• Record Label: Reprise
  • Release Date: Dec 9, 2016
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
Buy On
  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. Nov 29, 2016
    80
    Bushnell provides that perfect kind of bass you barely notice. Keltner's percussion is a different story. Captured mostly in first or second takes, he doesn't so much keep the beat as respond to what Young is doing, an improvised interplay of odd, shaggy patterns. The record often becomes a duet between Young and Keltner. [Jan 2017, p.20]
  3. 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.
  4. 67
    Young’s prolificness and penchant for producing in the moment often makes for mixed bag records, and Peace Trail is no exception. But if the execution flails in spots, the intention behind these 10 tracks is still plenty inspiring.
  5. 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.
  6. Dec 19, 2016
    60
    While there’s nothing really here to ignite a flame of revolution, or indeed get fists in the air to be honest, Peace Trail sees Young doing what comes naturally, soundtracking tumultuous times with some confident and easy songwriting.
  7. Q Magazine
    Dec 13, 2016
    60
    Unpolished and unhurried, Peace Trail is another charming stop on Young's long and winding road. [Feb 2017, p.108]
  8. Dec 12, 2016
    60
    As with his last few records, Young’s horror at the destruction of the environment remains high in the mix, with a grab-bag of other themes (ageing, self-belief, the iniquities of tech) and a silvery hope that “something new is growing”, as he puts it on the freewheeling title track.
  9. Dec 9, 2016
    60
    There's not an "Ohio" in the bunch but Young's grizzled jeremiads can be endearing.
  10. 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]
  11. Jan 19, 2017
    50
    Young’s heart reaches out, but his music isn’t keeping up with it, no matter how quickly he records it.
  12. 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.
  13. Dec 8, 2016
    50
    Peace Trail is a hard record to get a hold of at times. The songs are so bare-bones--and, at times, meandering--that it feels a bit tossed-off.
  14. 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.
  15. Dec 8, 2016
    40
    All this adds up to one of Neil Young's genuinely strange albums, a record that's compelling in its series of increasingly bad decisions.
  16. Dec 8, 2016
    40
    As it is, Peace Trail is just another album to add to the teetering pile of evidence that Neil Young’s output is currently more erratic and confounding than it has been at any time since the mid-80s.
  17. 40
    With Peace Trail, Neil Young slips into self-parody again, with a set of desultory peacenik songs too simplistic and patronising to be taken seriously.
  18. Nov 29, 2016
    30
    What a mess. ... The album sounds more like a rehearsal than a completed record, with Keltner's pacing off, Young flubbing lyrics and Bushnell at times just guessing.
  19. 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.
User Score
4.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 17
  2. Negative: 9 out of 17
  1. Dec 9, 2016
    2
    I have to agree with molecular. Young has given us some incredible music over the course of his career and more than a little dross.I have to agree with molecular. Young has given us some incredible music over the course of his career and more than a little dross. Unfortunately Peace Trail falls into the latter category. Full Review »
  2. 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. Full Review »
  3. 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. Full Review »