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Strange to find Young releasing Chrome Dreams II, when you consider the original Chrome Dreams never actually got released in the first place. The album was initially conceived in 1977, only to be scrapped by Young at the last minute, with the songs gradually dished out on subsequent albums (a number of the tracks found their way onto 1978's Rust Never Sleeps). The effect of this non-release meant that the album gained a reverence, enabling the release of a follow-up album in late 2007.
By modern standards, this is a solid effort, Young has assembled many of his usual backing musicians - Ben Keith (who played on Harvest) & Crazy Horse drummed Ralph Molina are both clearly audible throughout. Yet it's a curious mix of styles, opening with the delicate acoustic musings of 'Beautiful Bluebird', followed by the gentle shuffle of 'Boxcar'.
Matters then take a surprising twist with the appearance of the 18 minute long 'Ordinary People'. It's a furious ode & lament to times past, & without a doubt the standout track of the album, originally recorded in the late 70's, but like many others remained unreleased until now. That track will be enough to have long-term fans salivating, much of the rest of the album may leave the listener cold.
It's not that the material is bad, far from it, just that it perhaps won't do enough in the eyes of many to live up to the name. There is a lovely casualness to this album which has been missing from recent Young albums, but it's still not enough to elevate this above merely good. It shambles along as one might expect, occasionally hitting the highs you know Young is effortlessly capable of.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Beautiful Bluebird
3 Ordinary People
4 Shining Light
5 The Believer
6 Spirit Road
7 Dirty Old Man
8 Even After
9 No Hidden Path
10 The WayDVDContent Includes High Resolution Audio with Moving Video Image.