by Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real


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Neil Young used his union with the Promise of the Real -- the gangly crew fronted by Willie Nelson's kids Lukas and Micah -- to tackle weighty social problems on The Monsanto Years, a record supported by a relatively expansive tour. Earth, a double album culled from 2015 performances, goes one further, mining ecologically minded Young tunes and then addressing them to mother earth herself. According to Young, the catch is, "our animal kingdom is well represented in the audience as well, and the animals, insects, birds, and mammals actually take over the performances of the songs at times." This is an understatement. Animal sounds infect Earth, sometimes swallowing the guitars, sometimes chirping along in rhythm, an affect that is precisely the opposite of natural. Earth is aggressively artificial, the nature noises grafted upon performances that are indifferent to their presence. Perhaps this tension could be construed as a commentary -- man plows through the world without care for his animal brethren -- but as executed on Earth, the tension is entirely accidental. Young and the Promise of the Real lumber along in their own world, turning out perfectly respectable versions of songs old and new -- they have some of the unwieldy sprawl of Crazy Horse but none of the charmingly leaden lurch -- and, just when everything seems normal, the chirps, crows, and moos all arrive on a downbeat, sending things into a realm where the psychedelic and the silly coexist. Anybody looking for a straight-up document of Young & the Promise of the Real may very well be disappointed -- all those pesky critters keep getting in the way -- but Earth is better because of its inspired madness: the weirdness isn't merely a reason to listen, but it elevates the album to the status of one of Young's genuinely inspired nutso albums.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/24/2016
Label: Reprise / Wea
UPC: 0093624920656
catalogNumber: 554514
Rank: 11104

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real   Primary Artist
Neil Young   Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Piano,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Pump Organ
Brian Chapman   Vocals
Joe Yankee   Bass
Windy Wagner   Vocals
Jasper Randall   Vocals
Suzee Waters   Vocals
Corey McCormick   Bass,Vocals
Gerald White   Vocals
Tim Ward   Drums
Anthony LoGerfo   Drums
Eric Bradley   Vocals
Lukas Nelson   Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Charissa Nielsen   Vocals
Micah Nelson   Electric Guitar,Vocals,Charango
Nico Segal   Trumpet
Christine Helferich   Vocals
Tato Melger   Percussion
DRAM   Vocals
Bob Rice   Guitar,Keyboards

Technical Credits

Neil Young   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Vocal Arrangements
Darrell Brown   Vocal Arrangements
Gary Burden   Art Direction
John Hanlon   Producer,Engineer
Dave Lohr   Engineer
Tim Mulligan   Engineer,Live Sound Engineer
Michael Richard   Stage Manager
Elliot Roberts   Direction
Mark Scaggs   Guitar Techician
Jenice Heo   Art Direction
Mark Humphreys   Monitor Engineer
Eric Lynn   Engineer
Kurt Kasinoff   Guitar Techician
Frank Gironda   Direction
Dana Nielsen   Vocal Engineer
Tim Ward   Percussion Technician
Kevin Smith   Engineer
Will Mitchell   Engineer
Johnnie Burik   Engineer
Mike "Abs" Johnson   Trainer
Mikey Kaylor   Director
Eric Johnson   Road Manager
Bob Rice   Whistle

Customer Reviews

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Earth 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
Neil Young added various barnyard animals and wild creatures to this live album to underscore its ecological theme. I don't find they add to or detract from the two CD set. Earth has another problem, the fact Neil's new songs don't measure up to the oldies on the project. Even throwaways like Mother Earth from Ragged Glory and Hippie Dream from Landing On Water outshine last year's anti-agribusiness diatribes. Promise Of The Real is an excellent band. I can't tell much difference between them and Crazy Horse and they inspire NY to unleash some great guitar. They and Neil wrap things up with a 25 minute plus Love And Only Love and do it proud. Had this been all old songs with ecology and political themes, it might have been a 4 or 5 star effort. As it is, I can only go three.