Neil Young has always worked best in broad strokes. Emotional songs like “Tell Me Why,” “Motion Pictures” and “Don’t Be Denied” all have an elusive quality that allows each listener to create their own ties to the music. Young’s audience has had to accept his recent work on much different terms. Following Greendale’s concept approach, Prairie Wind is a goodbye album that leaves Young in the precarious position of still being alive. Similar in lyrical tone to Warren Zevon’s The Wind, the songs drop their guard, offering relaxed revelations straightforward in topic and delivery. That he pulls it off nearly flawlessly is a testament to his lasting talent. Despite the inherent sentiment that comes with making a last stand, Prairie Wind is his best work since Ragged Glory.