AFTER THE GOLDRUSH mixes up the hard rock of EVERYONE KNOWS THIS IS NOWHERE and the folk and country leanings Young pursued with Crosby, Stills And Nash in one of his most eclectic and satisfying releases. The acoustic picking on the opener, "Tell Me Why," frames Young's vulnerable warble beautifully, signaling the softer aspect of the album. But the electric crunch of "Southern Man," a raging tour de force protest song that captures the special chemistry between Young and backing group Crazy Horse, balances Young's sensitivity with aggression and amplification.
The album continues its collage of styles, from the wistfulness of "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" to song fragments like "Til the Morning Comes" to the transformation of Don Gibson's "Oh Lonesome Me" from canter to ballad. But the crowning achievements are the album's magnificent title track, a vividly drawn portrait of post-'60s melancholy, and the gorgeous, aching "Birds," a swan song heralding emotional departure. Both songs are graced by Nils Lofgren's delicate piano, and stand as two of Young's finest compositions. In a catalogue filled with rock classics, AFTER THE GOLDRUSH still ranks among the best.
Rolling Stone (12/11/03, p.114) - Ranked #71 in Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time" - "...An album of heartbreaking ballads....The music is gentle..."
Spin (p.101) - "His most plaintively pretty and mournfully pissed-off folk album."
Q (4/02, p.141) - "...Subdued, intimate, largely acoustic: the sound of the post-'60s comedown pressed into vinyl. Packed with fine songs..."
Mojo (Publisher) (11/01, p.150) - "...With the singular exception of 'Southern Man', the songs here sound gentler but are still about confusion and disillusion..."
NME (Magazine) (9/18/93, p.19) - Ranked #19 among The Greatest Albums Of The '70s.
NME (Magazine) (10/2/93, p.29) - Ranked #66 in NME's list of the 'Greatest Albums Of All Time.'