William Echard. Neil Young and the Poetics of Energy. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2005 [Book Review]

2017-05-22T02:14:01Z (GMT) by Andrew Padgett
Neil Young is an ideal object for popular music scholarship, not only because of the volume of work that he has produced over his long career – William Echard’s study, for instance, cites no fewer than 40 of the albums Young produced between 1966 and 2003, a figure that does not even cover his entire output – but also because of the eclecticism of his work, which allows Echard to draw on a wide range of theoretical models in searching for the “stable” Neil Young identity that he believes underpins Young’s music. As a result of these dual considerations, Echard’s book would have been capable of serving not only as a comprehensive introduction to Neil Young’s music, but also as a study of contemporary popular music scholarship. In the first respect, the book succeeds. There are, however, a number of significant weaknesses with Echard’s study that ensure it fails on the second count.<br>