Neil Young has released all sorts of crazy things in recent years, including an album about an electric car full of rumbling non-songs, a work with songs that sometimes quite repetitively crossed the 20-minute mark, and an autobiography in which structure was a foreign word. "A Letter Home is the crowning glory: An album with cover versions, recorded in a 'Voice-O-Graph' from 1947, a mixture of telephone box and recording booth, by means of which one could record in modest quality records. It is this modest sound quality that makes "A Letter Home" such an exhausting listening experience. The fact that the cover versions of classics from Phil Ochs to Bert Jansch and Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen are all quite successful would actually be reason to cheer, but you don't hear so much about them. The sound quality is most comparable to that of an old answering machine that you are listening to at the moment, including volume fluctuations. Nevertheless, Young manages to transport a certain magic with these recordings, memories of a time long past. It takes getting used to, but much better than it sounds on paper.
Top track: My Hometown