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'Dreams,' Neil Diamond 

I am so mad at you, Neil.

click to enlarge Neil Diamond
  • Neil Diamond

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, NEIL. What the hell is this? I know: You’re old, you’re tired.

You don’t want to play the game anymore. I get it. But Dreams? It’s just disappointing, man — especially on the heels of Home Before Dark, which was such a great late-career album.

Dreams, to be fair, is an album of other people’s songs — ones that Diamond holds dear. There’s a little Cohen, some Lennon and McCartney, a little Eagles. But where he might usually lay that great snarling sass down on his own songs — the swagger that makes the ladies go crazy — he simply throws a wet blanket over old songs here. I was hoping for this to be akin to Johnny Cash’s late-in-life masterpiece, American IV: Man Comes Around. That was an album that showed the man’s appreciation for other songwriters far beyond the scope of his own time and genre. But Diamond does the opposite here — blah-ing down great songs, adding a sad, geriatric feel to them.

DOWNLOAD: “Desperado”

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