Peace Trail (album)

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Peace Trail
Peacetrailneilyoung.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 9, 2016
RecordedShangri-La Studios, September 9–12, 2016
GenreRock
Length38:20
LabelReprise
ProducerNeil Young & John Hanlon
Neil Young chronology
Earth
(2016)
Peace Trail
(2016)
Hitchhiker
(2017)
Singles from Peace Trail
  1. "Indian Givers"
    Released: September 18, 2016
  2. "Peace Trail"
    Released: October 28, 2016

Peace Trail is the 36th studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young, released on December 9, 2016 on Reprise Records. Co-produced by Young and John Hanlon, the album was recorded at record producer Rick Rubin's Shangri-La Studios.[1]

Described as a "primarily acoustic" album, Young recorded Peace Trail with drummer Jim Keltner and bass guitarist Paul Bushnell.[2]

Background and recording[edit]

Peace Trail was written and recorded following the release of Young's live album, Earth, in 2016.[2] Despite working extensively with Promise of the Real throughout 2015 and 2016, Young opted to record a solo album with session musicians Jim Keltner (drums) and Paul Bushnell (bass). According to Bushnell, the album was recorded in four days: "We did the ten tracks over four days. Most of them were recorded on the first or second take."[3]

Young invited Bushnell to participate in the recording sessions after discovering his playing on Promise of the Real bandmate Micah Nelson's forthcoming solo album. According to Bushnell, "Micah told me Neil Young loved my bass playing on the record and asked Micah for my mobile. I didn’t really believe it until the next morning; at 10am, my phone rang from this blocked number. I answered, and the guy said, ‘Is this Paul?' I said, ‘Yes it is.’ The voice said, 'Well, this is Neil Young.’"[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic57/100[4]
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic2/5 stars[5]
Classic Rock4/5 stars[6]
Pitchfork6.7/10[7]
Uncut4/5 stars[8]

Peace Trail received mixed reviews upon its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 57, based on 18 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[4]

In a positive review for Uncut, Damien Love expressed surprise that Young opted not to record with his current backing band Promise of the Real, but praised the album's collaborators, Paul Bushnell and Jim Keltner: "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."[8] In another positive review for Classic Rock Magazine, Rob Hughes wrote: "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."[6]

In a mostly positive review for Pitchfork, Sam Sodomsky praised Young's dedication to releasing politically-charged albums and his prolific output: "While Young’s voice has certainly never sounded older than it does here, there’s something youthful about his energy. Besides the fact that his two-album-a-year-clip keeps him in pace with your Ty Segalls or John Dwyers, his music is guided by a restless determination to cover new ground and speak his mind."[7]

In a negative review for Allmusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine suggests that the album's recording process was rushed: "It's interesting aesthetically, but the problem with Peace Trail isn't the concept, it's the execution. Intended as a musical bulletin à la "Ohio" or Living with War, Peace Trail is filled with songs about its precise moment in time, but the execution is so artless it veers toward indifference."[5]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleLength
1."Peace Trail"5:32
2."Can't Stop Workin'"2:45
3."Indian Givers"5:41
4."Show Me"4:02
5."Texas Rangers"2:29
6."Terrorist Suicide Hang Gliders"3:17
7."John Oaks"5:12
8."My Pledge"3:54
9."Glass Accident"2:53
10."My New Robot"2:35

Charts[edit]

Chart (2016) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[9] 52
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[10] 27
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[11] 30
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[12] 61
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[13] 72
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[14] 23
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[15] 23
Irish Albums (IRMA)[16] 58
Italian Albums (FIMI)[17] 75
New Zealand Heatseekers Albums (RMNZ)[18] 1
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[19] 32
Scottish Albums (OCC)[20] 41
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[21] 82
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[22] 14
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[23] 24
UK Albums (OCC)[24] 57
US Billboard 200[25] 76

References[edit]

  1. ^ Blistein, Jon (25 October 2016). "Neil Young Preps New Album 'Peace Trail'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b Sodomsky, Sam (26 October 2016). "Neil Young Announces New Album Peace Trail". Pitchfork. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Neil Young hires The Commitments' Musical Director for his Band". The Sun. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Reviews for Peace Trail by Neil Young". Metacritic. Retrieved December 8, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Peace Trail - Neil Young". Allmusic. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Hughes, Rob (December 5, 2016). "Neil Young - Peace Trail album review". Classic Rock. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Sodomsky, Sam (December 8, 2016). "Neil Young: Peace Trail". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Love, Damien (December 5, 2016). "Neil Young - Peace Trail". Uncut. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
  9. ^ "ARIA CHART WATCH #399". auspOp. December 17, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  10. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Neil Young – Peace Trail" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Neil Young – Peace Trail" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  12. ^ "Ultratop.be – Neil Young – Peace Trail" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  13. ^ "Neil Young Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
  14. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Neil Young – Peace Trail" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  15. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Neil Young – Peace Trail" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  16. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 50, 2016". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  17. ^ "Album – Classifica settimanale WK 50 (dal 2016-12-09 al 2016-12-15)" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
  18. ^ "NZ Heatseekers Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. December 19, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  19. ^ "VG-lista - Topp 40 Album uke 50, 2016". VG-lista. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  20. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  21. ^ "TOP 100 ALBUMES — SEMANA 50: del 09.12.2016 al 15.12.2016" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  22. ^ "Sverigetopplistan - Sveriges Officiella Topplista". Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved December 17, 2016. Click on "Veckans albumlista".
  23. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Neil Young – Peace Trail". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  24. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  25. ^ "Neil Young Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved December 20, 2016.