Already, one prominent critic who’s had the pleasure of hearing Neil Young’s imminent new Fork in the Road in its entirety has suggested to me that writing an article with the title “Let’s Avoid Neil Young’s Next Record” was a bad idea. A popular sentiment. Two videos have emerged to let the unconvinced decide for themselves — it is certainly true that the blunt, populist rage of “Cough Up the Bucks” (chorus: “Where did all the money go?/Where did all the cash flow?”) has aged remarkably well since, oh, December. It’s still pretty knuckleheaded (the beyond-lo-fi video itself, wherein a besuited Neil grouses into a cell phone and bangs listlessly on a laptop while sitting in the back of a limo, is pretty funny though), but if surly repetition is your thing, then, hey, sure. Sounds way better than it did at MSG, in any event.
If “Bucks” merely complains without offering any solutions, well, at the moment that’s pretty common, too. And the tender acoustic “Light a Candle” actually does offer a suggestion, visually portrayed by Neil’s wife, Pegi, out the back window of a camper. Album’s out April 7. We shall see.