Leave it to Neil Young to release two albums less than a month apart, but such is the pace he works at, and the fact he leaves these matters to chance and randomness, or the muse as he calls it. Myself, I'm much more excited to get the Roxy: Tonight's The Night Live album, which comes out next Friday (unless you shelled out 40 bucks for the vinyl on Record Store Day). It's a release of a 1973 concert where he debuted that album, and it should be a monster. Paradox is a soundtrack to the new movie starring Young, the band Promise Of The Real, and directed by Darryl Hannah, a lowish-budget family affair. It's been badly panned, one of those Western-themed ideas that Young loves, made up largely on the spot and in the editing room. The only thing people seem to like is the performance sequences and the music, and that's what you get here on the soundtrack.
The collection is a seamless set of 21 cuts, some brief instrumental passages for the movie, other longer chunks and the occasional full song. Most of them feature Promise Of The Real, or Neil solo. As is often the case with his projects, the music comes from a variety of sources. There are a couple of older recordings, including the song Show Me from the 2016 album Peace Trail. There's also a version of the title cut of that album, but instead of the original, this time it's a new take done with POTR. The old favourite Pocahontas is included, a newly-released live version from a concert in Calgary in 2014. The acoustic version of the song Tumbleweed comes from the deluxe version of the Storytone album of 2014, and the 10-minute Cowgirl Jam is an instrumental concert workout of the beloved Cowgirl In The Sand by Young and the Promise guys.
There's also a charming section with Young and the band sitting around a campfire jamming, with Lukas Nelson singing his dad Willie's Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground, that's taken directly from the film, and some other lighthearted bits, even a brief stab at The Turtles' Happy Together. I do quite like the ease, ebb and flow of the whole set. Is it a major effort? No, it's actually quite close to the soundtrack of the 1972 film Journey Through The Past, in its mix of various source material into a single listen. It's a pleasant-enough experience, and maybe he needs to dabble in such things as part of the journey. Anyway, next week there's the Roxy album, and probably much more still to come.