12 Songs

12 Songs

Patterson, Amber
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12 Songs
by Neil Diamond
Columbia Records

If you haven’t listened to Neil Diamond in a while, it’s time to give the famous singer/songwriter another chance. Diamond’s new CD, 12 Songs, hearkens back to his early days when his music was more raw and less “Vegas.” Everyone has a mental picture of Neil Diamond—typically, it’s the showy Vegas star in bright, sequined suits, strutting his stuff in front of thousands of adoring old ladies. This is not the Neil Diamond of 12 Songs. Neil collaborated on this CD with Rick Rubin, who is most recently famous for bringing the life back to the legendary Johnny Cash. Rubin insisted that Neil pick up his guitar and awaken the "Forever-in-Blue-Jeans-Diamond" of the past, and Neil does just that. 12 Songs starts off with a beautiful love song, "Oh Mary," which is a bit cheesy lyrically but bound to get stuck in your head. Diamond then moves into "Hell Yeah," a moving song about growing old while still living life to its fullest. The rest of the CD is just as captivating, and each song has its unique Diamond touch. "Save Me a Saturday Night" and "Delirious Love" are the most Diamond-like songs on the CD, and both are vibrant and fun. 12 Songs definitely deserves a listening—Neil Diamond has been around for ages, but he hasn’t sounded this good in a while.
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