It seems to take time to realize that Neil Young’s voice can be distinctly appealing. Maybe it’s an acquired taste much like the voice of Bob Dylan. It’s 1974 and just like Dylan, Young is going strong with On The Beach. It’s probably one of his stronger music releases also. There are more enjoyable songs, and a lot more interesting musical bits throughout the songs that make a great rhythm to listen to.
You may not hear anything that will stick with you long after like “Heart of Gold” from this album, but you’ll find more songs that have you coming back to the album afterward to continue listening to. Everything from the guitar work, to the vocals just seems to be turned up to be more impressive. There are a lot more moments where it just shines. Especially with songs “See the Sky About to Rain”, which uniquely stands out on it’s own.
The album doesn’t really drag till near the end with songs like “Ambulance Blues”. You’ve already listened to the rest of the album so this isn’t too much of a disappointment by then, but the harmonica in this song does make up for some of it. It’s the best to relax to if you’re in that sort of mood. If the start of the album hadn’t been as good as it was then this song might have stood out more. The use of the sounds throughout this album make it truly one you can take to the beach with you.
Neil Young has created a very atmospheric album with this one. There is something very reflective about the lyrics, and music that comes together well. While Young’s voice isn’t the strongest it matches the flow of the music. With the title “On the Beach”, he has made sure to make an album you can listen while there, or at least feel like you are with the music. While this type of music may not be commonly associated with that location he has somehow made it fitting for that scene. Also, the following clip is backed by one of the songs from the album as Neil Young discusses some rather interesting things regarding his knowledge of a crazy guy who is quite famous.
Rating 4 of 5