Le Noise

  • Record Label: Reprise
  • Release Date: Sep 28, 2010
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
Buy On
  1. Uncut
    100
    The guitar sounds engineered here by Young and Lanois are astonishing, almost terrifying at times in their elemental beauty. [Nov 2010, p.78]
  2. The album is full of those kind of unexpected juxtapositions, a stunning statement from an artist who shows no signs of slowing down.
  3. By turns mellow and heavy, personal and abstract, Le Noise encapsulates nearly everything that you'd want or need from a Neil Young album, and does so in a novel yet organic way.
  4. Oct 28, 2010
    89
    From its first chord hit and sustained, distortion displacing air, Le Noise courts Neil Young's classic platters.
  5. Le Noise is not an epic -– if it were a book, you could read it in an afternoon -– but it's statement enough from a man who's already said so much.
  6. Dec 22, 2010
    86
    Young's sandblasting electric guitar sits handsomely alone before eerie rumbling atmospheres.
  7. 80
    There are no enduring classics here like the songs on 2007's Live At Massey Hall, or anything to rival the material that helped define late '70s AOR from, say, American Stars 'n Bars or Rust Never Sleeps. But this is a record well worth having, and it's a blessing that we still have enduring artists like Neil Young creating such vital music.
  8. Le Noise remains reasonably accessible, Young's lyrics still as appealingly forthright as his playing, his melodies slowly rising through the unsettling, growling dirge.
  9. Chalk it up to Lanois, near-death experiences, or the wisdom of youth. No matter the cause, this is the Neil Young to embrace.
  10. 80
    Le Noise, produced by Daniel Lanois and recorded solo with a reverb-swathed electric guitar, is all about doubt and desperation, and Young is never better than when he's unsure of himself.
  11. Le Noise is also the most intimate and natural-sounding album Young has made in a long time: just a songwriter making his way through a vividly rendered chaos of memoir, affection and fear.
  12. Q Magazine
    80
    Truly one of a kind. [Nov. 2010, p. 117]
  13. It builds a rich sonic arch around Young's voice and guitar, bottling the essence of what makes him such a compelling singer-songwriter at 64.
  14. Le Noise is the sound of a singer-songwriter playing to his strengths.
  15. Le Noise demands more effort than some listeners might be willing to put in, but at its best, it repays that effort pretty handsomely. In that sense at least, it pretty much sums up Neil Young's entire career.
  16. What makes this work so beautifully is that the sound is completely unique and modern and yet couldn't be confused for anyone else.
  17. Young may be famous for his maelstrom guitar, but in this case the apocalypse sneaks up on us with a whisper, Young's voice steeped in decades of watching the world go to hell.
  18. Underneath that intriguing tinsel, it's just one more late-period Young album, all grungy chords and ghostly falsetto.
  19. The Wire
    Dec 22, 2010
    70
    The songwriting is at times patchy....But the noise of Le Noise sets it above Young's last few albums. [Nov 2010, p.62]
  20. It's not a completely successful experiment, but Le Noise is certainly an important moment in Neil Young's ongoing story.
  21. Le Noise is the sound of a restless and prolific artist striving to deal with the burden of his great legacy.
  22. What's up with all this defeat? The answers, in no particular order: Because he's Neil Young.
  23. As great as these songs are, how much you love them will rest on how long a leash you're willing to give Young and Lanois with the all ringing, sometimes overbearing, noise they wrap them in.
  24. There are a couple of Young's obligatory, wandering acoustic ditties to water down the already short track list, and Lanois' soft touch seems to render antiseptic even those few moments of feedback and reverb.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Dec 2, 2010
    10
    I hate to admit that I've listened to Neil Young for 40 years, but I have; I fell in love with the young hippie with the Heart of Gold - II hate to admit that I've listened to Neil Young for 40 years, but I have; I fell in love with the young hippie with the Heart of Gold - I still have my floppy leather hat. I've always preferred the Acoustic Neil to the Tron Neil, but I find myself listening to this over and over and annoying my Facebook friends by recommending it ad nauseum. Neil can make more sound come out of a single guitar than you would think possible, and Lanois sweeps this sound up and over and around and through that familiar high voice, and puts you right in the middle of it. I'm old enough I can relate directly to a lot of those lyrics too, and they're accessible enough that they appeal to my folkier side. This album brings me back to the days of concerts where you'd get up and dance in front of the speakers and sing along through the whole thing, and leave the venue with a contact high. I wake up hearing the chord progressions of "Love and War" in my head, and that's pretty close to love, if not at least a serious crush. Full Review »
  2. Sep 28, 2010
    10
    Birth is chaotic but beautiful. So is rebirth. On Le Noise, there is a holy spirit at work in the tornado and crunch of guitar effects mixedBirth is chaotic but beautiful. So is rebirth. On Le Noise, there is a holy spirit at work in the tornado and crunch of guitar effects mixed with the reflection and vulnerability of the lyrics. Neil Young is born again. "Somewhere in a ray sunshine you find the dark ... Someone's going to rescue you and bring you back." Among the harrowing and insistent classics: "Love and War," "Walk with Me." Full Review »
  3. Oct 10, 2010
    8
    Really intriguing from one of my all time favorite songwriters. The guitar howls like an old sawmill more than a Les Paul, which is a goodReally intriguing from one of my all time favorite songwriters. The guitar howls like an old sawmill more than a Les Paul, which is a good thing when put in the hands of Lenois. Young's voice hovers above the noise in his trade-mark brittle timbre and gives the album an interesting juxtaposition. The Hitchhiker and Peaceful Valley Boulevard are my favorite tracks. Full Review »