Neil Diamond
12 Songs
Rick Rubin is a genius. He took on the dead-end career of Johnny Cash, reignited it and was instrumental in the production of some of the best music Cash ever sang. Rubin’s latest project is Neil Diamond, former Brill Building songwriter, superstar crooner: three parts chugga-chugga, one part smooth-ass voice. Famous for selling out multiple nights at Madison Square Garden, Neil has trouble selling his newer material. 12 Songs is being touted as his best work in 30 years. But this recording will have you screaming for “Cherry Cherry” about halfway through — it is no masterpiece. The cheese factor remains at 11 with no hint of irony. The bonus track has Neil and Brian Wilson duetting — great! Kind of.
—Colin McKenzie

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