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Neil Diamond' Dreams

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while there's nothing wrong with that, either, the production' courtesy of Mr. D' sounds curiously flat. Even at high volumes, these "Dreams" don't crackle like they should.

In what feels like an end-stage retrospective, Diamond tackles a pair of Beatles tunes ("Yesterday" and "Blackbird") alongside tunes by The Eagles, Bill Withers and himself ("I'm a Believer"). Only one feels close to being infused with spirit (ironically, Gilbert O'Sullivan's easy-listening staple "Alone Again (Naturally)") and only one actually is. Thankfully, it's a stunner: Leonard Cohen's moving "Hallelujah." In Diamond's version, you pay attention not to the voice behind it, but the pure poetry of the lyrics. "?Rod Lott

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