeach the President is, well, a pretty decent song (musically a cousin to Powderfinger) but the lyrics are -well wow (Flip/Flop). Listen yourself. There are very few weak moments on this album. This isn't Harvest, Rust or Everybody Knows - but it's a good CD if you like electric Neil.
As someone wrote earlier, this may be the best protest 'album' ever recorded. It is sure to elicit some type of response from you, positive or negative. That's why it gets 5 stars. I highly recommend this album.
If you ever (even if just for a brief moment) think this country is going back to the days of "no taxation without representation", you should listen to this - even if just to admire what someone can do with his art with first amendment protection.
Unlike the brave "A Kids Review", I think we're all capable of knowing this is Neil's perception - not the person reading this (or writing it for that matter).
Phil Ochs with a Gretsch...
o dubhthaigh | north rustico, pei, canada | 05/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Getting close to dying tends to sharpen your focus. First the elegiatic paean to his father, PRAIRIE WIND, and his tour de force concert film, HEART OF GOLD, and now the most revved up, furiously infuriated rock record since FREEDOM (he must love the Bush family), finds Young in a more defiant mood than he's been in since, well, Papa Bush. The result is incendiary. Working with Chad Cromwell and Rick Rosas, as he did in FREEDOM, Young let's loose like a metal version of Phil Ochs with songs that on occasion are slogan-riddled ("Impeach", "Looking For a Leader") that would not have been out of place on I'M NOT MARCHING ANYMORE. But there are also some extraordinarily superb Young compositions that sit with his very best, as well as with anything on Ochs' PLEASURES OF THE HARBOUR: most notably, "After the Garden is Gone", "No More Lies", "The Days of Shock and Awe" and "the Flags of Freedom (Dylan references included)." The CD closes with an absolute masterpiece in the "Cortez the Killer" vein: "Roger and Out" says more by suggestion than anything Young justifiably shakes his fist about in all that precedes it. If you have ever lost a friend to war, this is a little too close to the bone. I'd even swear Neil knew what he was talking about. If you were ever afraid you might lose someone to this war in particular, this will upset you. Almost funereal, the CD closes with the choir intoning "America the Beautiful." Is it for thee I weep? The recording sounds quite immediate and raw, but that's Neil anyway. The trumpet, the choir, the urgency throughout all speak to the way a somnambulent America needs to wake up out of its torpor. The tar flats are gathering around the Yank heels and you don't even need a Canadian to tell you that. To paraphrase Ross Perot, that sound you're hearing is your future getting swallowed in debt to the Chinese and the Arabs. You got stuck with the bill for the lies of Cheney, Rumsfled and Pinocchio. Was there ever a leader who deserved a particular fate? But that's up to you folks. That trumpet is playing taps. All in all, with a revived Stephen Stills regaining his edge and compositional skills, one can only hope that this summer's Freedom of Speech Tour (albeit a few years late) awakens a political fervor long lost to self indulgence among a generation of a certain age. Certainly Crosby has been extolling the courage of those who stand up against tyranny for ever, and perhaps even Nash will find a way to harden his act and deliver something worthy of the man who wrote "Chicago" and "Military Madness.""
Rousing and inspiring, some of Neil's best music and lyrics
John Stauber | Madison, WI USA | 05/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Living With War begins with Neil Young singing that we "won't need no shadow men running the government, won't need no stinking war". Angry, emotional words, but this is the most joyous and beautiful angry album I've ever heard.
This is truly an "Ohio" moment, and Living With War strikes a chord that will resonate with the millions of Americans who've tossed off their blinders and who see that this administration hijacked 9/11 for its own twisted political agenda. Now here we are mired in one disastrous war, watching this unpopular administration apparently trying to sell us another, just in time for an election.
Living With War is brilliant and inspiring on many levels: musically, politically, but also as a case study in guerrilla marketing and public relations. A couple of weeks ago word began to leak out that Neil Young, a proud and patriotic Canadian American whom many identify as conservative, was about to release a new song titled "Let's Impeach the President (For Lying)." Faster than you could say 'right-wing blogosphere' Young was in the media gun sights of pro-Bush, pro-war pundits rhetorically blasting him. Of course, none of these critics had heard the song, much less the entire Living With War album.
And what an album it is. It comes wrapped in a plain brown wrapper, but it bleeds red, white and blue. "When the night falls, I pray for peace.... I never bow to the thought police... I'm living with war in my heart and my mind" sings Young. Neil and his PR guerrillas played the attacks brilliantly, parlaying them into perhaps the largest virtual stage and audience that any rocker has ever had to blast out the release of what is Neil's most compelling and timely album.
The seventh song on the album is the one that brought the attacks that set the stage for today's unprecedented web launch. Here is part of what Neil has to say: "Let's impeach the president for lying and misleading our country into war. Abusing all the power that we gave him... The White House shills who hide behind closed doors and bend the facts to fit with their news stories of why we had to send our men to war... Let's impeach the president for spying on citizens inside their own homes.... Tapping our computers and telephones.... What if Al Qaida blew up the levees? Sheltered by our government's protection, would New Orleans have been safer that way? Or was someone just not home that day?"
This rousing, upbeat song is backed by a hundred voice choir, as is much of the album, and is filled with audio clips of President Bush's 'flip flops' and false and misleading claims, snipped from news conferences and speeches. This song is a showtune anthem. The entire album is a pro-American, pro-family, pro-troops challenge to citizens in the United States, Neil's adopted homeland, to get it together and make change happen.
On Restless Consumer Neil targets the American addiction to oil and materialism, relating it to the war and to the greater failure to attack problems of poverty: "How do you pay for war and leave us dying? ... Don't need no Madison Avenue War. .... Don't need no more lies."
Shock and Awe is one the best rock anthems Neil has ever penned or played: "Back in the days of shock and awe.... history was a cruel judge of overconfidence ... Back in the days of mission accomplished our chief was landing on the deck. The sun was setting on the golden photo op. Thousands of bodies in the ground brought home in boxes to a trumpet sound. No one sees them coming home that way.... We had a chance to change our mind, but somehow wisdom was hard to find..."
Looking for a Leader calls out for people to arise "to reunite the red white and blue ... clean up the corruption and make the country strong. Someone walks among us and I hope he hears the call; maybe it's a woman, or a black man after all. Maybe its Obama, but he thinks he's too young. Maybe its Colin Powell, to right what he's done wrong. ... America is beautiful but she has an ugly side. We're looking for a leader... ."
Living With War builds from beginning to end, proudly pro-American, pro-troops, pro-freedom, while vehemently anti-war and anti-Bush. The lyrics are inspired; the music is classic, and the 100-voice choir warm and emotional. Some of the songs are about US soldiers, one dead from the war on Vietnam and the other Iraq. The Iraq vet in Families says: "there's a universe between us now, but I want to reach out and tell you how much you mean to me. ... I'm going back to the USA, I just got my ticket today."
In Roger and Out a living friend reflects on his long dead buddy from the 1960s: "Tripping down that old hippie highway, got to thinking about you again. Wondering how it really was for you, and how it happened in the end. ... We were just a couple of kids then, living each and every day, when we both went down to register, we were laughing all the way. ... I feel you in the air today. I know you gave for your country, roger and out good buddy."
Living With War closes appropriately with America the Beautiful, the hundred-voice choir providing the perfect closure to one of the strongest and certainly the most-brilliantly released calls for peace and justice ever from a musician of Young's stature. In releasing Living With War as he has, Young is clearly challenging his artistic peers, fellow patriots and all of us."
Refreshing to Hear The Truth For a Change
Bruce Rhodes | near Toronto | 05/12/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Great music with an inspiring message. Neil stresses that America is a wonderful country, but that it currently has an ugly side. Neil wants the USA to be a truly free, compassionate nation, led by people (not necessarily just white males) with integrity. Neil is sincere and constructive in the messages of his lyrics; he is not America-bashing. Some of the people who rate the album one star reject "yet another Hollywood or rock star" getting political. Since when are they supposed to keep their mouths shut? All of us are entitled to free speech, provided we steer clear of libel, slander, and defamation of character. Rock on, Neil... kudos to you for taking a stand. Others are free to disagree with you, but you and everyone else ought to be free to express opinions about our leaders and our nation's policies."
An critical perspective of our culture...
F. Orcutt | On the map | 05/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is in response to this guy: "Breaking News: Grandpa Disapproves Of The President!, May 10, 2006" Just one question, why are you taking time out of your busy stereotyping, freedom bashing, namecalling, fox news loving, "either with us or your against us" world to insult people who read your review? Uh, let's see, because your an idiot? I guess it works for me too. Do you have the guts to call our President wrong? Or do you just sit by and say, "it's OK, he meant well". Listen pal, the world is NOT black and white, protest songs ARE freedom of speech and if people want to hear them, let them! Canada is not a state, it's a country. Neil Youngs interest and knowledge of American politics and culture probably exceeds your own. This release is more than one song about impeaching our President. If you actually listened to the other songs, you might find that he takes a critical look at our culture and writes about what he sees. So, Keep on rockin' Neil! This paperbagged piece of democracy is worth every penny."