“Solitary Man”, “Cracklin’ Rosie”, and “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” are some of the greatest songs ever written. Every time I hear them on the oldies station, you can see me singing out of key but with all the joy in the world. Neil Diamond is one of the greatest songwriters of all time, but forgotten today by the new artists that emerge.
Three Chord Opera was a surprise as it came to my desk, especially since it’s all new material. I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Honestly, I was afraid to listen. You know what happens with legends, the years catch up to them and they just can’t get back what they lost. So with hesitance I listened.
“Don’t Look Down” has a great hook, but is it me or does Neil’s voice sound a little shaky? I know it’s sacrilegious, but my job is to report what I hear. I’m sorry, but “At The Movies” is just bad, it’s not even up to par for Mr. Diamond, and shame on the producers for letting this one go. “Midnight Dream” holds on for too long.
There is a light in the seemingly bleak tunnel called Three Chord Opera. “You Are The Best Part Of Me” is a subtle gem. “A Mission Of Love” tries hard at being a gospel, and honestly it will raise you out of your seat, but that’s about all it’ll do. “Leave A Little Room For God” is a little too preachy, but it’s too lovely to ignore. Neil Diamond is a legend, and although Three Chord Opera isn’t his best, its still quite good.
+ rae gun