By: Andrew McNallyColumnist
Neil Young & Crazy Horse – “Psychedelic Pill” Grade: B
“Psychedelic Pill” marks the first original content Young has made with Crazy Horse in nine years, and it shows. The double-album clocks in at 87 minutes, the first track being 27. Young fans will appreciate an ode to the “Cinnamon Girl” classic rock days, even if the album gets tedious at points. Lyrically, Young is at his best, singing devotions to Canada and Bob Dylan. Musically, the jams run far too long, but the shorter tracks burst well, and the sixteen-minute finale “Walk Like a Giant” fades into pure Young noise. It’s one of the better entries in Young’s canon.
If You Like: Creedence Clearwater Revival, Tom Petty Key Track: “Walk Like a Giant”
Andrew Bird – “Hands of Glory” Grade: B+
Singer-songwriter Andrew Bird wasn’t content with just one, fourteen-track album in 2012. “Hands of Glory” is a companion piece to his previous album, “Break It Yourself.” It’s shorter, only eight tracks, but acts as a perfect complement. It’s just as eclectic, but more gutsy than its predecessor. Sometimes country, sometimes instrumental folk, sometimes daringly haunting, Bird has crafted another near-perfect folk album. The nine minute finale proves that Bird does not constrain himself to any one genre, contrary to many folk acts working today. Bird fans will enjoy, and any fans of the alt-folk scene should enjoy it too.
If You Like: Wilco, Jeff Buckley Key Track: “Three White Horses”
Jeff Rosenstock – “I Look Like Shit” Grade: B
As singer of local cult-punk band Bomb the Music Industry!, Jeff Rosenstock’s solo album isn’t so much solo as it is a compilation of previous songs – some unused BTMI! tracks, two covers, and a couple original songs. The flow of all of BTMI!’s albums is not present here, which is disappointing, but expected. Still, hearing Rosenstock do a Pulp cover, and a cover where he sings in Japanese are worth your time. There are some older songs, known to fans, that have finally shown up on an album. It’s a great compilation for fans. Also, he’s the nicest guy around.
If You Like: Bomb the Music Industry!, Andrew Jackson Jihad Key Track: “80’s Through the 50’s”