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Neil Diamond - 12 Songs Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 8
Production 9.5
Creativity 8.5
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 8
Final Verdict: 84%
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Neil Diamond - 12 Songs

Reviewed by: Scott Weber (01/03/06)
Neil Diamond12 Songs

Release Date: November 8, 2005
Record Label: Sony

Overall Score: 8.3

Neil Diamond, certainly one of America’s most iconic songwriters and a multi-platinum pop star of generations past, has released a surprising new record called 12 Songs. Neil has always been a talented songwriter, but his musical career took more of a turn towards entertainment, as he used over-the-top music to swoon middle aged women and the like. When I had heard good things about the new Neil Diamond record, it was understandably hard to believe. I was shocked at the result. 12 Songs is a powerful, stripped down, and earnest record from Neil Diamond. Produced by Rick Rubin, Neil is left with not much more than what got him started – his guitar. Armed with not much more instrumentation than guitar, keyboards, and bass, Neil’s voice is as strong and confident as ever. Clear and forceful, he cuts to the soul in incredibly powerful songs. “Hell Yeah” is one of the best songs of the year, as it drove shivers through my body with each crescendo and climax.

12 Songs doesn’t have any gimmicks. There are no obvious singles on this record, yet there are plenty of uptempo songs that are far from cliché, as one might categorize Neil’s previous work. “Delirious Love” features Neil’s classic growl that accompanies his singing voice when he gets passionate. On the other hand, “I’m On to You” is a somber, jazzy song with a walking bass line, saxophones, and brush strokes on the snare. It’s hard not to be surprised at Neil’s versatility as he has truly expanded out of the genre he’s associated with, adult contemporary. “We” has that sort of innocent back-porch feel to it that brings a smile to the listener’s face. Simple and honest, 12 songs is a refreshing acoustic record with unbelievable production from the Rick Rubin team. Neil’s voice is crystal clear and in the forefront of everything, and the backing instruments are simple yet fitting for each individual song.

There are a few songs that get lost in the mix around the middle of the record, including a few ballads that don’t really fit. The ordering of the tracks seems strange at times, as the pacing of the record doesn’t work to it’s advantage. It’s a record that is best experienced with your own custom ordering of songs, or even leaving a few out. One thing can’t be denied though: Neil Diamond has put himself out there in his true form. There are no tricks here. 12 Songs seems to be the definitive end of Neil’s career as a pop star and his progression into a somber singer/songwriter. It’s only fitting that Neil ends where he began. Plus, he helped save Silverman, and as JD McNugent (Jack Black) and Wayne Lefessier (Steve Zahn) said - he’s America’s greatest songwriter and he’s our hero, so…
 
Displaying posts 1 - 14 of 14
02:57 PM on 01/03/06
#2
Garett Press
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That album title is an I Hate Myself rip-off :)

Nice Scott.... NO I WILL LEAVE YOU IN! I'LL SMACK YOU IN THE MOUTH, I'M NEIL DIAMOND!
02:58 PM on 01/03/06
#3
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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I can see a lot of the replies turning into a Saving Silverman quote-a-thon.

Wayne: We didn't send you any naked pictures!
J.D.: Dude, sorry.

Also, ace review Scott.
03:06 PM on 01/03/06
#4
Scott Weber
Live Like a Legend
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Originally Posted by Garett Press
That album title is an I Hate Myself rip-off :)

Nice Scott.... NO I WILL LEAVE YOU IN! I'LL SMACK YOU IN THE MOUTH, I'M NEIL DIAMOND!
"This next song I wrote after I killed a drifter to get an erection."
03:15 PM on 01/03/06
#5
thebestkylever
girls like status.
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any songs on there about neil's intense hatred of foreigners? :)
03:19 PM on 01/03/06
#6
The Silencer
the one above all
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Fact: Neil Diamond hates foreigners but loves hardcore barely legal porn.
04:21 PM on 01/03/06
#7
patrickhowell
myspace.com/someonejustlikeyou
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"She torched Neil?! You're right... She is a monster."

p.s. I agree with the comment about the track order... the album doesn't flow very well as a whole.
04:35 PM on 01/03/06
#8
TheLifeMelodic
bandgeeks do it better.
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this review made my day.

very accurate.


how bout that special edition with "Delirious Love" featuring BRIAN WILSON!!!! woo!!!
04:39 PM on 01/03/06
#9
Scott Weber
Live Like a Legend
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Originally Posted by TheLifeMelodic
this review made my day.

very accurate.


how bout that special edition with "Delirious Love" featuring BRIAN WILSON!!!! woo!!!
I don't have the special edition!! i still haven't heard that version.
04:57 PM on 01/03/06
supadupa003
Sandwich lover
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JD: Dude, you wanna be gay with me?
05:38 PM on 01/03/06
NameTaken69
Life Is A Pigsty
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Wayne: so darren tells me you're a psychologist, i'm in a related field.
Judith: o really whats that?
Wayne: pest and rodent removal.

very good review as well
06:50 PM on 01/03/06
Gabe Gross
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Wayne: Dude You're not gay. How do you know you're gay?
JD: Let's see...my preference for track lighting...my love of Bette Midler movies...oh yeah and the fact that i like to suck cock.

I didnt read the review yet...i have to go number two and i wanted to get that liine out before I went.
07:04 PM on 01/03/06
Scott Weber
Live Like a Legend
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Originally Posted by Gabe Gross
Wayne: Dude You're not gay. How do you know you're gay?
JD: Let's see...my preference for track lighting...my love of Bette Midler movies...oh yeah and the fact that i like to suck cock.

I didnt read the review yet...i have to go number two and i wanted to get that liine out before I went.
*sucking dick (can't sneak that one by me, I've seen it like 30 times)
09:33 PM on 01/03/06
astarlighthreat
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comment about track listing is agreed but overall the album is good...

good review
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