Off Topic Messages
Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:25 pm
The new Neil Diamond album, 12 songs, is receiving almost universal critical praise. In a few instances the word 'Grammy' is even being used!
I haven't picked it up yet, but when I do I'll post my impressions.
Thu Nov 10, 2005 7:29 pm
I'm a fan of Neil Diamond's 1966-1976 output, but I've been utterly underwheled by just about everything he's put out since then. I really hope Rick Rubin has helped Neil make a return-to-form album.
Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:56 am
FYI, according to the last article I added to the Sony Spyware thread this is one of the infected cds.
Mon Nov 14, 2005 8:06 am
I got the album and I've listened to it once. I'm happy to say that the rave reviews are justified. This is a beautiful piece of work. It's a low-keyed, introspective, deeply personal effort. Diamond has finally re-connected with his long-dormant songwriting muse. This isn't the Diamond of the Bang period. Nor is it the Diamond of the Uni/MCA period. And it's definitely not the glitter-shirted adult-contemporary showman. This is, well, just different. Diamond is accompanied by a small selection of backing musicians, and Diamond himself plays lots of guitar. The sound is mostly acoustic guitars and piano, and Neil's voice is recorded dry. The overall feeling is one of intimacy. It's like Neil is sitting on a stool in your living room playing and singing these tunes. His distinctive baritone has a slightly weathered sound to it, and he doesn't employ much vibrato. The songs give the impression of a man coming to terms with and accepting his age. Most of the tunes are ballads, but there's an uptempo r&r number, a gospel-flavored tune, a ragtime type of song, and a bluesy minor chord number. The majority of these songs are very moving. My eyes brimmed with tears a few times as I listened.
Producer Rick Rubin has taken a less-is-more approach. The arrangements are spare and tasteful, basically enhancing Neil's performances and songs by staying out of his way.
This record is worthy of Grammy nomination. It's greatest achievement is in displaying once and for all that Neil Diamond is an artist, a unique songwriter and singer, one who should finally get the critical respect he deserves and has for far too long been denied.
Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:07 pm
Pete Dube wrote:It's greatest achievement is in displaying once and for all that Neil Diamond is an artist, a unique songwriter and singer, one who should finally get the critical respect he deserves and has for far too long been denied.
Amen to that, Pete. Looking forward to hearing it.
Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:49 pm
Hmm, I thought I made this little post a day or two ago, but anyway;
Thanks Pete for the review, I'll be sure to pick up the new CD ASAP.