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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon May 28, 2002
The first time I listened to this, my feeling was that it was pleasant enough, but nowhere close to vintage Neil Diamond, and with no songs that truly stood out.
Each time, though, that I would play it, more songs would stand out, and though I would'be given it three stars after the first listen, I now feel that it deserves a strong four stars. There aren't any songs here which I consider equal with "Song Sung Blue", "Sweet Caroline", "Cracklin' Rosie", "Love on the Rocks",
"Holly Holy" or "You Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore"...Well, on second thought, "Turn Down the Lights" (in my personal opinion) just might come awfully close to his best, and there are quite a few really good songs here.
The opening song "I Haven't Played This Song In Years", is a feeling portrayal of a long ago love, and a song most of can probably identify with. Then comes the rousing pep talk, "Don't Look Down". "Midnight Dream" approaches Neil Diamond's stronger and earlier work, at least in my opinion. However, my personal favorite is "A Mission of Love", a real feel good type song which should get anybody's energy level up. That one is first of the last four cuts, each of which is indeed worthy. There's "Elijah's Song", and then the gospel flavored "Leave A Little Room For God", leading up to the tender love song, and the one song here which I may easily, with time, count as one of the best in his whole career, "Turn Down The Lights".
I am impressed with the instrumental breaks in several cuts: "Don't Look Down", "I Believe in Happy Endings", "Midnight Dream", "You Are the Best Part of Me", "Baby Let's Drive", "My Special Soneone", "Elijah's Song", and "Turn Down The Lights".
All in all, I think most Neil Diamond fans will welcome this, and it's strong enough that it may well win over new fans. Don't expect this to quite match his most notable efforts, but do expect to enjoy it.
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