http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/07d215daa6177d616bad074643951ae093363dd1.jpg Fork in the Road

Neil Young

Fork in the Road

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5 3 0
April 1, 2009

Neil Young has been car-obsessed forever. His current passion is the LincVolt, a '59 Lincoln that, with some engineering help, he's pimped into an electric hybrid lincvolt.com. Fork in the Road is about the LincVolt. It's also about American myth, governmental betrayal and how rust still never sleeps.

This is mostly raw, chop-shop rock & roll, so auto metaphors fit right in. "You can drive my car," he warbles, echoing the Beatles over "Cortez the Killer" guitar shards. Later he notes his ride "always wants to please," over a rockabilly grind, and "looks so beautiful with her top down." It mostly feels like tossed-off conceptual riffs, to be filed with past thematic exercises like Trans and This Note's for You. But it most resembles Living With War — the rock album recast as blog rant, less about aesthetic craft than about spitting out what needs to be said this minute.

It's messy, funny and pretty crazy at points — like when Young snarls, "Cough up the bucks!" while sweet harmonies implore, "Where did all the money go?" or on the title track's awesome old-coot tirade. At one point, he issues a challenge: "You can sing about change/While you're making your own/You can be what you try to say." With this activist-rock blast, dude walks it like he talks it.

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