Recording for the first time with sometime touring mates and Stax studio vets keyboardist Booker T.

Recording for the first time with sometime touring mates and Stax studio vets keyboardist Booker T. Jones and bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn (both of Booker T. & the MG's), Neil Young turns out his version of classic soul music here—a group of midtempo, often organ-propelled, electric guitar-led songs that have more in common with the acoustic, on-the-stool vibe of his Harvest and Harvest Moon records than the raging roar of his Crazy Horse sets (though the full Crazy Horse lineup does make an appearance on the rousing "Goin' Home"). Apart from "Let's Roll," Young's tribute to Sept. 11 hero Todd Beamer, some of these songs about life, love, family, friends, and the world seem subtly laced with lyrics inspired by the terrorist attacks, which helps make Are You Passionate? seem not only like a great next step in Young's career but also the best album he could have issued right now.—WO

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