NEIL YOUNG - Play Pono To Me

27. November 2014

Neil Young

NEIL YOUNG - Play Pono To Me

Where Neil Young's story with his new album "Storytone" will fit into, we can't say yet. One thing is certain for now: the reactions to the record once again oscillate between astonishment, head shaking, amazement and respect. With large orchestral arrangements this work could be one of the most beautiful records of his long and not exactly poor career in terms of releases, but with his fragile and meanwhile amazingly limited voice the old bard makes sure that a feeling of relaxed grace never arises.

On his predecessor "A Letter Home", on the other hand, he gets lost in a sound world of the 1940s. This record can be considered a self-experiment. But why he has to share this experiment with the listener remains unclear. A stubborn old man who uses bear forces to fight against the progress from which he, as an artist, should actually profit. This is by no means a matter of stylistic questions. Young remains largely in his very own idiom, which is known to be timeless. It's all about technical sound issues. The collection consists of cover versions of sunken song treasures, but Young easily manages to turn them into his own numbers. To give them the authentic spirit, he recorded the tracks in Jack White's studio with a 1947 Voice-O-Graph.

In the official info to the record one can read about unexplained reality, which however testifies to an undisguised loss of reality. Not even a dinosaur like Mister Young can change time levels. At the beginning of the CD there is a letter to his deceased mother. This sentimental outgrowth is granted to him, but what is real or even unexplained about it? Apart from Young's version of "Girl From The North Country", Bob Dylan's original from the late sixties is like Dubstep. Who or what is Young trying to please here? It is hard to imagine how gripping this search for traces would have been if he had carried it out in a halfway acceptable quality. And that he knows his way around Lo-Fi, he proved with his depressive classic "Tonight's The Night" at the latest...

Sound conservator

But Young is not only a songwriter and performer, he is also an activist who constantly deals with environmental issues. His most recent project is devoted in particular to the sound environment. With the so-called Pono Player he brings an alternative format to listening to music to the start. "The first ideas came to me around 2000," Young explains in the interview with Howard Stern. "I didn't like the CD because it limited the listening pleasure of vinyl by eighty percent. With the digital download it only got worse. Only five percent of the original recording was left."

PONO PLAYER - The basic data

  • available in the USA: between January and March 2015
  • available in Europe: not specified
  • Functionality: similar to iTunes via
  • compatible to: Windows, MacOS, LINUX
  • Formats: FLAC, WAVE and MP3
  • Connection: USB
  • Difference from CD: record companies or artists provide studio masters from the recording, which in terms of sound technology goes beyond the CD release
  • Audio resolution: 192 kHz/24 bit
  • Tip: recommended for high-end systems
  • Capacity: 64 GB, expandable to 128 GB (that's about 500 albums in highest resolution)
  • Price for one Pono album: 11 to 18 Euro
  • Price for the player (as of November 2014): 399 USD

Lesen Sie mehr im eclipsed Nr. 166 (Dez 2014/Jan 2015).