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Neil Diamond – Melody Road (A Music Review)

Updated: Apr 23, 2020


Neil Diamond – Melody Road

Neil Diamond-Melody Road (Neil Diamond/Capitol)

Bravo to Neil Diamond. His fans will be very happy. His new album Melody Road has all the power, passion and genuine relatability of his earlier music from the 60’s and 70’s.

The vocals are still captivating and distinctively Neil Diamond… with maybe, just maybe, a tiny hint of his longevity in the industry finally rearing it’s head. Still, though his vocals are very strong, pretty and melodious with that sleepy, raspy sound just when you want it.

I listened to the new album hanging on to every note and every lyric, wanting more; wanting to hear the next note and the next lyric. I am not disappointed and I am excited for his tour kicking off in Allentown PA on Feb 27, 2015.

A surprise for me was the song “Seongagh and Jimmy.” The lyrics seemed a bit banal — “They take the subway” “She cooks Korean” “He has a toothache”?  At first listen I was like, “what?” But that was short lived. By the second and third time I was hooked and wanted more of “Seongagh and Jimmy.: Now I want to meet them and I want a sequel. Maybe even a movie???

And why am I surprised? If Neil can make a hit out of his imaginary friend named “Shilo” and if his little ditty about “Red Red Wine” can transcend time and genres, then I should not doubt the potential of “Seongagh and Jimmy.”

“Nothing But a Heartache” is reminiscent of his classic “If You Know What I Mean” with very powerful climaxes. Listen and you’ll know what I mean.

“Melody Road” is just that, a beautiful little melody in true Neil fashion. The tune will replay over and over in your head after you listen just once. I am not sure if the whistling is necessary though.

As for the new song “Something Blue”…. Why am I thinking “Song Sung Blue”? And no it’s not just the obvious.

Then there is “The Art of Love.”  Is this beautiful song intentionally a double entendre? Is he referring to the Love between a man and a woman or something deeper? Is this about someone on a spiritual journey? Neil is good at this type of lyrical puzzle of late… stirring questions about a possible spiritual journey of his own. Either way it is a meaningful song that anyone can relate to.

“Marry Me Now,” with it’s dominant arrangement of horns, reminds me of a circus or even a New Orleans party. It’s not the typical Diamond arrangement, but it’s fun and pleasing to the ear.

“The First Time” and a couple of others are fillers, but no need to fast forward. They are still Neil, after all!

So there are lots of “Song Sung Blue” to “If You Know What I Mean” sounds invoking a gamut of emotions from smiles to tears as Neil does so well. Great album; even the fillers are very good. Can’t wait for the tour and I should add Neil’s new look is pretty good too.

Danielle Speiss

Copyright ©2014 All rights reserved. Posted: October 10, 2014.

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