Neil Young—Prairie Wind (Reprise) [CD/DVD-Audio]
As you'll see on the DVD, Young recorded most of the songs in a studio with all of his musicians playing together to give the music a live quality. Likewise, the video doesn't rely on flashy editing or glitzy lighting; it's a no-frills, you're-in-the-room-with-the-band document of each tune. The musicians forge easy rolling grooves for Young's meditations on family life, growing old, and 9/11. The music's gentle melodic sweep is occasionally interrupted with something more playful, like Young's rollicking Elvis tribute, "He Was the King." I just wish Young had rocked a little harder on that one.
The sound accompanying the video is higher than CD resolution—it's 48/24 stereo—with no alternate Dolby or DTS surround mixes, which is fine with me. The DVD comes with a sweet-sounding CD, but I mostly listened to the higher-resolution DVD-Audio 96/24 stereo mix. Ah yes, the sonic purity brings more of the music's soul to the fore, so you can almost feel Prairie Wind's soft breeze.