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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 15. 1972

Neil Young: Harvest — Reprise

Neil Young: Harvest — Reprise

After three first-rate LPs from Neil Young, his fourth offering Harvest is a dissapointment.

At his best with a small, tight band playing solid yet gentle country-rock, his adventures into the territory of the Moody Blues and Andre Kostelanetz prove to be musically unrewarding.

The recurrent theme of the lyrics appears to be the standard 'back to the roots' syndrome, yet the melodies seem better suited to the world of the Hollywood epic rather than the great outdoors.

Not even Neil Young can disguise indulgent, self-conscious lyrics with an onslaught of strings, horns and church bells. Tracks as boring and bleak as Theres a World and A Man needs a Maid do nothing to enhance the reputation of a talented musician.

However, the crop is not totally blighted and there are a few good tracks, namely Out on the Weekend, Harvest and Old Man. True to its title, and perhaps the most memorable song on the album, Heart of Gold features the tight, controlled guitar-work and beautiful harmonies which has proved to be the formula of Young's past success.

Needless to say, the production of this LP is of a superior quality, with a greater emphasis on instrumental variety. In the past, Young has tended to rely too heavily on the Southern Man/Cinammon Girl-type graunching guitar chords and interesting yet undisciplined lead breaks. In Harvest, he moves into musical fields only to find the grass is not quite so green on the other side.

Definitely worthy of a hearing, yet undoubtedly a dissapointment for those who have enjoyed his earlier albums.

—Stephen Matthews.

Ticket Awake album art