Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Entertainment
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Review: Neil Young returns to musical roots for heartfelt, quirky covers album 'A Letter Home'

This CD cover image released by Third Man Records shows

Enlarge Image

This CD cover image released by Third Man Records shows "A Letter Home," by Neil Young. (AP Photo/Third Man Records)

Neil Young, "A Letter Home" (Reprise)

Neil Young's sporadic concept records aren't for everyone. "A Letter Home" should be.

While still an esoteric venture — Young recorded it in a refurbished 1947 Voice-O-Graph — the songs he chose are familiar ones, making this more accessible than previous out in left field Young releases.

Among the songs: Bob Dylan's "Girl From the North Country," Bruce Springsteen's "My Home Town," Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" and "Crazy," and Gordon Lightfoot's "Early Morning Rain." They are a reflection of Young's roots and musical backbone, made all the more clear by the heartfelt and intimate delivery.

Now, back to the box.

Young, 68, was captivated by the Voice-O-Graph that Jack White had restored and made available at his recording studio in Nashville, Tennessee. Typically used by amateurs to record one song at a time, which is immediately laid down on vinyl, Young decided to cram himself into the phone booth-sized contraption and record an entire record.

The songs sound like they came from another age — complete with scratches, pops and imperfections usually only heard on old vinyl records. Adding to the idiosyncratic approach, Young fashioned the entire record as a letter home to his deceased mother, delivering her a playlist of some of his favourite tunes.

It's clear these songs are a part of Young's musical DNA, and it's almost as if the listener is being invited into his living room for a private concert — delivered from inside a phone booth, of course.

____

Follow Scott Bauer at twitter.com/SBauerAP

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media