December 06, 1982 12:00 PM

Neil Diamond

As might be expected on an album whose material was largely written by three of America’s most successful pop composers—Diamond, Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager—this LP is full of catchy, easy-stepping melodies. However, it is full of numbingly dumb lyrics. On their Lost Among the Stars he sings, “There’s a place I know of where we can be/Eternally/Forever one.” In Diamond and David Foster’s I’m Alive, Neil recites a litany of society’s woes, then sings, “It’s okay, I’m glad to say/That I’m alive.” There is one nicely turned tune by Diamond, Bacharach and Sager, Front Page Story, with such countryish lyrics as, “Won’t ever make the headlines/Somebody’s broken heart ain’t news.” And a contribution by keyboardists Alan Lindgren and Tom Hensley, Star Flight, elicits an uncommon amount of energy from Diamond. He still does little more than talk-sing, though; his range compares to the musical scale the way Liechtenstein compares to China. His penchant for excessive melodrama doesn’t help already overwritten songs either. While Diamond’s hardcore fans will probably find this star-crossed collaboration entertaining, it’s unlikely to win over less committed listeners.

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