First, "Storytone" raises more questions than there are answers. This is nothing unusual for Neil Young. If you just recapitulate his albums of the last years, you'll find a record with endless repetitive songjams ("Psychedelic Pill"), a rumbling blues rock album without distinguishable songs ("Fork In The Road") or, released only a few months ago, a collection of evergreens, recorded in a kind of telephone booth ("A Letter Home"). And what will the man serve us next? An album recorded alternately with orchestra and big band. But that's not all: in an only insignificantly more expensive special edition, the whole work is recorded by Young alone: he accompanies himself on the acoustic or on the piano. The result is fascinating simply because you can experience how a versatile musician can sometimes have countless possibilities with every song to steer it in a certain direction. The orchestral album in itself seems somewhat directionless: perhaps because the ballads like "Plastic Flowers" or "All Those Dreams", which are sometimes somewhat sugary due to their pathetic orchestration, don't really want to merge with the (few) rumbling big band blues pieces like "I Want To Drive My Car". On the acoustic album you only notice how everything comes together; it strongly reminds of the 92 "Harvest Moon" together with its gentle breaks and the references to the seventies golden for Young. Plastic Flowers" on the piano suddenly becomes a logical continuation of "After The Goldrush". Above all this, in both versions, the majestic ecohymn "Who's Gonna Stand Up?" is enthroned, inviting the listener with kind naivety to become active himself. An album that is again blown through by the spirit of the "classic" Neil Young.
Top track: Who's Gonna Stand Up?