First Appeared at The Music Box, March 1997, Volume 4, #3
Written by John Metzger
Neil Young's latest release treads some familiar ground, which perhaps explains the scathing press it has received, but it still a solidly delivered romp through the past á la 1994's Sleeps with Angels. Perhaps it's the closing number, a live recording of Jimmy Reed's Baby, What You Want Me to Do that has brought the collection such negative attention. While it's not a bad version of this classic song, it pales considerably in comparison with the other tunes on the disc. It also could be that Young opens the album with a trio of lengthy, jammed out tunes that fill up more than half the record. On these, Young swaps a number of his trademark, feedback-laden guitar solos with Poncho Sampedro, overlaying Ralph Molina's driving rhythm and Billy Talbot's pounding bass.
Is Broken Arrow as good as Sleeps with Angels? Nope, but it as good as the over-hyped Mirror Ball, and it's better than most critics are saying.
Broken Arrow is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 1997 The Music Box