Listen: Neil Young Releases New Solo Acoustic Album ‘Before and After’

Hana Gustafson on December 8, 2023
Listen: Neil Young Releases New Solo Acoustic Album ‘Before and After’

Neil Young has officially dropped the latest addition to his expansive music discography. Released today via Reprise Records, Before and After delivers 48 minutes of music from the artist’s eclectic and already-released music archive. The solo acoustic set centers around 13 original tracks that reflect the musician’s boisterous career, from Buffalo Springfield to 55 years of independent endeavors. 

The stripped-down presentation highlights the qualities of Young’s style that have always set him apart from his contemporaries: Impassioned vocals over signature strums and his trusty harmonica. At times, Before and After shifts to reveal a demo feel–think Allen Toussaint’s 1975 “Southern Nights” recording. There’s a looseness and acceptance in the human quality of studio time, the reverbed blows of the harmonica that open “Mr. Soul” to a straightforward play of “On The Way Home,” only this time, tinged with time and experience.  

“Burned” is a classic example of the timelessness of Young’s deliverables. Initially released in 1966, the song holds strong some 50-plus years later. Elsewhere on the album, Shakey unveils a previously unreleased cut, “If You Got Love,” a lively anthem propelled by pump organ, piano, harmonica, and guitars, a presentation that further strokes Young’s current state of refined intimacy.

Assigning meaning to the batch, Young offered via a press release, “Songs from my life, from 1966-2022, are newly recorded here in an acoustic music montage.” Before ending his message, he signed off, “Love Earth, be well.” Before and After was produced in partnership between Young and Lou Alders. 

Order Before and After, or stream the complete LP via Apple Music

Scroll down to view the set’s tracking list.

Before and After:

  1. I’m The Ocean
  2. Homefires
  3. Burned
  4. On The Way Home
  5. If You Got Love
  6. A Dream That Can Last
  7. Birds
  8. My Heart
  9. When I Hold You In My Arms
  10. Mother Earth
  11. Mr Soul
  12. Comes A Time