• Record Label: Reprise
  • Release Date: Jun 19, 2020
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
Buy On
  1. 100
    Seven have never been released before, including heartfelt opener ‘Separate Ways’. Over Levon Helm’s solid but minimal drum line comes a chorus up there with Young’s best, as melodic as it is thoughtful, as pensive as it is powerful. ... The freewheeling ‘Vacancy’ is the last ‘new’ song here, an instant classic (if you can call 46 years trapped in the vaults ‘instant’).
  2. Jun 22, 2020
    92
    “Homegrown” is an essential addition to the Young catalog and the best of his many archival releases since the equally essential “Live at the Fillmore East” (which was recorded in 1970 and finally released 36 years later).
  3. Jun 19, 2020
    92
    Homegrown establishes itself as its own rightful—perhaps even required—chapter in that legacy, yet another bold statement from one of the musical giants of the last half-century.
  4. Jun 19, 2020
    90
    Hearing these (sometimes very familiar) songs in this particular sequence is a journey, one that winds along a twisted road yet provides an experience as complete as its mid-'70s companion LPs. It's not a footnote but an essential part of Neil Young's catalog.
  5. Jun 18, 2020
    90
    The duration of the record is ultimately out of proportion to its considerable depth of feeling. These dozen tracks all boast impeccable audio, but the clarity of those sonics, the likes of which earmark all recent Neil Young recordings in recent years, is less significant as a commercial selling point than as a direct correlation to the purity of emotion within the music.
  6. Jun 18, 2020
    90
    ‘Homegrown’ not only lives up to the hype of being a lost classic, it surpasses it.
  7. Jun 16, 2020
    90
    This is an album that proves something beautiful and enduring can come from even the most dire circumstances.
  8. Jun 24, 2020
    88
    Mostly, though, the Young we get here resembles the Young we already know: the one who we first met on his rootsy-yet-metaphysical 1972 breakout album, Harvest, then again later on Comes a Time, in 1978. ... When all is said and done, we’re left wanting more.
  9. Jul 8, 2020
    85
    The record is lovely. In many instances, it’s Young at his most signature. It’s sad that fans are only hearing it now—but at least it’s here.
  10. Jun 19, 2020
    80
    Five of the 12 songs have been previously released in various versions over the years. Collected together with seven previously unheard songs, the effect is to compound the sadness at their core. There a couple of pleasantly throwaway druggy jams to lighten the mood, including the title song and the amusing We Don’t Smoke It. ... I have little doubt it would have been acclaimed in 1975, but it rings just as sweet and true in 2020. Heartbreak never gets old.
  11. 80
    Homegrown is his most personal. Intended for release in 1975, Homegrown retains Harvest’s country-rock sound, but has more of an intimate feel.
  12. Jun 18, 2020
    80
    It’s not all perfect: the previously-released title track clocks in as a fairly innocuous hoe-down, while the slightly uncomfortable spoken word midpoint of ‘Florida’ makes for a jarring addition. Still, when ‘Homegrown’ soars, it acts as further proof that few in history can reach the emotional peaks that Neil Young can.
  13. Jun 18, 2020
    80
    There’s a temptation with Young to concentrate on the big statement songs, but the joy of Homegrown is its lightness of touch.
  14. Jun 17, 2020
    80
    Through songs now considered longtime favourites, and ones that will now find wider audiences, Homegrown is now free to stand as a more organic, lovelorn harvest of the personal turmoil that influenced Young's revered mid-'70s output.
  15. Jun 16, 2020
    80
    The album turns out to be missing link in Young’s catalog as much for Shakey’s emotional life as it is for his stylistic choices.
  16. Jun 18, 2020
    78
    “Separate Ways” is a sweet beginning, reminiscent of “Out On The Weekend” with a slightly more bitter détour, which immediately reminds us that Homegrown should have followed Harvest. Emmylou Harris’ haunting voice in the background of “Try” sounds simultaneously evocative and familiar — a trait resulting from her frequent collaborations with the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Gram Parsons, and Bob Dylan.
  17. 75
    While a handful of tracks (around the belly) don’t live up to their legend, hearing Homegrown after all these years rates as a fine gift for Young to leave to his legions of fans … and, hell, humanity.
  18. 70
    Homegrown was strong enough to have been released in 1975 and Young is right to exhume it now. But that doesn’t mean he was necessarily wrong then. He may have been baring his soul, but he was smart enough to know just how rotten that soul had fleetingly become.
  19. 70
    In retrospect, Young’s decision may have been for the best, but like everything he’s done, Homegrown still has much to offer. In retrospect, and with all things considered, it’s not a bad blend.
  20. Jun 16, 2020
    70
    The lack of ripe new fruit is probably what makes Homegrown a slight disappointment, but judged by most standards, it’s still a very solid collection that vividly reflects a turbulent chapter in Neil Young’s long and eventful career.
  21. Jun 22, 2020
    60
    Separate Ways and Try are wounded but tender breakup songs, Kansas a gentle reflection on a one-night stand. An unremarkable band blues and an unlistenable finger-on-wineglass affair contribute little to an album that’s well-found but, like much of Young’s recent output, for the committed.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. Jun 25, 2020
    9
    It's Neil Young at his best. Great songs, easy listening and good vibrations. A great album
  2. Jun 24, 2020
    5
    The latest new old Neil Young project (I keep waiting for that album he recorded when he was five) isn't bad, but it's obvious why Young (or,The latest new old Neil Young project (I keep waiting for that album he recorded when he was five) isn't bad, but it's obvious why Young (or, according to legend, his friends) chose "Tonight's The Night" over this one all those years ago. It's more scattered and tentative - in several spots it seems Young puts in extra chords just to try to challenge himself, perhaps trying to keep the proceedings from sounding too much like the songs on "Harvest", and he doesn't always rise to the challenge, as it sounds like the vocals are under-rehearsed and just hoping for the best. Those extra chords also keep it from being a good upfront country album, outlaw or otherwise. Of the familiar tunes, only "Love Is A Rose" sounds classic, while the title track is sprightly enough but pales in comparison to the anthemic overload of the "Tonight's The Night" version. The highlights here are "Kansas", where Young and his guitar go it alone, with only his crying harmonica to add (perfectly) to the proceedings, like a slow-motion shooting star in the night sky, and "Vacancy", a "Tonight's"-style barn-burner and the most realized and longest track of the bunch. They are needed after the stoned-poet spoken three minutes of "Florida". Timing is a major problem here - more than once, quick fade-outs suggest that these songs are more demos than anything else. Were the songs that short, really, or were they stoned jams that ran quickly awry and needed truncating to salvage the best parts? By the time Young sings the blues tune "We Don't Smoke It No More", you sure as hell don't believe him. A few of these would have made good extra tracks on a "Tonight's The Night" reissue; the rest were probably unreleased before now for all the right reasons. The set ends with "Star of Bethlehem", a nonsensical repeat from the "American Stars And Bars" album, to pad out what seems half-padded already. Who knew the title "Journey Through The Past" would be an apt subject line for the latest output from a guy who even recently blazed new trails with nearly every release? Full Review »
  3. Jun 24, 2020
    7
    Young was wise to release Tonight's the Night rather than Homegrown. While not the "lost masterpiece" of lore, Separate Ways and Try are quiteYoung was wise to release Tonight's the Night rather than Homegrown. While not the "lost masterpiece" of lore, Separate Ways and Try are quite good. While uneven, the album reminds listeners that Young wrote some very good songs back in his prime. Star of Bethlehem is a strong closer. Full Review »