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‘The Visitor’ review: Neil Young’s survival guide for the times

Neil Young + Promise of the Real's

Neil Young + Promise of the Real's "The Visitor" is on Reprise Records. Credit: Reprise

NEIL YOUNG + PROMISE OF THE REAL

“The Visitor”

BOTTOM LINE Taking on current events with a much more timeless approach.

It’s nice to hear Neil Young laugh.

Sure, it sounds a little maniacal as he cackles during the wacky eight-minute epic “Carnival,” the centerpiece of his new album, “The Visitor” (Reprise). But it’s a sign that Young has every intention of surviving the current state of the world with his sense of humor intact.

Like his past two albums “The Monsanto Years” and “Peace Trail,” “The Visitor” is political and with songs like “When Bad Got Good” (“Lock him up! He lies. You lie. Lock him up!” is the chant) and “Already Great” (“You’re already great / You’re the promise land, the helping hand” is the chorus) it’s pretty clear Young is upset by President Trump.

But his more universal anthems are actually more effective, whether it’s the snarling blues of the straightforward “Diggin’ a Hole,” where backing band Promise of the Real really shines, or the uplifting “Children of Destiny,” where he encourages people to “Stand up for what you believe, resist the powers that be.”

With “The Visitor,” Young offers both rage and a way through it, a musical blueprint for moving forward.

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