Are You Passionate (Reprise)
Reviewed by Raoul Hernandez, Fri., July 5, 2002
Neil YoungAre You Passionate? (Reprise) There's everything wrong with Are You Passionate?. The songs are too long, too slow, and they all sound the same. They may all be the same. Leadoff "You're My Girl," a bigdumbfriendly ode to Young's gone-college daughter, couldn't be more aw-shucks, while "Mr. Disappointment" is simple to a fault, and "Quit (Don't Say You Love Me)" is nothing but groove. Moreover, they all feature the same sore-thumb riff -- pulsing red and impossible to ignore. The title track, trademark Youngian suede, would be a stone classic were it not for its Black Hawk Down. Likewise "Let's Roll," ostensibly about the 9/11 plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, is much too geezerish to inspire much glory. Long in the tooth might describe "Goin' Home," featuring Young's bucking Crazy Horse, particularly given its transparent attempt to rewrite past glories like "Cortez the Killer." At nine minutes, however, it just may be too short. "Be With You," then, ain't too proud to boogie, and "Two Old Friends" is an honest-to-goodness slice of Sixties nostalgia (in these days of Eighties and now Nineties rebounding) from someone who inspires it like few of his contemporaries still do. Sweet. Passionate should quit while it's ahead, but "She's a Healer" tries to end on an upbeat Stax note. Oh, that's right. The production. Just how bad can an LP produced by "Neil Young & Booker T. Jones with Duck Dunn and Poncho Sampedro" be? Not bad at all.