Frank Ventosa | Jersey City, NJ | 11/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For the die-hard Neil Diamond fan, a hit song or two, or a couple of classic tunes that makes an album worthy as an addition to our collection is a poor excuse. For the die-hard Neil Diamond fan is a fan at heart--a true fan who will celebrate the occasion of every new release. Listen to it for many months. Digest and soak in on the music. Pick his favorite songs. Judge it if it is better than the last release and decide if it is good enough to dislodge his/her most favorite ND album, AND just love the album for its uniqueness. It is an exciting process I go through each time but I never look down on any of his releases and that goes as well for his collaborative albums. Not even CDs like Up On The Roof, Tennessee Moon, The Movie Album and The Christmas Albums have given me indifferent feelings towards him and his music. The only ND album that seemed hard for me to take was Headed For The Future for its sleekness and the un-Diamond-like styles to some of the songs, thank God for "The Story Of My Life", which gives the CD the classic Diamond touch and which also inexplicably comes down to a good sound-mix (it puzzles the mind), and also for a couple of other good songs like "The Man In You" and "It Should Have Been Me". BUT I would have bought it even without these songs just the same. However, this album has grown on me since and I love it now.Lovescape is my current favorite. It's been my favorite from the time I bought it when it came out. I love the various styles Neil incorporates on the album and rather than seeing him as a man of contradictions (a good point, though, raised by Mark Tubbs), I see him as a singer with eclectic influences and styles. He's been doing this right from the very beginning, if you haven't noticed that yet. Songs like "If There Were No Dreams", "Don't Turn Around", "Someone Who Believes In You", the sentimental songs "When You Miss Your Love" and "Hooked On The Memory Of You" (though I like the original solo version better off The Best Years Of Our Lives CD, this one is not bad), "The Way" and the all dramatic and emotional (maudlin to other critics) "All I Really Need Is You", just to name a few, are some of my favorites. These songs sparkle. Yet, I love the overall feel of the CD, it shimmers all throughout. Lovescape, in spite of the diversity in styles is classic Neil Diamond through and through. It's got good romantic songs with great melodies like we've come to expect from the Man himself. Production is clean and clear, showcasing beautiful orchestration that we expect to hear on every release. His voice, whether in a live or studio setting is pure magic and on Lovescape it isn't any different--always the consummate singer as far as these ears are concerned. And as with his previous releases, it is always about the singer, his music and his voice."
Album is better than its title, trust me
Mark C. Tubbs | Surrey, British Columbia Canada | 01/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was my first ND album ever, discovered on cassette tape in my parent's Christmas present stash over ten years ago. It's been up there in my personal top 10 ND albums ever since. He is a man of contradictions and unpredictability, and that's exactly what you get with this album. Some country ballads, the inevitable love songs, and some fun numbers. As with other reviewers, Lonely Lady #17 and Fortune of the Night had to grow on me, but Neil's style is indefineable; otherwise, how could Soolaimon and Red, Red Wine have come from the same man? Excellent production on Lovescape, great memorable tunes, a couple of well-done covers of Leonard Bernstein and Diane Warren offerings, and a good mix of fun and schmultz. This album is great because you get a little bit of every aspect of Neil. For this price, pick it up, enjoy all fifteen songs, and recommend it to your friends."