Living With War - Neil Young

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. The sheer brazenness of this collection is refreshing after years of timidity in the upper echelons of the pop world. [6 May 2006]
  2. Living With War is instantly the most incisive and penetrating album that Young has released in years, and it is arguably the most vital of his career.
  3. OK, more news event than musical milestone. But a really great news event.
  4. Young hasn't sounded this fired up in years.
  5. It may not be his best album but it ranks as one of his most important.
  6. 80
    For those of us who prefer Neil when he's plugged-in and splenetic, it's tempting to call the album his best since 1990's Ragged Glory. Living With War, though, is too much of a frontline dispatch, too consumed with the present, to be easily catalogued for posterity. [Jul 2006, p.82]
  7. A revelation, brimming with passion and some of the best melodies Young has penned in the last 30 years. [Jul 2006, p.113]
  8. He has not written and recorded with such emergency since "Ohio."
  9. The challenge of writing songs designed to lodge immediately in people's heads seems to have forced Young to come up with strong melodies, something else noticeably absent in his oeuvre of late.
  10. A courageous statement that should resonate far and wide.
  11. Now then, aside from all that, "After the Garden" and "Families" are right up there with "Rockin in the Free World" for displays of board-stomping bravado, which is of course much less the goal here than raising awareness.
  12. Living With War's short gestation benefits Young's performance, inspiring him to make his loudest, rawest release of new material since at least Ragged Glory, maybe even Rust Never Sleeps.
  13. Young's best record since at least Mirror Ball and probably Ragged Glory.
  14. The reactionary disc is a step up from 2003's similarly political offering, Greendale, largely because it doesn't come disguised as some community-theater production.
  15. With few exceptions, Young's own "Ohio" being one of them, moment-specific protest music tends to dry up and blow away. But that's for the future. For now, Living With War accomplishes exactly what it sets out to accomplish, loudly.
  16. 70
    And the songs? Urgent, instant, bolshie mostly, with a stronger individual melodic sense than, say, Greendale, but without the intense beauty of, say, Ohio. [Jul 2006, p.112]
  17. 70
    It's brave, and it's needed. [Jul 2006, p.95]
  18. [The songs] manage to be unified in a way that Young wanted Greendale to be but didn't quite pull off, yet they also stand on their own and are, overall, more memorable than those on Prairie Wind.
  19. "Living With War" -- irate, passionate, tuneful, thoughtful and obstinate -- is definitely worth a click.
  20. In context, no song on Living With War is as simple as it may seem on its own--not a bumper sticker, not a pamphlet, not the slightest wrinkle in a Sunday morning pundit’s furrowed brow. It’s a direct shot into the national discourse from a rock world that has been largely silent until recently.
  21. The album has the instantaneous feel of a blog. [Aug 2006, p.93]
  22. Living With War: American Idiot for hippies.
  23. Really, what's to be gained from simplistic sloganeering like, "We don't need no more lies!" [20 May 2006, p.33]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. BenedictA.
    Jul 17, 2007
    I think its amazing how Neil Young has stayed in touch and is still releasing songs that exemplify his rock and roll attitude.
  2. JohannaP
    Dec 23, 2006
    a compelling and beautiful complete work for a world that needs to find peace inside and outside the heart beat.
  3. IlliniQ
    Aug 21, 2006
    Full of lyrical intent and energy, but musically feels like such a rush job rehash of better/older works. Think Ragged Glory without the Full of lyrical intent and energy, but musically feels like such a rush job rehash of better/older works. Think Ragged Glory without the electric jams that made that album Young's best since the 70s, if not in his entire solo career. Full Review »