Neil Young, ‘Chrome Dreams II’ (Reprise)
Young has spent the balance of this century releasing albums terrible (Are You Passionate?), conceptual (Greendale), and gimmicky yet heartfelt (Living With War). So it’s strange to encounter a record that’s just like he used to make — distorto riffs for their own sake and quasi roots rock with a tangible sense of loss and hope. The 18-minute “Ordinary People” will grab headlines for its epic workingman’s blues, though the anthemic horns flatten the guitar burn. Per usual, his toss-offs — “Dirty Old Man,” “Shining Light” — would flatter lesser songwriters.