STILL doggedly doing things his own way, Neil Young is admirable and frustrating in equal measure.

While it is fruitless to endlessly berate veteran artists for not rehashing former glories, Young has been especially difficult to follow as he works his way into his 70s, soapbox in hand.

Good news first: The Visitor is certainly better than recent releases and sits as one of the more varied in his long back catalogue. Rather than alternating between distortion and acoustic, here Young cleverly plays with styles in a way that recalls Sleeps With Angels, arguably the last decent record he made.

Change Of Heart is Young at his most melodic, while Already Great, a two-fingered response to Trump’s vapid slogans, has a similar low fidelity to Tonight’s The Night (by design presumably rather than tequila), and serves as a rather downbeat assessment of the current all-American mire. Rather than a protest album per se, this set is peppered with anger, but thoughts pass by in quick succession, a turbulent response to turbulent times.

With Crazy Horse seemingly put out to pasture for good, Promise Of The Real, featuring Willie Nelson’s sons Lukas and Micah, do a credible job re-creating that earthy, underplayed backdrop against which Young likes to soar or crash. They haven’t yet found a sound of their own but acquit themselves well. Clearly Young aficionados, they can switch from the "This Note's For You" blues of Diggin’ A Hole to the unusual twists of Carnival.

The centrepieces of Young’s records have often been his long songs but the closing ten very long minutes of Forever is of the Natural Beauty rather than Like A Hurricane variety. It drifts like water lapping some hippy’s Hawaiian yacht, pat congas giving it a generic feel with almost nothing to say, ultimately casting Young as a man frazzled by the sun, a hatless preacher without a sermon.