After spending the '80s going through stylistic changes, Neil Young released FREEDOM, a more straight-forward rock album that was no less lyrically complex despite its appeal to a broader piece of the mainstream. Playing with an assortment of musicians versus a set back-up band like the Stray Gators or the Shocking Pinks, this 1989 release is pure Neil Young. Like any great songwriter, Young populates these songs with memorable characters. "Crime In The City (Sixty To Zero Part 1)" is like a mini-Robert Altman movie with criminals and crooked cops rubbing shoulders with producers and artists whereas Rommel, oil riggers and televangelists populate "Someday". Although Frank Sampedro is the only participating member of Crazy Horse, Young still manages to get a big guitar crunch on the predominantly stripped-down "Don't Cry" and a ferocious cover of "On Broadway". The subtler moments are also capitivating whether it's a duet with Linda Ronstadt on the folkie "Hangin' On A Limb" or the slow-burn, Spanish twang of "Eldorado" that occasionally burps up a bit of heavy distortion. Young's indictment of the Reagan '80s comes on bookended versions (one live acoustic, one electric) of the anthemic "Rockin' In The Free World" that howl with righteous indignation.