Playing a new Neil Diamond record is a little like easing into a new pair of slippers.
You hope they will be as comfortable as the old pair, but know it’s likely to be a while before they’re quite as snugly reassuring.
Melody Road, Diamond’s first batch of new material in six years, veers little from what you would expect. There’s story songs, singalongs and perfect musicianship and although some of it can sail a little too close to sentimentality – where IS Melody Road, exactly? – that’s beside the point.
Even at 73, Diamond’s ability to command a song in the way that seemed de rigeur in the 1970s has not deserted him, and although Melody Road may not contain another Sweet Caroline or Cracklin’ Rosie, there’s enough here to keep his legion of fans happy.
Like this? Try these: Elvis Presley, From Elvis in Memphis; Tom Jones, Spirit in the Room
By Andrew Greenhalgh