Neil Young, "Le Noise"

Album Review
3.5
<p><a href="http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/neil-young/6076">Neil Young's</a> latest solo effort, "Le Noise," is something of a capsule dive into the influential artist's stream of consciousness. Producer <a href="http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/daniel-lanois/78824">Daniel Lanois</a> (for whom the album is named) surrounds Young and his electric guitar with a reverberating dreamscape, free of percussion or secondary instruments. But the eight songs are layered in sustained distortion and electronic effects and feature heavy delays on Young's recognizable tenor. A vocal loop of the word "angry" is its own instrumental line throughout "Angry World," and round, titanium bell tones engulf Young's guitar on "Peaceful Valley Boulevard." Some of Young's lyrics have a first-draft quality, like premassaged brainstorms ("You're scared of the way it goes sometimes in the night," he sings on "Someone's Gonna Rescue You"; and rashly he rhymes "I want to" with "Toronto" during "Love and War"). But this impulsiveness attends the subconscious environment of these introspective tracks. The melodies are equally humble, but songcraft isn't the focus here. "Le Noise" is about exactly that-raw musing about love, injustice and self-doubt, submerged in ethereal, electric sound.</p>