Neil Young: Chrome Dreams II

Titling an album “Chrome Dream II” automatically begs the question “What happened to Chrome Dreams I?” Chrome Dreams I is in fact one of a number of either unfinished or unreleased Young projects that never officially saw the light of day. Although some of the new songs on Chrome Dreams II actually come from unreleased material from the 80’s I don’t really see the connection with the unreleased Chrome Dreams I from 1977. Still, it sounds like a good title for an album so why not? Anyway, this claimed sequel is my favourite album of 2007 by a clear margin and the two pivotal tracks strategically positioned near either end of the piece greatly exceeded my expectations. The first of these 2 epics, “Ordinary People”, at 18 minutes plus contains Young’s prophetic vision of the human condition emphasising as usual the scary neo con dominated culture. Each verse contains a glimpse into a society of factory workers, drugs, security and guns punctuated by substantial horns (courtesy of the Bluenotes) and a few grinding guitars. Menacingly loitering at the other end of the album is the even better “No Hidden Path” with its hammering rhythm and a most welcomed and lengthy ZZ Top style bluesy guitar solo.