Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What We're Listening to - Home by Dark by Neil Diamond.

After having listened to a couple of the superb Rick Rubin produced Johnny Cash CDs, I was curious as to what Rubin would do with Neil Diamond. After listening, and reluctantly returning to the Library, Home Before Dark by Neil Diamond, all I can say is Rick Rubin has duplicated a creative and commercial revival of another long time artist who'd been tossed upon a past-their prime trash heap.

Under spare, basic arrangements [Rubin hallmark on this type of project], Diamond produces solid, tuneful songs, strong vocals [the man still has his chops] and as a result, we're treated to a great CD to listen to and Neil Diamond received his first ever #1 album. A win-win situation if there ever was one.

My personal highlights (among many strong songs) include the epic first track "If I don't see you again" the gorgeous "Another Day [That time forgot]", a duet with Natalie Maines with some stellar keyboard work by Benmont Tench, simply perfectly done; the rollicking, anthem "One More Bite of the Apple" and a bonus song, a cover of Bob Dylan's "Make you feel my love". This song has been done by many, but I doubt a more convincing or better rendition exists.

This is the second Rubin/Diamond disc and hopefully more are to come. It is also safe to say, that if you learn of another musical partnership between Rick Rubin and a supposedly no longer relevant singer, pause, do not doubt, and anticipate the collaborative result.

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