Album: Neil Diamond, A Cherry Cherry Christmas (Columbia)
Friday 11 December 2009
The bulk of these 14 tracks were originally released on previous Neil Diamond Christmas albums from 1992 and 1994 – neither of which, one imagines, bore such a cringingly terrible titular pun.
Mostly produced by Peter Asher, they feature a range of ill-fitting stylistic strategies, from a cheesy doowop "White Christmas" and ghastly barbershop quartet medley of "Deck the Halls" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", to the heavy-handed choral treatment meted out to "Joy to the World". The best by far is a "Winter Wonderland" done as a swingy rockin' blues groove, complete with honking baritone sax, which at least sounds like fun. The title-track's terrible string of puns is made worse by their self-serving nature, with brazen references to more than just a few of Neil's previous hits – though mercifully, they should ensure it doesn't get covered too often. Of the other new tracks, "Meditations on a Winter Night" is a glum but brief piano and flute instrumental, "Christmas Dream" an uninvolving rehash of seasonal imagery, while a version of Adam Sandler's "The Chanukah Song" celebrates the Jewish provenance of famous celebs, from David Lee Roth to Captain Kirk: "Paul Newman's half-Jewish, Goldie Hawn is too – put them both together, what a fine-looking Jew!".
Download this Winter Wonderland; The Chanukah Song
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Revealed after 75 years of secrecy: 'Fifi' the glamorous WW2 special agent who tested British spies' resolve
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Laurie Lee's Rosie: What is it like to inspire a writer's work and be immortalised forever on the page?
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
Doctor Who series 8: Time Heist pictures revealed ahead of episode 5
The Walking Dead season 5 air date, trailer and season 4 recap
Star Wars 7 leaked set photo of Adam Driver changes everything
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'