By Blaine Schultz
Every record Neil Young releases is an enigma in waiting, and Prairie Wind, with its deft orchestral passages, swelling horns and bluegrass touches, is no exception.
When Young lapses into a sentimental mood (“Falling Off the Face of the Earth,” “It’s a Dream,” “Here For You”) to pay tribute to friends and family, he avoids mawkishness. “When God Made Me” calls to task in a sincere ballad those who have interpreted God’s will since day one. But he’s not afraid to turn the camera on himself. “He Was the King” is a good-natured romp through memories of Elvis and “This Old Guitar” is a love song written for Hank Williams’ Martin guitar—Emmylou Harris’ vocals only sweeten the deal. “When I get drunk and seeing double, it gets behind the wheel and steers / This old guitar ain’t mine to keep, it’s only mine for a while.” VS