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Neil Young - Are You Passionate?

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Are You Passionate?

Neil Young

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Neil Young had been playing with Booker T. & the MG's since the mid-'90s, touring heavily with the Stax house band, but the soul grooves on 2002's Are You Passionate?, the first album he cut with the group as a backing band, still come as a surprise. It could be because that even when he assembled the Bluenotes for the proto-neo-swing This Note's for You, he never tried to be as warm, seductive, and romantic as he does here. That's right, the title is no joke -- this is a romantic album, grounded with tight Southern soul rhythms and dressed in Young's signature fuzz-tone Les Paul. No matter the topic of the song, the essential sound is the same: a lazy soul groove, built on what Booker T. & the MG's did in the late '60s, vamping over Neil's three chords as he croons, usually in a falsetto but sometimes in a gruff lower register, while kicking out a variation of "I Can't Turn You Loose" (most notably heard on the opener, "You're My Girl," but rearing its head elsewhere). This is even true of "Let's Roll," a song inspired by the final words of Todd Beamer, one of the passengers on Flight 93 who helped overtake terrorists intent on flying a plane into Washington D.C.; though it's one of the first major post-9/11 songs, written by an artist notorious for his support of Reagan, it is neither reactionary nor all that moving -- mostly, it just sounds like another mid-tempo groover on an album filled with them. And that's the main problem with the record -- though it reads well on paper and is certainly more ambitious than any Neil Young record in years, the songs aren't distinctive or developed, and apart from the rather muscular, Crazy Horse-backed "Goin' Home," they're all delivered in the same fashion and all blend together. Instead of sounding like a refreshing change of pace, it's a muddled, aimless affair from an artist who's had too many middling efforts over the last decade.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Are You Passionate?

Neil Young

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1
You're My Girl
00:04:39

Booker T. Jones, Producer, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Background Vocals, Vibes - Kevin Scott, Engineer - NEIL YOUNG, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Duck Dunn, Bass Guitar - Pegi Young, Background Vocals - John Hausmann, Engineer - Steve Potts, Percussion - TIM MULLIGAN, Engineer, Mixing Engineer - Tom Bray, Trumpet - Astrid Young, Background Vocals - Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, Producer, Guitar, Background Vocals

2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S. 2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S.

2
Mr. Disappointment
00:05:24

Booker T. Jones, Producer, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Background Vocals, Vibes - Kevin Scott, Engineer - NEIL YOUNG, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Duck Dunn, Bass Guitar - Pegi Young, Background Vocals - John Hausmann, Engineer - Steve Potts, Percussion - TIM MULLIGAN, Engineer, Mixing Engineer - Tom Bray, Trumpet - Astrid Young, Background Vocals - Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, Guitar, Background Vocals - Poncho Sampedro, Producer

2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S. 2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S.

3
Differently
00:06:01

Booker T. Jones, Producer, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Background Vocals, Vibes - Kevin Scott, Engineer - NEIL YOUNG, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Duck Dunn, Bass Guitar, Background Vocals - Pegi Young, Background Vocals - John Hausmann, Engineer - Steve Potts, Percussion - TIM MULLIGAN, Engineer, Mixing Engineer - Tom Bray, Trumpet - Astrid Young, Background Vocals - Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, Producer, Guitar, Background Vocals

2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S. 2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S.

4
Quit (Don't Say You Love Me)
00:06:01

Booker T. Jones, Producer, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Background Vocals, Vibes - Kevin Scott, Engineer - NEIL YOUNG, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Duck Dunn, Bass Guitar - Pegi Young, Background Vocals - John Hausmann, Engineer - Steve Potts, Percussion - TIM MULLIGAN, Engineer, Mixing Engineer - Tom Bray, Trumpet - Astrid Young, Background Vocals - Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, Guitar, Background Vocals - Poncho Sampedro, Producer

2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S. 2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S.

5
Let's Roll
00:05:51

Booker T. Jones, Producer, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Background Vocals, Vibes - Kevin Scott, Engineer - NEIL YOUNG, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Duck Dunn, Bass Guitar - Pegi Young, Background Vocals - John Hausmann, Engineer - Steve Potts, Bongo Drums, Tambourine - TIM MULLIGAN, Engineer, Mixing Engineer - Tom Bray, Trumpet - Astrid Young, Background Vocals - Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, Guitar, Background Vocals - Poncho Sampedro, Producer

2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S. 2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S.

6
Are You Passionate?
00:05:07

Booker T. Jones, Producer, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Electric Piano, Background Vocals, Vibes - Kevin Scott, Engineer - NEIL YOUNG, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Duck Dunn, Bass Guitar - Pegi Young, Background Vocals - John Hausmann, Engineer - Steve Potts, Percussion - TIM MULLIGAN, Engineer, Mixing Engineer - Tom Bray, Trumpet - Astrid Young, Background Vocals - Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, Guitar, Background Vocals - Poncho Sampedro, Producer

2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S. 2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S.

7
Goin' Home
00:08:47

NEIL YOUNG, Guitar, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - TIM MULLIGAN, Mixing Engineer - JOHN HANLON, Engineer - Ralph Molina, Drums, Background Vocals - Billy Talbot, Bass Guitar - Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, Guitar, Background Vocals - Alex Osborne, Engineer - Aaron Prellwitz, Engineer

2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S. 2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S.

8
When I Hold You in My Arms
00:04:42

Booker T. Jones, Producer, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Background Vocals, Vibes - Kevin Scott, Engineer - NEIL YOUNG, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Duck Dunn, Bass Guitar - Pegi Young, Background Vocals - John Hausmann, Engineer - Steve Potts, Percussion - TIM MULLIGAN, Engineer, Mixing Engineer - Tom Bray, Trumpet - Astrid Young, Background Vocals - Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, Producer, Guitar, Background Vocals

2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S. 2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S.

9
Be with You
00:03:31

Booker T. Jones, Producer, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Background Vocals, Vibes - Kevin Scott, Engineer - NEIL YOUNG, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Duck Dunn, Bass Guitar - Pegi Young, Background Vocals - John Hausmann, Engineer - Steve Potts, Percussion - TIM MULLIGAN, Engineer, Mixing Engineer - Tom Bray, Trumpet - Astrid Young, Background Vocals - Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, Guitar, Background Vocals - Poncho Sampedro, Producer

2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S. 2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S.

10
Two Old Friends
00:06:13

Booker T. Jones, Producer, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Background Vocals, Vibes - Kevin Scott, Engineer - NEIL YOUNG, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Duck Dunn, Bass Guitar - Pegi Young, Background Vocals - John Hausmann, Engineer - Steve Potts, Percussion - TIM MULLIGAN, Engineer, Mixing Engineer - Astrid Young, Background Vocals - Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, Guitar, Background Vocals - Poncho Sampedro, Producer

2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S. 2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S.

11
She's a Healer
00:09:08

Booker T. Jones, Producer, Guitar, Organ, Piano, Background Vocals, Vibes - Kevin Scott, Engineer - NEIL YOUNG, Guitar, Piano, Lead Vocals, Writer, MainArtist - Duck Dunn, Bass Guitar - Pegi Young, Background Vocals - John Hausmann, Engineer - Steve Potts, Percussion - TIM MULLIGAN, Engineer, Mixing Engineer - Tom Bray, Trumpet - Astrid Young, Background Vocals - Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, Guitar, Background Vocals - Poncho Sampedro, Producer

2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S. 2002 Reprise Records for the U.S. and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the U.S.

Descriptif de l'album

Neil Young had been playing with Booker T. & the MG's since the mid-'90s, touring heavily with the Stax house band, but the soul grooves on 2002's Are You Passionate?, the first album he cut with the group as a backing band, still come as a surprise. It could be because that even when he assembled the Bluenotes for the proto-neo-swing This Note's for You, he never tried to be as warm, seductive, and romantic as he does here. That's right, the title is no joke -- this is a romantic album, grounded with tight Southern soul rhythms and dressed in Young's signature fuzz-tone Les Paul. No matter the topic of the song, the essential sound is the same: a lazy soul groove, built on what Booker T. & the MG's did in the late '60s, vamping over Neil's three chords as he croons, usually in a falsetto but sometimes in a gruff lower register, while kicking out a variation of "I Can't Turn You Loose" (most notably heard on the opener, "You're My Girl," but rearing its head elsewhere). This is even true of "Let's Roll," a song inspired by the final words of Todd Beamer, one of the passengers on Flight 93 who helped overtake terrorists intent on flying a plane into Washington D.C.; though it's one of the first major post-9/11 songs, written by an artist notorious for his support of Reagan, it is neither reactionary nor all that moving -- mostly, it just sounds like another mid-tempo groover on an album filled with them. And that's the main problem with the record -- though it reads well on paper and is certainly more ambitious than any Neil Young record in years, the songs aren't distinctive or developed, and apart from the rather muscular, Crazy Horse-backed "Goin' Home," they're all delivered in the same fashion and all blend together. Instead of sounding like a refreshing change of pace, it's a muddled, aimless affair from an artist who's had too many middling efforts over the last decade.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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