A hypnotic “Piece of Crap”
Navigating Neil Young's discography is a musical odyssey and selecting an album a mission impossible. However, “Sleep with Angels” keeps pulling me back, where "Change Your Mind" and "Piece of Crap" encapsulate Neil's signature sound, keeping me hooked over the years.
Change Your Mind
This song has a hypnotic effect on me. An epic guitar journey that reminds me of a special occasion: Amidst the chaos of a rainy night in Mexico City, where the streets were drenched from the day's relentless downpour, "Change Your Mind" was a usual play as I navigated the Viaducto, where each inch of progress was hard-fought, a peculiar Mexican driving tactic known as "throwing the can" became my strategy. It's a daring dance where cars inch close to one another, a battle of wills.
"Change Your Mind" hypnotic embrace disconnected me from the grinding reality of the traffic. Suddenly, the lady in the neighboring car snapped me back to Earth. Despite the blaring music drowning out her voice, her frantic arm-waving and shrill cries were impossible to ignore. Horror washed over me as I realized my car had unwittingly scratched and dented her driver door, badly.
In that adrenaline-charged moment, in a mili-second decision, my instinct told me to escape the situation, swiftly departing the scene, leaving the lady confined by the traffic's clutches, unable to pursue me. But as my nerves steadied, a sense of responsibility tugged at my conscience. Determined to make amends, I mentally charted a course to return and address the situation. Yet, as fate would have it, the relentless ebb and flow of the traffic had other plans. The window of opportunity to right my inadvertent wrong quickly closed, forcing me to reluctantly "change my mind."
Piece of Crap
"Piece of Crap" resonates with me. It's a raw, unapologetic song that addresses the wastefulness and lack of respect for nature that pervades our modern world. What I love most is its in-your-face approach in Neil Young’s typical fashion that doesn't sugarcoat the message. The smashing guitar riffs feel like a scream of frustration, a musical outcry against those responsible for environmental degradation. It's a reminder that we can't stand by and watch natural resources turn into pieces of crap.
The remainder of "Sleeps With Angels" is consistent, which is par for the course across Neil Young's extensive catalog of 40 studio albums. Neil Young stands out as one of the most prolific, unwavering, and versatile rock artists in history. His musical journey includes leaving an indelible mark with earlier bands like Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. As a solo artist, he effortlessly transitions from tender ballads like "Heart of Gold" to rock anthems like "Rockin' in the Free World," heartfelt folk tunes like "Harvest Moon," and potent grunge-infused tracks like "Downtown." Many of his albums feature collaborations with his band, "Crazy Horse," which imparts a distinctive and robust sonic signature. Neil Young's music is an ever-enticing realm of discovery that never grows stale.