Fork In the Road (Deluxe Version)
Neil Young drives a 1959 Lincoln Continental that’s been converted into an electric hybrid — the LincVolt. You can hear all about it on his 2009 album, Fork In the Road, Young’s slapdash concept album where he casts himself as part political commentator, part environmental activist, part crotchety old-timer, and part-tongue-in-cheek grunge Godfather rocker. Fork In the Road is Young’s “blog” to a world in financial and energy crisis. In the spirit of Hawks and Doves, Re*ac*tor and This Note’s For You, Fork works within its contradictions as an album with a message and an innate need to rock. Each tune comes out of the chute in unrefined glory, guitars snarling, harmonies rough and ready, and lyrics that express simple joys and frustrations without much second thought. “When Worlds Collide” begins with a chunky clunk, as if the car isn’t going to make the entrance ramp, but with “Fuel Line” and its chant to “Fill ‘er up,” Young hits cruise control and doesn’t look back. By the time he asks “Where does all the money go?” on “Cough Up the Bucks,” it’s with a hint of humor that suggests our driver isn’t sure where he’s headed but he’ll let us know when we get there.