Picks and Pans Review: Greendale

UPDATED 09/01/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 09/01/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

Neil Young & Crazy Horse (Reprise)

Young bills his latest as a "musical novel." He's half right. There are lots of plot and character about the fictional town of Greendale, and Young has a novelist's eye for crushing detail: After a cop gets killed, "The force got back to normal/ Carmichael was replaced/ For one year nobody parked a car/ In Carmichael's space." Two people and a cat die in total. It's the music that's lacking; it's all mumble and growl (bass, drums, one guitar), unstructured and monotonous. Dark stories need more salvation than Young's band can muster, but hardcore fans of Young, or Springsteen's similar Nebraska, will be entranced.


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