Largely comprised of sub-standard covers of folk songs
Neil Young always sounds best with Crazy Horse. 1969’s ‘Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere’ – amazing. 1970’s ‘After The Gold Rush’ – superb. 1975’s ‘Zuma’ – yeah man! So it follows that ‘Americana’, the first time Neil and the Horse have recorded an album for nine years, sounds instantly classic, as ‘Oh Susannah’ begins and ends on a guitar solo that only the 66-year-old Young could play. But that’s it for the good stuff. Everything on ‘Americana’ is a cover of a ye olde folk song, and while it’s briefly thrilling to hear Young’s bolshy take on Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land Is Your Land’, it’s nowhere near Johnny Cash/Rick Rubin standards, or even a Bob Dylan Christmas album, so slots nicely into the Just For Diehards section of Neil’s back catalogue. Especially when you consider the finale of ‘God Save The Queen’, which is just… unacceptable. Not even great Canadians can make our national anthem good.