Album: Neil Diamond, Dreams (Columbia)

There are no surprises on this anthology of Neil Diamond's favourite songs from "the rock era", just a series of fairly predictable MOR standards treated to his signature melodramatic delivery: acceptable on "Hallelujah", dealt with due solemnity, or "Desperado", already well freighted with theatrical narrative, but inappropriate on more delicate material such as "Blackbird" and "Yesterday".

Elsewhere, "A Song For You" has the imperviousness of a true standard, and "Midnight Train To Georgia" sorely misses the Pips' vocal punctuation, but Randy Newman's "Losing You" is well served by Diamond's delivery. Something that can't be said of "I'm A Believer", which bafflingly jettisons the ebullient joy of The Monkees' hit version.

DOWNLOAD THIS Losing You; Hallelujah; Desperado

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