Living with War – Neil Young | CD review

(Reprise/Warner) 4.5  stars

Well before Neil Young’s dynamic, anti-war CD was officially released, his fans had already previewed the album in its entirety, via internet streaming.

So `Living With War’ is a contemporary, cyber-savvy project.

Yet the music leans strongly on the rock-protest era of its target audience’s parents – Woodstock (’69) and 1979’s No Nukes campaign – just substitute Bush for Nixon and Iraq for Vietnam.

Young even rings in Dylan’s `Chimes of Freedom’ as inspiration for a track called `Flags of Freedom’.

This low-fi, high-energy recording came together in just a fortnight.

It’s a stripped-back effort, backed by tour compadres Rick Rosas (bass) and drummer Chad Cromwell (drums), plus trumpet fills by Tommy Bray … and a 100-voice choir that enhances `Let’s Impeach The President’ (the album standout) and delivers an acappella `America The Beautiful’ as a moving finale.

Young, now well over 60, says he decided to record `Living With War’ after waiting in vain for today’s musical twentysomethings to voice their own opinions.

Maybe now they will.

- Mike Daly

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