|New from||Used from|
MP3 Music, November 22, 2005
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"Most of the songs were recorded with Neil playing and singing at the same time," said Rick Rubin in a Rolling Stone article (9/22/05) profiling the producer, "and it's a different animal. It's taking him back to being more of a singer-songwriter. He really blows me away."
When it came time to record 12 Songs, Rick Rubin assembled a sympathetic ensemble of musicians to capture the essence of Neil Diamond's extraordinary new songs, each of them a finely-wrought gem, soul-searching, honest, yearning, and powerful.
A core group of musicians made up of Mike Campbell (guitar) and Benmont Tench (piano/organ) from Tom Petty's Heartbreakers and guitarist Smokey Hormel (Beck, Tom Waits) and other musicians including the renowned Larry Knechtel (piano) and Billy Preston (organ) played on the album.
The track listing for 12 Songs is: "Oh Mary," "Hell Yeah," "Captain of a Shipwreck," "Evermore," "Save Me A Saturday Night," "Delirious Love," "I'm On To You," "What's It Gonna Be," "Man of God," "Create Me," "Face Me," and "We." A special digipak edition of 12 Songs features two bonus tracks: "Men Are So Easy" and an alternate version of "Delirious Love" with guest artist Brian Wilson.
" .judging by eight finished tracks," wrote Lorraine Ali, previewing 12 Songs for Newsweek (August 1, 2005), "this is the best work Diamond has done in 30 years."
Top Customer Reviews
Best-Of cd to cash-in.Not another covers cd.And not cold studio-pop.12 Songs is music that goes for the heart in a very honest and natural way.And it does.
Neil's albums have lacked good production for a long time.Otherwise good rock songs softened into easy listening mush in the studio.But with Rubin,like with the 1976 Robbie Robertson-produced Beautiful Noise,a rock producer makes Neil shine! Neil's distinctive deep-bass of a voice and a natural way with hooks and melodies are not burried by orchestras and background singers.
also great are the lyrics.Neil Diamond hasn't run out of things to say at age 64.He has a whole life to reflect on.Lessons to share.Memories that are sometimes happy,sometimes heartbreakingly sad.And Neil is looking ahaid.If only more of his peers stuck in an elevator of pop standards would do the same.The lyrics are gutsy.
here is a track-by review rating of the 12 Songs
a haunting death-ballad against a backdrop of creepy piano that gives me chills.I wonder who 'Mary' is.A metaphor?an angel?A lover from a long time ago?A pretend-lover in those lonely nights?the music?the song is so gentle yet so moving.
Reminds me of "Lady Magdalane" in that it starts with a guitar and brooding lyrcs,but grows into thunderous intenity and power.In a way,"Hell Yeah" is "I am I Said" over 30 years later.He found the self worth he was searching for.Found peace being lost between two shores.And even offers motivation and hope for listener to not be afraid to follow their dreams.Powerful!Read more ›
This is a slow, laid-back Sunday afternoon sort of album, with some of the tracks sounding like vintage Diamond of the "Sweet Caroline" and "Song Sung Blue" era.
Songs to take note of are "Evermore", "Delirious Love", "Hell Yeah", "What's It Gonna Be" and "Captain of a Shipwreck."
With this album, we can almost forgive him for that awful rendition of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", but unfortunately it will probably be best remembered as one of the last of the infamous Sony spyware discs, and that would be doing the album a great disservice.
Amanda Richards, December 8, 2005
The best song from here is "Evermore."
Neil has a powerful sense of melody - a certain taste for something deep, nostalgic and soul-full - and I always thought that he was never appreciated as he should have been. Even when they were B class, his lyrics still had a certain thing about them that is hard to describe. His "Done too soon" and "Coldwater morning" always sent an arrow into my heart. Yeah, I know that he went in for some really overdone back-up music but I just saw this as an untapped classical potential, and some of his stage performances were seriously criticized by the "snobs", but heck! He was having fun with it! What's wrong with that? Some of his music would be well-suited for orchestral arrangement and performance in my opinion.
When I heard about a new album, I was afraid to listen - afraid that maybe my impressions had been illusory and I would have to encounter a Neil Diamond who wasn't what I thought he was.
Well, I'm so happy I bought the album! It's more Neil, real and deeper and just being himself to the max. There are songs on this album that are so catchy that they are absolutely classic! It's as though he writes songs that NEED to be written...
I understand that the album is also the last ever performance by organ player Billy Preston, who died in June 2006. That's especially poignant when you listen to "Man of God" with the strong organ back-up.
The more spiritual songs such as "Create Me" and the above mentioned "Man Of God") are among my favorites.
For the critics of Neil, I say listen to "Hell Yeah".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ok I was a huge fan of Diamond's work Bang years til about 73 and Beautiful Noise. I won't lie my parents preferred the late 70's -early 90's material. Read morePublished 18 months ago by anonymous
If it's Neil Diamond, it's gotta be good !!!! But this album has some really great songs. Great Neil Diamond voice. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Loretta
Absolutely fantastic album. Neil is getting older and his voice is aging like fine wine. The negative reviews mostly complain about people expecting the Neil of the 60's and... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Riga Tony
Other than his Three Chord Opera album, this is his best original work of the last decade......and one the best from the entire decade..... Read morePublished on July 13, 2014 by Joshua W
Another good cd by Neil Diamond. Not my favourite, since many seem to be more introspective than his usual style, but very well done. Read morePublished on May 31, 2014 by Christina E. Anderson
But he's had so many!!! This is one of my favorites by Diamond, however, and I think it is well worth not only a listen, but adding to your Neil Diamond collection! Read morePublished on May 31, 2014 by LittleTank