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Peace Trail Image
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

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4.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 17 Ratings

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  • Summary: Recorded over four days, the 37th full-length studio release for the Canadian singer-songwriter features Jim Keltner on drums and Paul Bushnell on bass.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. 80
    While it may not be the most musically involved album of his 50-year career, it’s persuasive evidence that Young still has a lot to offer.
  2. Dec 8, 2016
    67
    While the songs on Peace Trail are unquestionably timely and occasionally poignant, Young’s songwriting-as-immediate-response sometimes fails him.
  3. 65
    All too often, though, Peace Trail sounds like another case of Young chucking half-formed ideas at the wall to see if anything might stick before moving on to yet another project. That said, there are genuinely powerful moments here that promise of better things to come.
  4. Mojo
    Nov 29, 2016
    60
    While hats should be tipped for the sentiments expressed, with less urgency to make his point and more time spent on making it listenable the message might have stood a chance of reaching a few more ears. [Jan 2017, p.96]
  5. Dec 12, 2016
    50
    Young remains a treasure because he refuses to bow to convention, and his inherent distrust of studio sugarcoating or polishing has led to some of the rawest, most powerful music of our time. But it can also lead to slapdash projects such as this one.
  6. 50
    While we give Young a pass for getting new music out, and worthwhile moments are scattered throughout these 10 tunes (that don’t break 40 minutes), just as often you’ll lunge for the track-skip button in exasperation of hearing a major talent and unquestioned cultural icon who has spread himself too thin.
  7. Dec 2, 2016
    20
    Now and then you get a glimpse of ideas that could’ve made the album more powerful if they’d been further explored. ... But the songs are so spiritless and phoned-in that those moments are too little, too late.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 8
  2. Negative: 6 out of 8
  1. Dec 10, 2016
    8
    Everyone is being much too hard on this album. I'm a big fan, but I'm also not a Neil apologist, as his last few albums of original musicEveryone is being much too hard on this album. I'm a big fan, but I'm also not a Neil apologist, as his last few albums of original music have been below average to horrible. Neil hadn't put out a consistent album since Fork In the Road (2009). Unlike many songs on Storytone or Monsanto Years, which are pure drek, Peace Trail is his first album where every song is good or excellent. He’s once again found his ability to write a good song. These are essentially well written songs that most Neil Young fans should enjoy. Moreover, he doesn't drag any of them out for 15, 20 or 30 minutes; like he did on Psychedelic Pill, ruining a good tune. Some are criticizing the production. Are they familiar with Neil's catalog at all? That the production isn't Harvest Moon level or that he shatters some of the songs with some sort of distorted electronic blasts hardly hurts this music, and only enhances it. Again, all the songs are good to excellent, but the real standouts for me are "Peace Trail," "Show Me", "My Pledge", "Glass Accident," and "Can't Stop Working". Some of his best songs in 10 or 15 years. For those Neil Young fans who have been waiting years now, hungry for some good Neil music, and a solid album, I think you'll dig Peace Trail. Expand
  2. Dec 14, 2016
    6
    I can understand why some Neil Young fans really don't care for this album. The song writing isn't anywhere near the quality that we canI can understand why some Neil Young fans really don't care for this album. The song writing isn't anywhere near the quality that we can expect from Neil and the music doesn't really provide anything revolutionary. I still think its a worthy use of 38 minutes. The only think that really holds back this album is there are some songs that sound a little too much like demos and the lyrics are so obvious and uninventive. More than half the album is protest songs and when you jam so many of them on the same album they don't really pack the same punch.

    I enjoyed this album enough once but I'm probably never going to give it a second listen in its entirety. I think its time for Neil Young to take a couple years off and maybe get back with Crazy Horse for his next record. Two records a year is starting to be too much for him.

    Highlights: Can't Stop Workin', John Oaks, Terrorist Suicide Hang Gliders.
    Expand
  3. Dec 14, 2016
    3
    Neil Young may be a prolific songwriter but quantity and quality rarely go together as this album demonstrates. Easily one of the worstNeil Young may be a prolific songwriter but quantity and quality rarely go together as this album demonstrates. Easily one of the worst records in his discography. Expand
  4. Dec 13, 2016
    2
    One half baked record after another after another after another after another after another after another after another...and just like thatOne half baked record after another after another after another after another after another after another after another...and just like that 20 years have passed.What's the point? Expand
  5. Jan 9, 2017
    2
    Peace Trail must come close to {if not be} a career nadir for Young. As others have said it's an album best forgotten. Hopefully he can stopPeace Trail must come close to {if not be} a career nadir for Young. As others have said it's an album best forgotten. Hopefully he can stop the rot before it risks ruining his legacy. Expand
  6. Dec 14, 2016
    2
    There is a big difference between taking risks and simply releasing work that is mediocre at best, rubbish at worst. There is clearly no oneThere is a big difference between taking risks and simply releasing work that is mediocre at best, rubbish at worst. There is clearly no one around to say, "No, Neil. No." From 1967-1979 the man could do no wrong. After a decade of mediocre work there was a bit of resurgence from 89-95. For over 20 years now Young has released a lot of bad records. Even the better sounding ones sport poor songwriting. And that, sadly, is the bottom line: the man no longer writes good songs. Expand
  7. Dec 9, 2016
    1
    Did Neil Young receive an unreported head injury that halved his IQ? He has been putting out largely crappy albums like this for more thanDid Neil Young receive an unreported head injury that halved his IQ? He has been putting out largely crappy albums like this for more than fifteen years. For an artist of his stature and accomplishment to be releasing garbage like this is totally unacceptable. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews