Album of the Day 2/15/12

by delarue

Back in 2009, New York Music Daily’s sister blog, Lucid Culture introduced its 1000 best albums of all time list. A spinoff of that blog’s well-liked Best 666 Songs of All Time list, it was designed as a countdown: a new album every day, all the way to #1. Trouble was, it never became anywhere near as popular as the Best Songs list did. How come? For one, the retard-room contingent on the web had more or less all migrated to Facebook by then – if you’re on the world wide web right now without being signed into Facebook, that makes you one of the cool kids! – so it’s safe to assume that some people who would have visited the 666 Best Songs list in 2007 wouldn’t have bothered to look for it a couple of years later. And by the time the Best Albums countdown started, Lucid Culture had morphed more or less into a jazz and classical music blog – so as an attempt to keep one foot in the rock world, it was a mistake. And it dated the blog, since fewer and fewer acts, particularly rock acts, bother to put out full-length albums anymore.

But here at New York Music Daily, there are no rules. So in an effort to cross-pollinate, here’s something from another time and another place. The list has been on hiatus at Lucid Culture since August of last year: consider this an attempt to defibrillate it. Today’s album is #457:

Neil Young – Living with War

From 2006, this is his best album, streaming at Spotify. A ferocious, electric response to the criminality and genocide of the Bush regime, it’s political rock at its most insightful and tuneful. After the Garden coldly and cynically sets the stage for the sarcastic title track, and the equally scathing The Restless Consumer. Shock and Awe and Flags of Freedom call bullshit on the regime’s endless lies, while Families looks sympathetically at those left behind when Cheney sent the troops off to Iraq, from where 55% of the survivors would come home to disability pensions, unable to work because they’d been poisoned by depleted uranium. Let’s Impeach the President is a classic – and maybe the most intelligent song about an American President ever written. Looking for a Leader suggests that “maybe it’s Colin Powell, to atone for what he’s done;” Roger and Out looks back to Helpless, an enlisted grunt grudgingly admitting “that’s when we needed the hippie highway.” The closing cover of America the Beautiful is pretty pointless, but after all that, it doesn’t matter.