Mirror Ball

(1995), 4/10
After collaborating with Pearl Jam on stage, Neil Young spent four days recording with them and Brendan O’Brien in Seattle. Mirror Ball has a purposely off-the-cuff feel; most of the songs were allegedly written by Young during the recording sessions, and are recorded live in studio. Pearl Jam are an appropriate backing band for Young, but the live in studio approach makes all the songs effectively sound the same. Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder was absent for most of the recording sessions, and on ‘Peace and Love’, the sudden insertion of his voice accompanied by Young’s swirling organ create the most memorable moments of the album. There are nice tunes like ‘Big Green Country’ and ‘I’m The Ocean’, but as a whole Mirror Ball is underwritten and too homogeneous to be anything more than an interesting curiosity in Young’s catalogue.

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