A Treasure - Neil Young
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. What it sounds like is the redemption of Young's lost mid-'80s‑-the countryish album Old Ways was supposed to be, neither rote like Re-ac-tor nor static like that sacred cow Harvest.
  2. Jul 7, 2011
    89
    With support from Geffen Records waning, Young retaliated with a crack country outfit in the International Harvesters and dug his boots into the outlaw sound with conviction.
  3. Jun 13, 2011
    88
    What makes this album a must for Young aficionados is that the Harvesters are likely the most musically accomplished band the singer ever assembled. Thibodeaux's fiddle and Keith's steel-guitar complement Young's craggy guitar; there's an evident virtuosity, but it never comes off as slick.
  4. Jun 14, 2011
    82
    The music hasn't changed, but times have-and for that, the bard deserves an apology from the legions of doubters who thought he lost his marbles because, as this live record confirms, the man truly remains ahead of the curve.
  5. 80
    A Treasure is full of little disclosures like that, deeply personal without being confessional, engaging without trying to be, and revelatory because of his small observations and his uncommon insight into ordinary detail.
  6. Jun 30, 2011
    80
    A Treasure is a snapshot of an era when Young's then-label, Geffen, went to war with him for not representing himself in a commercially viable way.
  7. Jun 17, 2011
    80
    Warts, ugly cousins, blazes of greatness and all, however, A Treasure makes a perfect snapshot of this ornery, shapeshifting moment. [Jul 2011, p.98]
  8. Jun 16, 2011
    80
    Featuring concert recordings from his 1984-5 tour, this shows that even while his studio releases were adrift in genre-hopping chaos, Neil Young could always cut the mustard with a crack band behind him.
  9. Jun 14, 2011
    80
    The unheard tunes are all first-rate, but what's really notable about A Treasure is that it offers a compelling document of how good the International Harvesters were and, in turn, makes sense of a somewhat murky period for Neil Young.
  10. Jun 13, 2011
    80
    Older songs such as Young's "Are You Ready for the Country?" and Buffalo Springfield's "Flying on the Ground Is Wrong" sound made for this setting of shorter, tighter robust song arrangements. "Southern Pacific" and "Motor City" are nice revivals from "Re-ac-tor." But it's the batch of previously unreleased material that justifies the album's title.
  11. Jun 13, 2011
    80
    "Amber Jean" is a lovely tribute to his newborn daughter, while "Grey Riders" is a lost epic that suggests Crazy Horse with a twang infusion. The oldies shine too: "Flying on the Ground Is Wrong" sounds as if it originated with the Flying Burrito Brothers instead of Buffalo Springfield.
  12. Jun 17, 2011
    73
    A Treasure is the first entry to put the spotlight on a less celebrated stretch of his career. As such, this choppy compilation of Harvesters tour highlights allows us to reassess some of Young's 80s output outside its contentious context.
  13. Jun 28, 2011
    70
    While Old Ways was something of an oddity in Young's catalog, A Treasure is more than enough to change your view of Young's country period.
  14. 70
    Yes, it's a live album, but not "this is what he's been doing recently." If anything, this feels more like a vault release of a new band with familiar faces. Above all, you can feel the exuberance that comes from playing raw, unbridled live music, and there are few from that generation who excel at this better than Neil Young.
  15. Jul 28, 2011
    60
    Young set up a tour with a fine country band playing at state fairs and rodeos. This set includes live, countrified version of Re-actor, Old Ways, Harvest, even Buffalo Springfield and five previously unreleased songs. [Jul 2011, p.120]
  16. Jun 13, 2011
    60
    Like many of his more divisive albums, A Treasure finds him digging into a musical itch he needs to scratch-here, the country and western tradition--and while it works better than those records, it still might be more of a compelling and curious piece to the Neil Young story than it is a great live document in its own right.

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