BN.com Gift Guide

Dreams

( 8 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
After two excellent collaborations with Rick Rubin, Neil Diamond can't resist taking the production reins himself for this collection of (mostly) covers. His liner notes claim these songs as some of his favorites from the "rock era" -- implying it's over. While this set is more intimate than most of his overblown production of the last 30 years, it is a step away from the simplicity of his work with Rubin, featuring full strings, chamber reeds, winds, and brass on various cuts. As a vocalist, Diamond's dramatic -- rather than involved -- authority is his trademark; he imposes it on almost every track. It works well here -- sometimes: the reading of Bill Withers' "Ain't No ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
After two excellent collaborations with Rick Rubin, Neil Diamond can't resist taking the production reins himself for this collection of (mostly) covers. His liner notes claim these songs as some of his favorites from the "rock era" -- implying it's over. While this set is more intimate than most of his overblown production of the last 30 years, it is a step away from the simplicity of his work with Rubin, featuring full strings, chamber reeds, winds, and brass on various cuts. As a vocalist, Diamond's dramatic -- rather than involved -- authority is his trademark; he imposes it on almost every track. It works well here -- sometimes: the reading of Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" is excellent for this reason, more like a playwright's look than a lover's. The fiddle in Lennon and McCartney's "Blackbird" adds warmth to Diamond's declamatory vocal. Randy Newman's "Feels Like Home" is a set high point: it so intimate, naked, and desperate -- uncharacteristic of the ultra-private Diamond -- it can stop the listener in her tracks; it feels unintentionally included on this collection. The restrained narrative storyteller's presentation of "Midnight Train to Georgia" is, despite its simple delivery, more empathic than passionate. The reading of Leonard Cohen's transcendent "Hallelujah" is not definitive by any means, but it best illustrates Diamond's intention to pay homage to the song -- it's an excellent version to add to the bunch that already exists. Lesley Duncan's "Love Song" (Elton John's reading on Tumbleweed Connection is the classic) is quietly yet exotically treated with layered acoustic guitars, a spare piano, and King Errisson's imaginative hand percussion. Harry Nilsson's "Don't Forget Me," which bookends the album, is another high point with a celebratory horn chart underscoring the romantic world-weary irony in Diamond's delivery. Some tracks just don't work. Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again (Naturally)" sounds like the maudlin, trite novelty it is. Diamond's "I'm a Believer" is rendered with far more drama than necessary. Here it's not an iconic pop song. It comes from the back end of the story -- illustrated by acoustic guitars, cello, and vibraphone, its joy is displaced by resolve, as if the singer is trying to convince himself the song's lyrics are true. Like most covers sets, this is a mixed bag, and it's for the hardcore Diamond fan more than those who admire Home Before Dark, 12 Songs, or his work from the '60s through the mid-'70s.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/2/2010
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 886977983924
  • Catalog Number: 779839
  • Sales rank: 8,163

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Ain't No Sunshine (3:37)
  2. 2 Blackbird (3:22)
  3. 3 Alone Again (Naturally) (3:57)
  4. 4 Feels Like Home (4:51)
  5. 5 Midnight Train To Georgia (5:00)
  6. 6 I'm a Believer (4:27)
  7. 7 Love Song (3:57)
  8. 8 Losing You (3:16)
  9. 9 Hallelujah (4:10)
  10. 10 A Song for You (4:31)
  11. 11 Yesterday (3:31)
  12. 12 Let It Be Me (3:19)
  13. 13 Desperado (3:36)
  14. 14 Don't Forget Me (3:23)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Neil Diamond Primary Artist, Guitar
King Errisson Percussion
John Fumo Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Benmont Tench Piano
Assa Drori Concert Master
Hadley Hockensmith Guitar
Tom Hensley Piano
Larry Klimas Flute, Tenor Saxophone
Alan Lindgren Piano, Hammond B3
Don Markese Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Tommy Morgan Harmonica
Reinie Press Bass
Timothy B. Schmit Vocal Harmony
Robert Shulgold Flute
Joseph Meyer French Horn
Joseph Stone Oboe
Art Velasco Trombone, Bass Trombone
Gabriel Witcher Fiddle
Andrew Klein Bassoon
Technical Credits
Leonard Cohen Composer
Neil Diamond Composer, Producer, Liner Notes
Don Henley Composer
John Lennon Composer
Paul McCartney Composer
Randy Newman Composer
Harry Nilsson Composer
Leon Russell Composer
Bill Withers Composer
Gilbert Bécaud Composer
Glenn Frey Composer
Tom Hensley Horn Arrangements
Manny Kurtz Composer
Alan Lindgren Arranger
Gilbert O'Sullivan Composer
Jim Weatherly Composer
Bernie Becker Engineer, Mastering
Pierre Leroyer Composer
Glen Nakasako Art Direction
Leslie Duncan Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Classic American Music, done by a Master.

    Although Diamond only wrote one of the songs on this album, his takes on numerous other American classics are, in many cases, better than the originals. Couple that with extraordinary recording quality, and you've got a CD that will stay in your top 20 for years.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 4, 2010

    I'll keep it simple folks. Absolutely beautiful.

    The man has a gift for getting a song across. I "feel" these songs not just hear them. And to think he is 70 years old.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 3, 2010

    A Precious Gem from an American Musical Genius

    I don't think I can top the other reviewer that it is indeed a classic album of great songs by a Master. Superb singing, perfect arrangements, and high quality recording! My personal favorites are Feels Like Home, Losing You, Let it Be Me, A Song for You, I'm a Believer and absolutely mind-blowing, soulful take on Midnight Train to Georgia. However, they are all great! Do I smell a Grammy nomination? Why not? Thank you Mr Diamond for such a lovely Christmas gift that will stay with the listeners forever.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2011

    Not Impressed

    How many versions of "Hallelujah" do we need? Ditto for "I'm a Believer." Sorely disappointed Neil Diamond chose to cycle through old material and not write original music. I am a Neil Diamond fan, but not of this CD.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2010

    Great CD for your Neil Diamond collection!

    I am delighted with this mellow, soothing collection of very familiar songs sung with Neil's classic touch. He still's got it! He has me liking songs I didn't like when they first came out years ago and still gives me goose bumps with the low notes. I became a Neil Diamond fan in high school with "Cherry Cherry" and with his new CD "Dreams" guess I'll be a fan for life. I saw him in concert last year (first time since the early 70's) and he had the entire stadium standing and singing along and dancing. What an entertainer!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews