After riding the heaviness of “Rust Never Sleeps”, Neil Young decided to step back and record a much shorter and softer album. In 1980, “Hawks & Doves” was released. This album to me is a decent album, but musically, Neil is skimming the bottom of the barrel. Many of the songs come in under three minutes. It seems lyrically, Neil was just writing songs to fulfill his obligations to his record contract.
Musically, we have Neil Young combining elements of folk, country, and rock together creating some songs that are true Neil Young styles. While others, are songs that didn’t make his previous records that were thrown onto this record. As side one and side two are completely different in musical styles.
Side one is very mellow with Neil playing acoustically with other band mates including long time friend Ben Keith. Side one is also very heavy on the folk side. The songs themselves are OK, my least favorite is “Lost in Space” which to me is a children song that drags on.
Side two is a bit different. It’s more focused on the country music sound like you hear on “Stars and Bars.” I love the raw sound of side two and “Union Man” and “Comin’ Apart at Every Nail” are true classic Neil Young songs.
Although, many disagreed with the type of right wing lyrical themes on this album, I thought that this album was good. Is it the best? No! Not even close. But this album does deserve to be recognized. There are some good songs on this album, but it may take a few listens for you to find those songs as I did.
1. “Little Wing” 2:10
2. “The Old Homestead” 7:38
3. “Lost in Space” 4:13
4. “Captain Kennedy” 2:50
5. “Stayin’ Power” 2:17
6. “Coastline” 2:24
7. “Union Man” 2:08
8. “Comin’ Apart at Every Nail” 2:33
9. “Hawks & Doves” 3:27