Neil Young’s newest venture is a down-and-dirty snapshot of the revered rocker’s socially-conscious thoughts on the American automobile, with appropriate tunes such as shuffling “Fuel Line,” bluesy “Get Behind the Wheel” and the title track.

Musically, Fork in the Road has the spontaneous feel and tattered veneer of thrown-together rock albums such as Re-ac-tor or Living With War. Lyrically, Young sends the message that things need to change.

On the throbbing “Johnny Magic” he explains why he turned his 1959 Lincoln into an electric hybrid. On the boogie-mantra “Cough Up the Bucks” Young slings arrows at trouble-plagued Wall Street. Young gives his most personal and poignant performance on country-colored “Light a Candle,” where he eloquently unplugs to sing about sincere transformation.

While Fork in the Road lacks the sweeping focus of Rust Never Sleeps or Harvest, it has the visceral impact of likeminded outings like Zuma or On the Beach.

Grade: B



Fork in the Road is currently available.