Neil Young reviewed
April 28, 2006 News & Politics
PR Watch director John Stauber reviewed Neil Young's album, Living with War, as he listened to it live, streaming online -- it's a good review. I especially like his song-by-song rundown:
Along with Neil's pro-war critics and millions of others, I'm listening to Living With War as I type this blog. 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 that 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 Queda blew up the levees? Would New Orleans 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 the entire 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 them 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."Read on...