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Neil Diamond
Home Before Dark

If you are a true Neil Diamond fan, he could sing the phone book and you would enjoy it.

If you like some of his many hits (Song Sung Blue, Sweet Caroline, Cracklin' Rosie and dozens more) you are looking for melodies and hooks more than just the sound of the man's voice.

Home Before Dark will certainly appeal to the first group and some of it will be of interest to the second. These are 12 longish songs (not 3 minute pop hits) full of Neil's guitar and some crackerjack studio musicians.

The liner notes include Neil's fairly lengthy explanation of how he came up with the songs and the whole songwriting and recording process. It surprised me that a performer as successful and talented as Neil Diamond would suffer such insecurity at this point in his career.

For example, he wondered if others - musicians and fans - would like his songs. Incredible with his track record!

My favorite cut was Don't Go There. One More Bite of the Apple builds up nicely like many of Neil's earlier hits. His duet with Dixie Chick Natalie Maines is a nice blending of voices.

Neil Diamond's worries about people not liking his music were unwarranted. Fans will like it and casual listeners will find some favorite tracks. Neil's still got it.

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