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- Released: April 1, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Entertainment Weekly - 7/27/01, p.70"...His ruminative ballads come as naturally as ever..." - Rating: Ba
Q - 10/01, p.1183 stars out of 5 - "...Diamond is aging well, his voice still powerful, his songwriting still...masterful..."
- 1.I Haven't Played This Song In Years
- 2.Don't Look Down
- 3.I Believe In Happy Endings
- 4.At The Movies
- 5.Midnight Dream
- 6.You Are The Best Part Of Me
- 7.Baby Let's Drive
- 8.My Special Someone
- 9.A Mission Of Love
- 10.Elijah's Song
- 11.Leave A Little Room For God
- 12.Turn Down The Lights
Personnel includes: Neil Diamond (vocals); Hadley Hockensmith (acoustic, electric & 12-string guitars); Doug Rhone (acoustic & electric guitars, tiple); Michael Thompson (electric guitar); Assa Drori, Shari Zippert (violin); Evan Wilson (viola); Susie Katayama (cello); Don Markese (clarinet, baritone saxophone); Dominic Ordinaire (accordion): Larry Kilmas, Everette Harp (tenor saxophone); Ralf Rickert, Dan Fornero (trumpet); Alan Lindgren (piano, Hammond organ, keyboards, programming); Tom Hensley (piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Vince Charles (marimba, congas, steel drums, tambourine, percussion): Reinie Press (bass); Ron Tutt, Russ Kunkel (drums); Peter Asher (percussion); Jeff Turzo (programming); Linda Press (background vocals).
Recorded at Archangel Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California and Sony Pictures Studios, Culver City, California.
Personnel: Doug Rhone (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Michael Hart Thompson (guitar, electric guitar); Hadley Hockensmith (acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar); Ron Tutt (tiple, drums); Peter Asher (autoharp, percussion, percussion programming, background vocals); Assa Drori, Shari Zippert (violin); Suzie Katayama (cello); Donald Markese (clarinet, baritone saxophone); Emilio Castillo, Everette Harp, Norbert Stachel , Larry Klimas (tenor saxophone); Stephen "Doc" Kupka (baritone saxophone); Adolfo Acosta, Ralph Rickert, Daniel Fornero (trumpet); Tom Hensley (piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Alan Lindgren (piano, keyboards, drums, percussion programming); Vince Charles (marimba, congas, steel drum, tambourine, percussion); Russ Kunkel (drums); Marc Mann (percussion programming, background vocals); Jeff Turzo (percussion programming); Craig Copeland, Alvin Chea, Randy Crenshaw (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Bernie Becker.
Recording information: ArchAngel Recording Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Sony Pictures Studios, Culver City, CA.
Photographer: Rocky Schenck.
Arranger: Alan Lindgren.
You've got to admire the consistency of Neil Diamond's vision. Another artist in his position--'60s/'70s pop icon putting out a new album in 2001--might pander to changing tastes by grafting trendy contemporary sounds onto the songs, or bringing in a raft of current stars for duets and photo-ops. Instead, Diamond remains true to his singer-songwriter stance and plays it straight; no drum loops or guest appearances, just twelve new songs in the classic Diamond style, presented with elegance and emotion. Thus, the album opens with possibly its least commercial song, the moody, minor-key ballad "I Haven't Played this Song in Years," which mightn't have sounded out on place on Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello's PAINTED FROM MEMORY album. Along the way, Diamond picks up the pace with the optimistic "Don't Look Down" and Bo Diddley-beat rocker "Baby Let's Drive." He also provided plenty of romantic moments bound to steal the hearts of his longtime fans, such as "My Special Someone" and the warm closer "Turn Down the Lights."
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