Wednesday, December 1

Neil Young, Arab Strap, Lana Del Rey … Our favorite albums


The Musics section team offers you a selection of albums that have been appreciated and reviewed on our pages or on our website in recent weeks. Or, in the order of their marketing: the second box set from Neil Young’s archives, this time devoted to the years 1972 to 1976; the return of Scottish duo Arab Strap, sixteen years after their previous studio album; the links between Erik Satie and Frank Zappa by guitarist and composer Pierrejean Gaucher; rapper Youssoupha’s sixth album; the pop-folk side of singer Lana Del Rey; the fourth solo album by Louise Attaque singer Gaëtan Roussel; the new album by the Corsican vocal and instrumental ensemble L’Alba; finally with Ariane Moffatt, the alliance of the piano, a limpid voice and fine electronic sounds.

“Archives Volume II: 1972-1976”, by Neil Young

More than eleven years after a first volume, a second Neil Young archive set is published. The first covered the years 1963 to early 1972, when the release of the album Harvest has earned the singer, guitarist and songwriter international recognition. This Volume II part of the after Harvest to stop at 1976 and the re-creation of Neil Young’s group, Crazy Horse. A dark period for Young, who does not want to capitalize on the success ofHarvest, is haunted by the death of loved ones (guitarist Danny Whitten, concert technician Bruce Berry), sees his life as a couple fall apart, is in question and grief.

What the albums will testify to Times Fades Away (October 1973), On The Beach (July 1974) and Tonight’s The Night (June 1975). Here we find some elements and especially a large number of unpublished songs, including completed songs, more or less finalized essays, concert samples. Including, in the last of ten CDs, recordings on March 10 and 11, 1976 during concerts at the Budokan, Tokyo. Young first solo, then with Crazy Horse. Signs of a return to light and musician envy. Sylvain Siclier

1 set of 10 Reprise Records / Warner Music CDs (released on March 5).

“As Days Get Dark”, by Arab Strap

Cover of the album

Unsurprisingly, the discographic return of the cult Scottish duo Arab Strap, after sixteen years of absence, is hardly bringing good news. Aidan Moffat and Malcolm Middleton still sing about desperation and obscurity, toxic relationships and evenings of debauchery. But – and this is all the complexity of their universe – states of grace undeniably run through their raw folk-rock ballads mixed with rudimentary rhythm boxes and synths. Separated in 2006 then reformed ten years later for a series of concerts, the Glaswégiens do not seek to please the successor of The Last Romance (2005). “I don’t care about the past or the glorious days of yesteryear”, sings Aidan Moffat in The Turning of Our Bones.

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