By Ken Clarke
You never know in what direction a new Neil Young release will take you. With Fork In The Road, we’re heading straight down a rocking highway. The album is a stripped-down, guitar-driven trip right from the starting line. Dirty re-vamped blues riffs dominate the mix in Young’s classic garage band style, accompanied by a strong environmental message.
The bulk of this eco-friendly album is loosely based on Lincvolt, Young’s hybrid project to convert his 1959 gas-guzzling Lincoln Continental Mark IV convertible to run exclusively on electricity, which he plans to drive across the U.S. to Washington in protest. There’s also references to the ailing auto industry, financial bailouts and the joys of the open road.
“When Worlds Collide” abruptly opens things up with grungy power chords from Young’s distorted Les Paul, laying the framework for the rest of the disc. In “Cough Up The Bucks,” Young asks, “Where did all the money go / where did all the cash flow / where did all the revenue stream?” “Off The Road” and the beautiful “Light A Candle” are the only two ballads on the disc and serve as temporary pit stops on this otherwise decibel dominated drive. Closing the disc is the slide guitar-fueled title track in which Young warns his listeners, “There’s a bailout coming but it’s not for you / it’s for all those creeps hiding what they do.”
A must-have for any fan, Fork In The Road takes us on a journey through the future.