NEIL DIAMOND: 12 Songs
9.29966 out of 10
Goes Well With: Nothin’. He’s one of a kind! He’s NEIL!!
Critics claim that producer-cum-mystic Rick Rubin is doing for Neil Diamond’s career what he did for Johnny Cash’s in the ’90s. But whereas Cash had been forgotten at the time (sad, but true), Diamond never left the public eye.
Never a superb lyricist, Neil’s greatest asset is that voice. One that (unlike Cash’s or Dylan’s) has aged so beautifully that when he sings something as potentially cheesy as, “I’ve been lost before/but not lost this way,” it’s the height of profundity. And then there’s “Hell Yeah,” a song about mortality that only Neil could make sound like a celebration. A song where he, intentionally or not, points out that he, too, “walked the line.”
And then there’s the women. Poor Neil just can’t leave them behind. It’s like my uncle says, “Cash may get you respect, but a Diamond will get you the ladies.”
Neil Diamond plays at the San Diego Sports Arena, 8 p.m. on Dec. 21. $42.50-$75. 619-220-8497.