Style: Grungy, primitive rock, noisy and ethereal; compare to past Young albums like Ragged Glory
Top tracks: "Love and War," "Walk with Me," "Sign of Love"
Neil Young ain't kidding when he calls his new album Le Noise. Though technically a solo affair, the Daniel Lanois-produced disc is primitive and howling, full of loose electricity and grungy rock, Lanois' amplification and looping effects making it the most thunderously loud Young album in ages. For all its bluster, though, Le Noise remains an album of striking clarity and reflection: In "Hitchhiker," the singer recalls, with considerable pain, his history of drug abuse and the toll it took on his family, while "Love and War" is a reflection of a life spent in pursuit of justice. In "Walk with Me" and "Sign of Love" he writes roaring love songs, steeped in grace and fidelity—but just whose love it is is left a mystery.1