Rock and roll stalwart Neil Young apparently found inspiration for his new album, Fork In The Road, in the garage. Yes, from his car. I was about to applaud Young for still being around to make music at all, but the fact is, an album about a love affair with a car is enthralling for very few.

The music is not bad by any means – it’s Young’s signature rock and roll, with emphasis on the guitars, and a slightly pre-grunge sound, but there is little variety on the record and Young should perhaps think about giving up singing, because his vocals tend to veer toward less than enjoyable.

It starts out with the ominous-sounding “When Worlds Collide,” which talks of promised lands and spaces across the USA, so might be suited to that start of a summer road trip, in spite of the harsh edges to its sound. “Fuel Line” and “Just Singing A Song,” that follow the opening track, both sound the same as the first track, and are easily skippable to get to “Johnny Magic”, the album’s first single. The single is a more upbeat, welcoming song, albeit still about the life of a car.

The album takes a bluesy turn with the tracks “Get Behind The Wheel” and “Hit The Road” and Young ups the bass sound a notch or two. The tracks are excellently done.

Never one to leave out social comment, Young closes off the album with its title track and indicts America for sending its youth off to war while the old men sit at home in a pile of pork bellies and bank bailouts – this is the best track on the album, and is sure to be a crowd pleaser for many jaded fans.

With “Fork In The Road,” you feel you should try really hard to like and respect the music because Young is one of rock’s most influential music makers, but unless you also feel that your life is inspired by your now expired Pontiac, this record is likely to be nowhere on your summer soundtrack list.

 

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