Album: Neil Diamond, Home Before Dark (Columbia)

You know time has caught up with you when you are mentally preparing your review of Scroobius Pip when your editor tells you that, instead, you have been earmarked for the new Neil Diamond.

The same Neil Diamond who – back in the 1970s – would be one of only two artists you were guaranteed to find in the record collection of all your friends' parents. (The other was Barbra Streisand.) Some 35 years on, and here is Neil still, thanks to the genius that is producer Rick Rubin, making the same beautiful noise. How we laughed, back in the day. But turning into our parents is not as painful as it once seemed.

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