Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Chrome Dreams II

Sequel (sort of) to unreleased 1977 album misses, hits

The great lost Chrome Dreams was the original home of "Powderfinger" and "Like a Hurricane." Nothing nearly that major uplifts this slyly titled collection, including its selling point, the Wacky Lost "Ordinary People," an eighteen-minute ramble through various meanings of the word "people" steeped in Young's lifelong confusion about popularity and democracy. But "Ordinary People" sure would have perked up 1988's horn-fed This Note's for You back when it was cut, and compared to the Icky Lost "Beautiful Bluebird," revamped to open these proceedings, it's "I Hear America Singing." Young was right to close with "The Way," a gloriously simplistic salvation song backed by a children's chorus that deserves to become his "Give Peace a Chance." But beyond that it's miss-or-hit. Even "Dirty Old Man" never quite captures the wicked glee that made "Welfare Mothers" worth a rehash. And the fourteen-minute "No Hidden Path" slogs even during its rather contained guitar solos.

Rolling Stone, Nov. 1, 2007