In his time, Neil Young has played the visionary poet, the starry-eyed romantic, the maniacal garage rocker and more. On 1970's After the Gold Rush, he combines these personas into a compelling whole. Supported by the rough-hewn prowess of Crazy Horse, Young fills these tracks with wistful melancholy and moral outrage. His lyrics embrace sci-fi scenarios ("After the Gold Rush"), narrate cryptic nightmares ("Don't Let It Bring You Down"), and confront smoldering injustices ("Southern Man") with equal conviction. Beyond the big statements are intimately bittersweet moments like "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" and "I Believe in You." Young's volatile lead guitar and fragile-to-ferocious vocals are caught in peak form. Whether the tune is folk-rooted ("Tell Me Why") or rock-fueled ("When You Dance I Can Really Love"), Young delivers convincingly. After the Gold Rush ranks among his richest and most rewarding works.