Heart of Green

By John Marshall

Get Around
Neil Young
Directed by Bernard Shakey

Get Around, Neil Young’s new 43-minute promotional video for his new CD, “Fork in the Road,” features some of the best music Neil Young has ever recorded — perfectly accompanied by laid-back footage of Neil driving in his LincVolt, a 1959 Lincoln Continental converted to run on environmentally-friendly fuels.

The film shows Neil driving down a freeway, singing along with all 11 songs from the new CD, and intercuts him with shots obtained by placing cameras at different points inside and outside the car (my favorite is the shot of the rear bumper).

These are not poetic songs; most are as blunt as punk rock and feature Neil’s patented garage-grunge sound. He is primarily concerned with direct statements about the car, the environment or the recession (the catchiest is the title single, with its painfully funny chorus: “There’s a bailout comin’ but it’s not for you”).  Two songs are quieter, more contemplative ballads. All sound as classic as the car he’s driving.

As usual, Neil is a man on a mission, and you’re thrilled to be riding alongside him. But long after he speeds away into the sunset, the songs — and the sentiments — linger. There is nothing quite like this music or this film, but then, there was nothing like Greendale, Neil’s 2003 eco-rock opera (also a movie).

Deep in the midst of an environmental crisis AND an economic disaster, it’s good to see Neil Young keeping an eye on the road, singing good tunes, and maintaining a clear confidence that where he — and we — are going is better than where we’ve been.

Get Around can be downloaded and viewed for free for seven days.  Go to www.neilyoung.com.

Last 5 posts by John Marshall

Posted on 22 Apr 2009 at 10:26pm
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