Upon hearing the name, Neil Diamond, I think fondly of the memories I made during the 2012-2013 school year where I was teaching in a small community in Newfoundland. My co-workers were some of the best I’ve worked with so far in my career. There was more than one occasion where we’d all meet on a weekend night and listen to a few sing and play guitar. One of the songs that would always make its rounds was “Sweet Caroline”, has it was a favorite of the daughter of a co-worker.
“Sweet Caroline”, a mellow tune released in 1969 by Neil Diamond, is one of the most memorable tunes for me. It is definitely one that many people belt out at gatherings, whether sounding good or not so good.
Fast forwarding a few years and I have been given the opportunity to review Neil Diamonds new album, Melody Road, which was released on October 21st, 2014. Melody Road is Diamond’s first original release in 6 years and will include a special 36-page lyric book with accompanying guitar chords for those wishing to recreate a similar sound.
Neil Diamond started his career as an American Singer-Songwriterin the 1960s. He has sold over 125 million records worldwide, an impressive amount if you ask me. He is considered one of the world best-selling artist of all time, definitely an impressive accomplishment and something he should be proud of.
Amongst his accomplishments, Diamond was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1984 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. He is also a Grammy Award recipient, a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, and has had at least ten number one singles on the Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts.
What many people may not realize is that Diamond’s success started with Songwriting. His first hit as a songwriter came in November 1965 when “Sunday and Me”, performed by Jay and the Americans, reached the Top 20. Another song that many people may know but not realize that Diamond wrote (I know I didn’t until doing a bit of research for this post) is “I’m a Believer” performed by The Monkees and more recently covered by Smash Mouth as a part of the soundtrack to the movie Shrek.
To add to his impressive resume, Diamond’s Melody Road is sure to enlighten his fans. While listening to the album, it reminds me of sitting in some dully lit bar with a lone man sitting under the spotlight on a small stage with nothing but the company of a small wooden stool and his guitar (even known that Diamond has performed in front of millions and played sold out shows).
All songs on the album, from the title track “Melody Road” to the last, have a easy-listening, mellow feel to them. Many of them seem to tell a story. Nonetheless, there are some songs such as “Marry Me Now” and ” Sunny Disposition” that have a bit more of an upbeat vibe that encourages you to sway or tap your feet.
Overall I feel that all Neil Diamond fans, both young and old, will enjoy the album to its fullest. However, this is not an album I would listen to often due to personal preference. I prefer music to be more upbeat most of the time. However, I know of some family members that will love this and I will encourage them to take a listen.
I encourage all fans to check out the album (using the links below). I am sure they won’t be disappointed.
I participated in the Neil Diamond Melody Road album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own