Simple, but More Genuine
Nathan Southern | 03/30/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This isn't a tremendous or exceptional album-- but it manages to be consistently enjoyable and fun. The simplicity of the songs, both thematically (new love, wandering throughout the country, revival preaching), and instrumentally (classical guitar, drums, faint strings, moog) blend perfectly with Neil's deep, raspy, impassioned voice. Throughout, the album clearly showcases the early Diamond's inborn talent for song composition. Listeners may be surprised to discover that the album doesn't rely heavily on filler, all of the songs on par with the two title numbers (the AM radio staples "Sweet Caroline" and "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show"). A few numbers (notably "Juliet" and "Deep in the Morning") arguably stick in the mind longer than the overplayed, three-chord title tracks. If "Sweet Caroline/Brother Love's" falls through or wears thin with repetition, it only happens when one considers the fascinating, eclectic, groundbreaking musical experimentation that began to emerge in 1969. Instrumentally, this album could never stand up, for instance, to "Abbey Road" or "Tommy" -- it isn't as sophisticated. It's more lighthearted, more breezy and fleeting. But Diamond perfectly captures an idiosyncratic, late sixties, middle American flavor so much more clearly than his rock contemporaries (just as Sergio Mendes does, in a much different way) -- that he establishes a more genuine sound and a more believable record of how it felt to come-of-age in 1969-1970. Highly recommended for Diamond fans, and those interested in the late sixties and/or the late Brill Building period."
For Neil Diamond, Good Times Never Seemed So Good!
David Hugaert | Honolulu, HI United States | 09/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Where it began for Neil Diamond...the Brill Building, Bang Records, then leading up to the Uni years, beginning with "Velvet Gloves And Spit". Next in line is "Sweet Caroline/Brother Love's". Each and every song here was written by Neil, and all of them are favorites! The best here are probably "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show", "Dig In", "Long Gone", "And The Grass Won't Pay No Mind", "Glory Road", "Deep In The Morning", "If I Never Knew Your Name", "Memphis Streets" and "Sweet Caroline". If you're a Neil Diamond fan, or just an incurable romantic, this CD is for you. Don't delay, buy it today!"
MY FAVORITE NEIL DIAMOND ALBUM!
Taylor Lee | Texas Gal | 06/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love Neil Diamond..his music has been part of my life and heart since I was a little girl..I am 45 now..and am overjoyed that I will get to see him in concert in Dallas for the 1st time in my life on Oct. 16th. I have had this album (and now CD) basically all of my life. It has followed my through all of my destinations..but stayed close to my heart. Nothing fancy here..just pure beginnings of the most soul-filled artist of our time. I'm not a big fan of "greatest hits" compilations..I'd rather have an artist's "whole picture" vs. just the big sellers..this album is a gem. Don't hesitate...it's awesome."