Neil Young Silver & Gold (Reprise)

Silver & Gold (Reprise)

Record Reviews

Neil Young

Silver & Gold (Reprise)

The gentle side of Neil Young has returned. Some may be excited by this development, but judging by his latest work, the fact that he's getting older and gentler doesn't necessarily translate into better. The artist who can't seem to figure out if he wants to rage or mellow has released what by some accounts is his 29th album, Silver & Gold, and it's a decidedly acoustic affair. The last time he traveled this road was with Harvest Moon, and that collection was surely one of the best releases of the Nineties, striking a chord with its enveloping pensiveness and lucid nostalgia. Silver & Gold finds Young treading in similar moccasins, but without the same amount of success. He's still wrapped up in the past, but there are tunes that feel somehow incomplete with lyrics that could be best described as either overly simple ("Good to See You") or scattershot ("Without Rings"). In a lot of ways, Silver & Gold recalls Young's long-lost LP from 1974, On the Beach, a collection of odds and ends that some loved (mostly thanks to the devastating "Ambulance Blues") and some thought dreadful. It was full of bare arrangements and deceptive insight, and in a similar vein, Silver & Gold finds Young looking back ("Buffalo Springfield Again," "Daddy Went Walkin'") and warbling songs of love ("Distant Camera," "Horseshoe Man"). This time, however, even with the rustic edges and a bit of twang illuminating his words, it doesn't seem like enough. In the end, Silver & Gold rings incomplete and unfulfilling.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle