Le Noise is the most recent creation by Neil Young, released on September 28th, 2010. While it only contains Young and his two guitars, there is a dazzling display of effects that accompany him on most of the songs.
The opening track, Walk With Me, is an eruption of grunge and distortion licks off of his les Paul. The opening punches with fierce chords that echo off into the great beyond, followed by more waves of sonic magic. Young’s vocals are sincere, and he reaffirms his ability to hit the high notes. The echo effect complements the tone of his voice; wallowing and desperate. It is a fantastic and strong start.
The second track, Sign of Love, is a bit weak. The lyrics are okay. What is good is the thump of his slamming chords, thriving off of distortion. I’ll admit I actually paid attention to the guitar riff more than the lyrics.
The following track, Someone’s Gonna Rescue You, is a turnaround from the second track. The main riff has a Doorsy feeling to it (think of The End, between the middle and end of that song) that I like very much. The vocals are excellent, as Young returns to the falsetto crooning he is known for. The lyrics will open up your mind a bit.
The fourth track, Love and War, ditches the electric distortion in favor of the good ol’ acoustic guitar. The chord progression is very simple, but fits the song’s mood. The lyrics are very haunting, and tell of the terrifying rifts that are created between love and war. The vocals are spot on. One of the best tracks on the album.
The fifth track, Angry World, returns to the heavy election sounds and the distant echo effects. The main riffs complement the vocals and lyrics well, which sort of come off as angry and slightly sarcastic. The best part of the song comes at the end of the second chorus, where he stops playing to shout the final line. What follows is a driving solo to finish the song.
The sixth track, Hitchhiker, is weak like the second. The lyrics concern drug use, but they are not presented in an interesting way-they just sort of spill out. The riff is also muffled behind the shouting vocals.
The seventh track, Peaceful Valley Boulevard, is perhaps the finest work done by Neil Young. The vocals are somewhat mumbled, but it is done very well. The chords assist the somber lyrics, and in fact “somber” is a great description for this entire song. Peaceful Valley Boulevard is the second and final acoustic song on the album.
The eighth and final track, Rumblin’, opens with an entrancing echo effect, followed by that ever-present thump (or, rather, rumble!) of distortion that guides the lyrics. A good song overall, with some chilling choruses from Neil Young.
Le Noise (a pun off of the producer’s name, Daniel Lanois) is overall a fantastic album that proves Neil Young and his melodies are still at large today.