Chrome Dreams II
Neil Young is the same old endearing kook, said Chris Willman in Entertainment Weekly. Over the years, the Godfather of Grunge has come up with more than a few oddball album concepts, but “releasing a sequel to an unreleased record is peculiar even for him.” The great, lost Chrome Dreams was supposed to hit stores in 1977, but Young mysteriously shelved it. Its follow-up, Chrome Dreams II, doesn’t stand up as one of Young’s strongest solo efforts, but “it is his most enjoyable and well-rounded one in, like, an eternity.” The album stacks dusty country ballads alongside slow-burning epic rockers, and a children’s gospel choir alongside fuzzed-out electric guitar. “It is a “solid—if never revelatory—sampler of Young’s common styles,” said Jim Farber in the New York Daily News. Chrome Dreams II runs more than an hour, but half is filled by a mere two songs: the 11 Qw -minute “No Hidden Path” and the 18-minute “Ordinary People.” Young first debuted “Ordinary People,” a populist narrative about every kind of American imaginable, on tour in 1988, and many fans had considered it Young’s greatest unreleased song. Its presence here doesn’t make up for such a “miss-or-hit” album, said Robert Christgau in Rolling Stone. Even if we never heard its predecessor, Chrome Dreams II comes across as just another second-rate sequel.