Neil Young is many things: godfather of grunge; massively influential singer-songwriter; inimitable electric guitarist; world-class oddball. For every After the Gold Rush or Ragged Glory there's an album that makes even his most ardent admirers scratch their heads. A concept work about fuel-efficient cars? Check. Meandering improvised soundtracks? Coupla those. Kraftwerk-inspired new wave? Oh, definitely. On June 5, when Young's new Americana comes out, you can add lumbering distorto versions of traditional folk songs to the list, too. It's just the latest unpredictable left turn in a career full of them. So saddle up and steel yourself for the untamed wilderness of Neil Young's strangest albums.
Artists dependent on tradition as muse and subject gamble on fate. Eventually the marketplace will deal — so they think. Well, Dwight Yoakam has won twice. After a hell of an '80s run, he spent the '90s in Hollywood and released distracted albums before 2003’s superb Population Me marked his return. The revelation was 2012’… More »