Neil Young Kit Rachlis - Essay

Kit Rachlis

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Young's songs often come down to a single moment, a gesture that crystallizes and then breaks the tension, because they depend so much on the vagaries of mood. This undoubtedly is one of the things that Young has found so attractive about folk—the sense it often conveys of being a found music, with tone and atmosphere almost everything. A song could be whipped up on the spot, like a talking blues, and what mattered was not the proper convergence of theme and metaphor, but comic timing. If you were good, the process of making up the song—how long you paused to fit the right word into the rhyme—was as important as the completed song itself. A half-finished verse, a redundant refrain, was valued if it hit the...

(The entire section is 1024 words.)