Legendary Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young joined forces once again with American rock band Crazy Horse (Ralph Molina on drums, bassist Billy Talbot and Poncho Sampedro on guitar) to create their second album, Psychedelic Pill. Released on October 30 via Reprise, the new record is as an eight song double-disc, and admirably, three of the tracks extend beyond 16 minutes in length.
“Ramada Inn” is close to 17 minutes long, beginning with a slow intro, followed by a hypnotic guitar distortion that ominously guides the psych-rock voyage. Young passionately shares feelings of being old and in love, through his timeless, gravelly voice, as if he were confessing from a dream, in haze, or part of a flashback. The video is a collection of retro California family film footage that eventually (and oddly) transitions into a full screen visualizer.
Sad to think that true jam bands are a rarity these days. Condensed, catchy flavors of the month are continuously preferred over expansive audio journeys. Bigger is better, but unless consumed properly in a live setting with all senses activated, lengthy tracks seem to require persistent stimulation to keep folks’ involved. Neil Young & Crazy Horse deserve credit for successfully implementing the conventional, prolonged style in the current, modern era of consumption typified by instant gratification.