Le Noise - Neil Young
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 15 Ratings

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  • Summary: The legendary socially conscious rocker joins forces with producer Daniel Lanois, creating an album full of self-proclaimed folk-metal music.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. 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. Oct 28, 2010
    From its first chord hit and sustained, distortion displacing air, Le Noise courts Neil Young's classic platters.
  3. Le Noise is the sound of a singer-songwriter playing to his strengths.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. It's not a completely successful experiment, but Le Noise is certainly an important moment in Neil Young's ongoing story.
  7. Young ends up smothered by unconvincing soundscapes on all but two acoustic tunes that stand out by virtue of actually not sounding like a hurricane.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Dec 2, 2010
    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 - 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. Expand
  2. Sep 28, 2010
    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 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." Expand
  3. Oct 2, 2010
    Neil's voice is in unbelievably great form (this guy is 64 and can hit just about every note he was able to back in the Rust days), but all but two or so of the songs have very slight lyrics to the point of insubstantiality. That's OK, though- I never listened to NY because he was a lyricist, although he certainly has had his moments.
    The thing that bugs me about Le Noise is that the guitars and the way they are mixed sounds like some lesser artist trying to recreate "The Neil Young Sound." Some of it is spot on, I guess- after all it is Neil playing, but it's mostly hit or miss. I don't really blame Mr. Lanois, but what's next- production by Fripp and Eno?
    7.5 out of 10, plus one because this is Neil Young, for a final rating of 8.5. All things considered, not a bad effort at all.
  4. Oct 10, 2010
    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 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. Expand