Neil Young – Reactor

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All of these songs are heavy, but none of them have any real weight to them; apparently, he had his mind on family matters while recording this album. Highlights/exceptions to the rule: “Southern Pacific,” which tells the tale of a train conductor being forced into retirement (a parallel to how Neil Young felt, I’m sure) and “Shots”‘s non-stop flurry of electric guitars, heavy drums and machine guns (written in 1978). “T-Bone” annoys, and maybe “Opera Star” and “Rapid Transit” have catchy riffs (though the backing vocals on the former also annoy). I wanted to say something clever like “this is reactive in the same way Rust Never Sleeps was proactive,” but other than “Rapid Transit” (wherein Neil Young sounds like he’s taking vocal lessons from David Byrne), this isn’t reactionary at all.

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