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Comes A Time – Neil Young

Comes A Time

(1978), 8/10
Comes A Time is gentle folk rock, a Neil Young album that’s more commercially appealing than anything since Harvest. On the cover Young has an acoustic guitar and a goofy smile on his face, and the enclosed album captures him at his most settled, a series of relationship songs dedicated to his new marriage. The only songs that break from the melodic, well written folk template substantially are tucked towards the end of Comes A Time; the bluesy duet with Nicolette Larson on ‘Motorcycle Mama’ and the country hoedown of ‘Field Of Opportunity’, while there’s also a rare cover in the form of folk standard ‘Four Strong Winds’. ‘Goin’ Back’ sets the agenda, while the title track, ‘Look Out For My Love’ and ‘Lotta Love’ take in elements from country, blues and pop respectively. The latter in particular is one of the catchiest songs in Young’s oeuvre, with its distinctive electric piano part and touching lyrics. The more diverse stuff fits in fine, adding some fun to the record: the electrified ‘Motorcycle Mama’ provides a nice change of pace, while the goofy ‘Field Of Opportunity’ (“it’s plowing time again!”) is still melodic and well written. It’s lightweight, but Comes A Time capture Young at a point where he’s relaxed, content, and full of great songs.

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