Sequinned stadium star Neil Diamond is brought back to life with 12 Songs, Battles explode drone rock soundscapes, free jazz and electronica on their debut, Dilated Peoples have produced a solid fourth album and Liars’ Drum’s Not Dead is a bit of a shock…
Neil Diamond: 12 Songs
Having brought Johnny Cash a new audience with the remarkable American Recordings, producer Rick Rubin pulls off another extraordinary rehabilitation, this time with sequinned stadium star Neil Diamond. As a title, 12 Songs stands as a manifesto: a dozen beautifully calibrated acoustic tracks whose understated character places the emphasis firmly on structure and forces the listener into proximity with Diamond the singer. And what emotionally honest songs, from Oh Mary’s eloquent poetry to Save Me A Saturday Night’s naked plea, where 30 years of melodrama have been stripped to reveal Diamond’s new creative essence. Ladies of a certain age may mourn the passing of Diamond the crooner but everyone else will surely welcome this.