Greendale

Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 17
  2. Negative: 3 out of 17
  1. Not only does Young accomplish his goal of creating a musical storyline that transcends the tedium and self-indulgence of your average concept album, but he's also crafted his finest set of songs since at least Freedom and Ragged Glory.
  2. Q Magazine
    80
    Greendale is a bonkers, utterly headstrong conceit. Let's hope that Neil Young never stops having them. [Sep 2003, p.111]
  3. It all adds up to a very good record -- one that is interesting, and one that satisfies musically.
  4. Greendale has a tattered, buzzing, demolike sound, rude as any Young has put out.
  5. A soothing, gentle rock'n'roll opus.
  6. Blender
    70
    Quirks and all, it's a consistently absorbing tale from a songwriter who's still pushing himself. [Sep 2003, p.132]
  7. Uncut
    70
    The good news is Young has found himself a different kind of voice and some fresh inspiration. [Sep 2003, p.116]
  8. Songcraft occasionally gets sacrificed for the sake of narrative, and some tracks are easier to admire than enjoy, but by and large, Greendale still works as a Neil Young record.
  9. The problem with Greendale-the-CD is that too many songs rely on simple blues vamps that neither Young nor Crazy Horse manages to rave up into their trademark protogrunge.... But you keep listening because he's created real setting, plot, and character.
  10. While some of it is bitterly brilliant, too many songs veer toward being overdone or naively optimistic.
  11. Instances of clarity and grace alternate with wodges of unfathomable nonsense that a good editor would have blue-pencilled from the first draft.
  12. We should laud Young for taking such risks at this stage of his career but 'Greendale' sounds like the sort of small town you spend your whole life running from. Or the place you go to retire.
  13. Young's nomadic narrative requires its own Cliffs Notes, and the lack of cohesion or focus (which Young pretty much cops to in the liner notes) give the record less heft than the irate rambling of your neighborhood curmudgeon.
  14. Entertainment Weekly
    42
    About the time an FBI agent shoots the heroine's cat, prior to a Hair-style love-in finale, you'll know you and Young have weathered his career low point together. [19 Sep 2003, p.86]
  15. Mojo
    30
    The story feels thrown together in two seconds, and much of it is irredeemably hokey.... In the end, despite its kooky charms, Greendale is just one more lazy Neil Young album. [Sep 2003, p.96]
  16. This is classic underachieving at its peak.
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
  1. Jan 2, 2012
    10
    I love this album! The combination of the story and the music does it for me every time. No clue why it's not higher rated by theI love this album! The combination of the story and the music does it for me every time. No clue why it's not higher rated by the critics; it's one of his best modern albums by far in my opinion. Full Review »
  2. StephenS
    Apr 26, 2006
    10
    A gut-wrenching emotional disc that grows on one as they listen to the story. The music is typical Neil garage rock (which is not a bad A gut-wrenching emotional disc that grows on one as they listen to the story. The music is typical Neil garage rock (which is not a bad thing), but combined with the simple, dramatic narrative - the whole is much greater than the sum of it's parts. Outstanding! Full Review »
  3. SeamusS
    Dec 24, 2005
    10
    So I'm a sucker for rock-operas....whatever. And this may not have been the best Neil Young album for me to start out So I'm a sucker for rock-operas....whatever. And this may not have been the best Neil Young album for me to start out on....again...whatever This album kicked my ass Brillaint Full Review »