• Record Label: Reprise
  • Release Date: Dec 1, 2017
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
Buy On
  1. 80
    Diggin’ A Hole is scratchy blues; Almost Always could have graced Harvest Moon; Stand Tall and Children Of Destiny are earworms; but if you want beauty, you’ve got it on Carnival, once the cackling stops. Neil Young is reborn, yet again.
  2. Q Magazine
    Dec 20, 2017
    80
    The best record of the three record of the three recorded with his new and far younger band Promise Of The real, it veers between raw fury an tender melodies. [Feb 2018, p.110]
  3. Dec 8, 2017
    80
    Promise Of The Real--ie, Willie Nelson’s son Lukas et al--prove superb foils for this sludge guitar god/master melody maker, hence the harmony-rich chorus of Already Great sounds exactly that immediately, and the horn-bolstered power-chords of resistance anthem Children Of Destiny are just breathtaking.
  4. 80
    The Visitor, his collaboration with Promise Of The Real, is broad and all-encompassing. If there is one unifying factor, it’s that the subject matter can be roughly described as Young’s unflinching look at the state of the world, in all its abject beauty and squandered promise. Don’t call it a comeback, but damn if it doesn’t feel like one.
  5. Nov 29, 2017
    80
    It is curiously and enjoyably irregular.
  6. 75
    The Visitor excels in the kind of attention to detail and musical imagination that's eluded Young in recent years. If the backing of California quartet Promise of the Real (featuring Willie Nelson's songs Lukas and, when playing live, Micah) has brought to mind a cut-price Crazy Horse on their previous two collaborations with Young, the band are superbly versatile here.
  7. Uncut
    Dec 21, 2017
    70
    The songs themselves are fascinating in their breadth, and if nothing else, The Visitor feels like Young's broadest album in some time. [Feb 2018, p.26]
  8. Dec 8, 2017
    70
    The record alternates between Crazy Horse-style rockers and gentle acoustic folk, though as always Young throws a few curveballs.
  9. Dec 4, 2017
    70
    [The] sense of cranky rage and ageless idealism are all over The Visitor.
  10. Dec 1, 2017
    70
    Listeners who've already given up on Young's current output are unlikely to be lured back by anything here, but for those of us still following his uniquely meandering path—in and out of the proverbial ditch--it's a ride well worth taking.
  11. Dec 5, 2017
    67
    If Young’s recent work has felt like a series of hard-headed dives into his pet obsessions--more interesting for simply existing than for actually listening to--then The Visitor is more all-encompassing, and as a result, more centered.
  12. 67
    On The Visitor, he falls into one of his most unfortunate ruts doing that sing-songy protest jingle shit that made records like Greendale and Living with War so darn unlistenable. But the good news is there are only two songs like this on here: “Stand Tall” and “Children of Destiny”. Skip both and thank me later. However, the remaining eight tracks on The Visitor rank up there with the best stuff Neil Young has released since the turn of the century.
  13. 60
    It shouldn’t work, but pleasingly, most of it does, thanks to the conviction of Young’s delivery.
  14. Nov 30, 2017
    60
    The scattergun approach can lack focus, but Young sounds energised by the need to confront hatred and division with humanity and hope.
  15. Dec 4, 2017
    50
    Neil is making music for the moment and he doesn't much care if it lasts beyond that day or not, and while living in the moment is a good way to get through life, it doesn't do much for albums.
  16. Dec 1, 2017
    42
    Young and the youngsters he’s playing with here sound like they wrote and jammed these songs out in a few days, relying on the strength of his sentiment to carry them through. But a jam session with some cranky speak-singing on it doesn’t make for a great album, and it’s not going to make any new converts, unfortunately--either to Neil Young’s politics or his music.
  17. 40
    As the album proceeds, it frays apart as Neil’s gaze shifts to bombs and babies in the plodding anthem “Children Of Destiny”, and to Mexican fairground fantasy in the ludicrous cod-Santana-style “Carnival”. Despite similarly sluggish, slouchy manner, young backing band Promise Of The Real fall some way short of the full Crazy Horse, trudging rather than imposing a sense of implacable destiny.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 7
  2. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. Dec 2, 2017
    3
    What a shame. Yet another release marked by sloppy, shoddy goods. While Young has the talent to make mediocre songs listenable, he once setWhat a shame. Yet another release marked by sloppy, shoddy goods. While Young has the talent to make mediocre songs listenable, he once set the bar so much higher. Weak work is again rushed to the marketplace. As expectations are repeatedly lowered it becomes increasingly difficult to recall the glory days of ’67-’79. Full Review »
  2. Dec 21, 2017
    6
    These musical foundations, techniques, and deliveries here have been engrained in the ears of rock music listeners for at least 40 years, andThese musical foundations, techniques, and deliveries here have been engrained in the ears of rock music listeners for at least 40 years, and Neil Young does nothing to change that which bodes well for those who just want sincerity and nothing to sound odd, but leaves lots of potential emotional attachment and bravery on the table. My Score: 113/180 (Okay) = 6.3/10 Full Review »