Just because he played with the dude, it doesn't give Nils Lofgren the right to turn Neil Young's songs into such snoozers. On The Loner — Nils Sings Neil, E Street Band guitarist Lofgren covers 15 of Young's famous ("I Am a Child," "Like a Hurricane") and not-so-famous ("Don't Be Denied," "World on a String") compositions. And he handles almost all of them like they're just another part of a Thursday-night coffeehouse gig with the scones and double mocha latte. Lofgren, accompanying himself on guitar and piano, doesn't bring much to what's already there. He even copies Young's soft, trembling tone on many of the songs. As Young proves on his recent Archives box, his tunes can sound great with just voice and acoustic guitar. But a little personality helps too. — Michael Gallucci
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