The Movie Album


Neil Diamond Album of the Month


February, 1999


Welcome to the February 1999 installment of our ‘Album of the Month’ feature. This month the spotlight is on Neil’s latest: The Movie Album. Featured below are the poll results, published reviews of The Movie Album, excerpts from various reviews of Neil’s concerts during The Movie Album tour, as well as some fan opinions of the album.
Don’t own a copy of Neil’s The Movie Album: As Time Goes By? Buy it here, online, at CDNOW!!

 

Excerpts from Published reviews of The Movie Album

 

The Boston Globe 10/25/98
By Steve Morse-Globe Staff
(excerpts)
DIAMOND CROSSES OVER THE HOLLYWOOD

As they say in the trade, Neil Diamond could sing the phone book and still get a positive reaction. He's sold more than 110 million records worldwide. His fans are an eager flock--perhaps more so in buying his concerts tickets--but they also are willing to indulge his various out-of-left-field album projects. Diamond's last studio album was the fine Nashville-based "Tennessee Moon," for which he was joined by guests Chet Atkins, Waylon Jennings, and Raul Malo of the Mavericks.
The new album consists of movie songs that are Diamond's personal favorites.
Diamond's creative restlessness is what keeps his fans coming back year after year. So it's not surprising that, when asked about his future recording plans, even Diamond doesn't know what he'll do next. "Maybe a polka album," he said, with a laugh. "The fact is, I don't have the vaguest idea. I just want to kep up my enthusiasm--and I'm open to suggestions."

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PEOPLE - November 16, 1998
THE MOVIE ALBUM--AS TIME GOES BY
Review by Ralph Novak
There's nothing in pop music as scary as the feeling that Neil Diamond is revving himself up for a big finish to a song, and he does plenty of revving on this two-disc set of famous movie songs--from "Unchained Melody" to "The Windmills of Your Mind." There are two good things about the package:
1. Since all these songs were written by other people there's none of Diamond's old sleight-of-language lyrics (like "I am, I said...and no one heard at all, not even the chair";)
2. The arrangements are generally subtle, except for a perculiar, neo-cha-cha version of "The Way You Look Tonight." Diamond, of course, still has to cope with his less-than-elegant Brooklyn diction, so that "can" comes out "kin" and "longing" sounds like "longh-ghing." And his humorless approach makes him sound more zombielike (as in "Puttin' on the Ritz") than Peter Boyle did in "Young Frankenstein. Hardcore Diamond fans will love this album. The same can't be said of hardcore fans of great film music.
Bottom Line: Alas, Neil can't quite redeem himself for "The Jazz Singer."

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Boston Sunday Herald - November 8, 1998
Sarah Rodman
** 1/2 (out of 4)
If you adore Neil Diamond, then his new double disc, "The Movie Album: As Time Goes By," will make time fly.
Tackling 19 well-known songs from movies, all conducted here by the legendary Elmer Bernstein, Diamond keeps his vocals admirably sedate. In his case, that's not a given.
On "Secret Love" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," he demonstrates a sweetness and considered phrasing that's quite soothing. Other interpretations are shakier. He takes down the high notes on "My Heart Will Go On"; his "Puttin' On The Ritz" comes off as excessively melancholy.
In the end, Diamond doesn't offer anything new. He's content to journey romantically into wellcovered territory. His fans will want to tag along.

Excerpts from Newspaper concert reviews of The Movie Album tour.

 

The Evansville Courier 12/8/98
by Madonna Yancey

For the first segment of his show, Diamond delighted his fans with hit after hit. Songs like "Hello Again" and "If You Know What I Mean" sound as fresh today as they did more than 20 years ago.

He then followed with some old-fashioned rock 'n' roll featuring some of his biggest hits, including "Thank the Lord for the Nighttime" and "Cherry Cherry." Taking the tempo down a notch, he moved into some of his most beloved ballads, with songs such as "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" and the hauntingly beautiful "Solitary Man." He even included "I've Got the Feeling," a song he says he hasn't performed in 25 years. His rousing version of "America," complete with American flags, nearly brought down the house.

And still there was more. Just a few weeks ago, Diamond released a new CD called "The Movie Album," which features songs from a variety of films. His medley from that new CD included standards such as "As Time Goes By," "Unchained Melody," "I've Got You Under My Skin" and the Elvis Presley hit "Can't Help Falling In Love." Instead of merely copying the originals, Diamond has made these songs his own. And once again, the audience responded with thunderous applause.

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Neil Diamond rivets The Mark
By Julia LaBua,
October 29, 1998

Even selections from his brand-new album drew ovations. Of course, it helped that the songs were familiar, since the new album is a collection of classic movie songs like "As Time Goes By" and "Unchained Melody," both of which Diamond sang in his own arrangement without drawing unfair comparisons to the timeless originals.

When the last song was played, few in the audience seemed in a hurry to leave.

"I have an excellent memory for faces," he warned. "I want to see you all back here next time."

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Neil Diamond Sparkles Brightly at Friday’s Concert at Pepsi
The Daily Gazette - Albany
by Michael Lisi

For his fans, a Neil Diamond concert can be akin to a near-religious experience.

Listening to the 57-year-old crooner’s voice rise and swell during the final choruses of bombastic anthems like America routinely brings his legions of cheering, middle-aged Diamond-heads to the brink of tears.

Ah yes, there’s nothing quite like a Neil Diamond concert.

It got pretty religious at the Pepsi Arena on Friday night, where Diamond simply wowed the near sell-out crowd with more than two hours of non-stop hits - all sung from a revolving, 14-sided, spaceship-looking stage in the middle of the venue.

Diamond, who last visited the Capital Region in 1993, seemed genuinely excited to be back in town, yelling out, ‘Hello again, Albany’ before launching into Beautiful Noise to open the show.

Wearing black slacks and a shimmering black sequined shirt with thin red, orange, yellow and blue sequined stripes, Diamond filled the first hour of his show with nothing but hits.

If there was one true downer to Diamond’s show, it was when he began singing motion picture theme songs from his new record, The Movie Album.

Diamond can do a lot of things, but he can’t sing Sinatra. Period.

His version of Frank’s I’ve Got You Under My Skin was well......it wasn’t pretty. That goes double for his read of Elvis Presley’s Can’t Help Falling In Love. If fans were confused by that Las Vegas-style musical detour, all was forgiven once Diamond and his nine-piece band kicked into Cracklin’ Rosie and proceeded to deliver the knockout punch with renditions of I Am...I Said ... and Holly Holy. And that’s not even counting the encores.

The Movie Album Poll Results

Song Total Points
(+1 pt for fav song vote
-1 pt for least fav song)
Favorite Least
Favorite
Unchained Melody 67 71 4
Can’t Help Falling in Love 30 35 5
My Heart Will Go On 19 30 11
The Windmills of Your Mind 13 18 5
As Time Goes By 11 25 14
Love With the Proper Stranger 9 14 5
Secret Love 8 12 4
Moon River 7 12 5
Can You Feel the Love Tonight 6 20 14
Ebb Tide 5 12 7
The Way You Look Tonight 4 7 3
When You Wish Upon a Star 3 8 5
True Love 1 5 4
In the Still of the Night -4 0 4
And I Love Her -7 1 8
The Look of Love -8 3 11
Ruby -17 3 20
I’ve Got You Under My Skin -19 2 21
Puttin on the Ritz -50 3 53

The Movie Album Album Rating: (Scale of 1-5, 5=best)
1: 26 votes
2: 28 votes
3: 65 votes
4: 44 votes
5: 19 votes
Which album did you like better, The Movie Album, or Songs from the Brill Building: The Movie Album: 107 votes, Songs From the Brill Building: 69 votes.
In all, 188 people voted in at least one category. Thanks to all who took the time to vote!!!!!

Fan Feedback on The Movie Album

My wife got this as a Christmas present. We have both been fans for a long time. I go back to the Cherry Cherry days while my wife, being younger caught up with him a bit later. We have been to his concerts and we have both enjoyed him. So with great expectations we played his newest offering. We were very disappointed. The song selection and the arrangements are not to Neil's strengths. I found this a deeply depressing album. Putting On The Ritz was performed better by Gene Wilder in young Frankenstein. Every track was performed as though everyone was on Quaaludes. Not one up tempo number on the whole album. I'm really sorry that this is so negative but we were very disappointed to hear where one of our favorite performers has gone.

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This was a great project. I've been a Neil Diamond fan for many years - some of my favorites were done before I was born. My husband is now a "Neil Diamond Convert" after hearing The Movie Album. Bravo Neil!!!

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The voice was there.....great.....but the FEELING was better and different in the songs he has written.

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I think Neil did his usual fabulous job with his chosen selections. I did, however, think he could have opted for a little more instrument variation. The orchestra was a great idea, but the instrumentation just seems to repetitive through each song. To me, it almost makes it look as though Neil isn't very versatile, yet we all know Neil is very capable of covering many variations of style and instrumentation. I enjoyed the selections from this album much more when I saw Neil do them live in concert.

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I'm getting old but this stuff is just to oldfolksy for me. C'mon Neil I'm sure there's still some good rock n roll to be written!

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The Movie Album is a great album, of course I love Neil anyway, but when I first got the album I didn't know for sure if I was going to like it. Because usually I just like Neil's stuff he wrote himself, but this one really impressed me and it grew on me. Neil's voice still sounds just as good and the music the way it is arranged is soo beautiful. Thanks Neil for a great album, well done.

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I liked everything about it. It's different that what he's done before. Sometimes I like to listen to quiet, slow music and now I can listen to Neil doing slow and quiet. I didn't pick a favorite song, because I like them ALL!

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I like the track selection on the CD. I always liked the songs he re-did. The songs on it remind me of that CD when my dad is watching the AMS channel. Sometimes I would hear those song on movies from his new CD. I am kinda concerned about some of the fans on the Sony Message Board. they post negative remarks against the new CD. O for at 17 like the CD. I am happy with whatever Neil releases. I think Neil is on the right track with this. He has done the pop rock thing to the spiritual thing like Jonathan Livingston Seagull. To old stuff like The Movie Album. I hope everyone can agree with me.

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All his songs seemed to have the same tempo. I felt some of the songs were meant to be sung faster than Neil did. I also missed percussion.

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It was basically OK as you stated above because its NEIL and because those songs are classics. Still cannot compare to HOT AUGUST NITE or THE JAZZ SINGER (just to name two!!!)

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Absolutely surprised and delighted at Neil's ability to pull of what could have been a very boring album. As a "boomer" some of these songs are nothing I would have normally listened to but with the fantastic orchestral compliment to his obviously passionate feel about these songs, it took it over the top! Good job.

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I love the whole orchestra playing with Neil , so different than other albums. I love his rendition of unchained melody. I was just thrilled to have Neil do another album, and look forward to the next!

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I have been a NEIL DIAMOND fan for over 25 years and I have almost every thing that he has put out. This is a fabulous CD, I’m so glad I indulged myself. Thank you so much for your music.

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It is to mellow for Neil. I do housework to his music and I like to dance around, not fall asleep.

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Neil's fans tend to be spilt on this one, but I like this one a lot, though I wish there was more variety in mood and tempo.

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As in some of the concert reviews I do not like the Sinatra songs, but I do think he does a wonderful job on such songs as Unchained Melody, Secret Love and Moon River; tunes I think that should be played at his concerts.

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It took me on a reflective journey of my life. My first kiss, first love, first "real" boyfriend, first engagement and marriage. It also took me through the "downers" divorce unrequited love, to where I am today, knowing that if you wish long and hard enough, you receive whatever you really need. I think I am a better person having listened to this particular album. I guess you could say "It spoke to me."

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It's great!! It has been playing non-stop since I got the CD.

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It is the best album that Neil Diamond has ever made! Keep up the good work Neil Diamond!

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I loved the voice, and I love the songs. I love older music and the combination of Neil and those songs is great for me. I guess if I have one criticism, it would be that at least a couple of the songs should have been in a faster tempo (i.e. Putting' on the Ritz).

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I think the Movie Album cannot be compare with all the others Neil made. He made it, because he wanted to do it and not for going in the charts with it. He made it just for fun and I guess he had a lot during the record. That’s alright even if I really don’t like it that much.

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I Love his vocals on this. Clearly the best he's ever been! Butt, (everyone's got a big butt) I love hearing him sing his own songs. He's become a part of my life and to hear him sing HIS songs he's reflectant of me. Sounds corny but hey, everyone's got to have a hobby. Loved Tennessee Moon. Very symbolic of what I was going thru at the time. thanks!

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As Time Goes By" "As Time Goes By" is a beautiful and well song of the great and eternal film "Casablanca". All of the songs that make part of this CD were well done selected, because all of them are beautiful, but we can make a selection for example "Unchained Melody", a pride interpretation of Neil Diamond - - it is not possible by other way - "Can You Feel The Love Tonight", "When You Wish Upon A Star", "My Heart Will Go On", "Can Help Falling In Love". But the other songs that make part of this album are also very good and lovely songs that perform by his beautiful and sweet voice make of this a excellent work of Neil Diamond. I wish from all my heart that the edition of this CD it will be a great success.

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Great idea for an album, but songs are a little to dependent on the orchestra. A little more Neil (as in the concert performances) could have made this a great album. Probably would have been great for Cigar Bars.

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I think the album is good

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IT IS ONE OF THE MOST RELAXING, SOFT FEELING ALBUMS I HAVE HEARD IN A LONG TIME!!!:) I LIKE BOTH CDs EQUALLY. AND I CAN NOT WAIT UNTIL I AM ABLE TO SEE HIM IN CONCERT ONCE AGAIN!!!!!!!!! AND PLEASE LETS GET ANOTHER ALBUM OUT!!!! SOON!!!!!!!!!!:):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

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The Movie Album is wonderful, but it could never be the same as Neil singing his own love songs. His songs are by far better than any of these!!

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After listening to the album a number of times, you appreciate it for the sounds and the mood. I personally love all live albums best, but this one ranks just after them. As my mom says best, "This album takes you to a great place... a place of separate from daily life....." This album really shows off some of the greatest in Neil's voice.

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Neil is great no matter what he sings, LOVE HIM , he has the most sexiest voice...he can sing anything for me anytime.

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Loved his voice, Loved Secret Love and Unchained Melody. Liked to see the making of it on AMC, even seeing his uncertainty after all these magical years! He's our man, no matter what he releases.

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I saw "the making of the album" special on TV and was moved by all of the musicians, professionalism and the excellent quality, but then Neil does everything with such professionalism, I just like his music.

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It's difficult to pick "favorites," either songs or albums, because there is always something to like about Our Star's performances. I liked the album when I first heard it. I liked it better the more I played it. And I liked it even more after I had seen the special on the making of the album. Mr. D. puts heart and soul into everything I've seen or heard him do. I think the fact that so many of these songs are identified with other artists has probably clouded people's perception of this album. I don't mind. I like it. I'll play it, along with all the rest of his music that I have and be grateful for it all. He's so gifted, and he continues to gift us with each album and performance he puts out there for us. I'm very thankful. Thanks, Joe, for a wonderful place to visit to keep us with the Diamond doings. I know where to go when I need some Diamond dust, and it is appreciated!!

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OF ALL THE NEIL DIAMOND ALBUMS I OWN OR HAVE HEARD SONGS FROM THE BRILL BLDG AND THE MOVIE ALBUM ARE THE TWO I LIKE THE LEAST. DON'T GET ME WRONG, THEY'RE GOOD BECAUSE THEY ARE BY NEIL BUT NEIL NEEDS TO SING HIS OWN COMPOSITIONS, WHEN HE DOES, THEY FLOW AND COME FROM THE HEART. WHEN HE SINGS OTHER COMPOSERS SONGS, HE SOUNDS STRAINED AND MORE LIKE IT'S WORK THAN FUN!

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I truly enjoy listening to this album. I don't know how anyone else feels but I think it is just great. I must say that the song my heart will go on, I would rather be at the front of the titanic with Neil Diamond than Leo any day. I do like Neil's own music better but I still love the movie album.

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I can never "rate" Neil's albums or songs because I love them all. Face it. Neil could record an album of gibberish and animal sounds and I'd be first in line to purchase it and would listen to it till it disintegrated...and then rush out to replace it!

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As much as I love Neil and have been a fan for many years, I felt this album was too slow. All the songs seemed to have the same sound. I miss the upbeat of some of Neil's own songs. And even his own songs that are slower seem to be much more passionate. I enjoyed the sound of the orchestra for one or two songs, but I prefer Neil's own band.

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Too consistently slow. It's hard to get through the album in one sitting. I keep going back to the Reader's Digest Album or Hot Aug Night. I don't think Elmer Bernstein has a clue what Neil is about. He steered Neil wrong and Neil let him. I'm surprised Bob Gaudio or Columbia let it slide (maybe they liked the album cover would sell). Too bad, because there are some decent songs selected and Neil could have put some zing into the Sinatra suite, Puttin on Ritz and a few others. I'll still wait in line for hours, drive for miles and listen daily. (PS-It's great to hear JLS and I've Been This Way Before in the tour but there's a void without Soolaimon).

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Didn't dislike anything. This album has a more mature sound to it and I find it very intoxication. Just can't get enough of it!

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The songs on this album were songs I grew up with, like Neil. They evoke a lot of memories and it is so nice to have them sung my the very best performer and singer there is.

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I liked the fact that it was easy listening music and could do some paper work and still enjoy listening to Neil

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I thought Neil did a superb job singing with an orchestra. The arrangements were wonderful as was Elmer Bernstein. But, us die hard Neil fans love his original songs. We are ready for a true blue Neil album, we realize (or think we do!) that when Neil is happiest he doesn't write much. We are soooo happy that Neil is happy now, but sad that he probably isn't going to be writing for awhile. So, I will be content to listen to ATGB knowing Neil is happy, that is all I truly care about. It is a wonderful album and I love listening to it. Neil did a beautiful job.

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I feel that on songs like UNCHAINED MELODY, CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE,MOON RIVER & MY HEART WILL GO ON Neil's voice is in the finest form it's been in since Jonathan Livingston. I felt the SUITE SINATRA was a very well crafted tribute to Ol' Blue Eyes. Some of the other selections on the album weren't quite the same success. SECRET LOVE and PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ are much too closely associated with Doris and Mr.Astaire and I feel they were a mistake. My wife and I are counting down the days until we see Neil in concert in Glasgow on 20 Feb. and I'm convinced that as the best live act on planet earth Neil will as usual add even more to the songs in the live performance. The Movie Album is a very enjoyable addition to my collection of Neil's CDs but if I was really selfish what I would like for a follow up is more of the kind of material we were treated to on TENNESSEE MOON.

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I personally was looking forward to The Movie Album for a while. I am a film major in college and was very interested in hearing Neil cover some classic film songs. The two CD set does offer some great songs. I enjoyed about 97% of the album. The first disc is nearly flawless in my opinion. Neil's covers of songs like Unchained Melody and The Windmills Of Your Mind are absolutely beautiful. The second disc on the other hand bogs down a bit. Casino Royale wasn't a great film by any means and the song it produced, Academy Awards notwithstanding, isn't great either. In The Still Of The Night is a VERY dull song and the Beatles' And I Love Her is even duller. But still, the album has an array of wonderful love songs sung perfectly by Neil. I like The Movie Album.

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I like both of the albums above and for different reasons. The BRILL I like because I didn't know these songs before, I appreciate them more now ~ but I value Neil Diamond's work more too, because his songs are as good as those classics and as timeless. The Movie album I enjoy particularly the favorites marked above because of the orchestra and interpretations.

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It could use a little boom, boom, boom.

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I think it was a great album and I hope he doesn’t STOP making albums. In fact I hope he releases a album of totally NEW songs written by him. I liked this album but being a teenager, I haven't ever heard half of these songs before, however the entire album comes to life. It is great and very good to have

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I didn't really like the album at first, honestly. But, as I listened more to it and I saw the special on AMC, I realized how very classy and inspirational this album really is. It was done with a lot of thought and the orchestra is beautiful. Neil's voice is great and so is all the music. I am always a little apprehensive when Neil doesn't record his own music, even though there is never any reason to be. Everything he has done has been done wonderfully, but sometimes it takes awhile to grow on me. But it should be a great success, you can tell how much work has gone into it.

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Not a bad effort. His voice was really good, but many of the songs are too slow. I like Neil when he's more spastic.

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I love it, It is a very romantic album !!!!!

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I think that this album is a real bummer, because Tennessee Moon was one his best albums of all time, it was kind of a let down. I'd rather hear new Neil tunes than classic old ones. Although he is at a point in his career that he can do whatever he wants, I have to respect his choice for the new album. The AMC special on the other hand I thought was very informative on how the music is put together and laid down in the studio. As a whole I would rate this album as not one of his best.

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Es ist ein sehr, sehr schoenes Album. Aber am besten gefällt mir Neil mit neuen, nicht gecoverten Songs.

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I like to listen to the album when all I want to do is just relax and have the world go away.

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I don't like ANY of the arrangements on this album. I understand every artist wants to put his own signature on a song, but these are all classics, and to screw around with them the way the arranger did ruined, in my opinion, all of the songs. I must also add, however, that most of the songs I didn't like to begin with, save the more current ones (originally done by Elvis, the Beatles, Andy Williams, Celine, and Elton). NO ONE can match Bobby Hatfield, I'm sorry, and they shouldn't even try. Not even our beloved Neil, in my opinion. I know others love it, but I've listened to the CD a few times and have basically retired it. Let's have some of Neil's own genius instead.

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It is really hard to choose between the two albums above. I really like both of them. The Movie Album is just so special. Its as though he is singing especially to you. Of course I like all Neil's music. I can hardly wait for him to return to the states so I can see and hear him again. My greatest desire is to be able to someday meet him in person. It surely would make this grandmother very happy.

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Very pleasant listening. I like the way Neil does "his own thing" with the songs and doesn't try to copy other singers versions. Because all the selections are slow tempo, it's a great album to listen to when I'm in a "quiet" mood. I wish some of Neil's slow tempo songs would be compiled on one album for "quiet time" listening. Your up-tempo songs are great too, but sometimes I just want the "soft stuff". Great job on The Movie Album. Keep up the good work, Neil. You seem to only get better with age! Thank you for all the good times and beautiful music.

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I was quite happy with some of the song selections, but not with others. For so many songs, there was too much redundancy--two Sinatras, two Righteous Brothers. And several were technically movie songs but much more familiar as pop hits in their own right. My biggest beef with the album is the fact that "The Way You Look Tonight" is the only even moderate-tempo song in the lot. Again, given the total number of songs involved, it just tended to plod. But his pipes are in great form, and he managed to put his own stamp on several songs, particularly "Unchained Melody" and the effectively daring "My Heart Will Go On." Perhaps best of all is the fact that ND is quoted as saying this album took much less time to put together than a normal one, which means we shouldn't have a two-year wait until the next original studio album. Shouldn't we???

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liked everything

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I found that I really liked this album on a different level than most of Neil's other albums. This one is great to listen to when your in a romantic mood or just need to calm your restlessness. I love all of his stuff. Everything he does shows me more about his versatility as a performer. Keep singing and recording Neil. You have a true gift and we love your voice no matter what type of music you choose.

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Neil's range on the songs is the best he's ever had on an album. It's a real nice album but I'd prefer an album with songs written by Neil.

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This album brings Neil so close and intimate, it feels as if he is in the same room. His interpretation makes old songs magical and new. The arrangements are a perfect background for the depth and richness of his voice. It is an album you can fall asleep to or make love to. I've done both. Neil's own songs inspire us, enlighten us, heal us. They are a way of looking at the world through his eyes--and he has a way of seeing so much depth, meaning and beauty, even in the sad times. But this album has proven him to be an artist for all seasons. I can still dance to Sweet Caroline and feel 18--or listen to Can't Help Falling in Love with You and remember my first real true love. The sophisticated love songs are for my life now. And because it is Neil singing them, and the sounds are so warm, true and real--he makes them his own, and he makes me believe you never have to grow old in your heart and soul. I hope he never stops writing--but I rejoice in his bringing some of the world's most beautiful love songs into the space in my life that has always belonged to Neil. I wish he would take the additional step, find another wonderful script like the Jazz Singer, and bless his fans with another movie. Something with soul--like Bridges of Madison County. We see him in our hearts and dreams--how I wish we could once again see him on the screen!

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Neil has never done a song that wasn't great. The Movie Album is no exception.

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I'm a bit of a movie buff and I'm interested in Neil nostalgia ... I feel allot of the songs are a little slow

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I liked it, because Neil`s voice sounded great. I disliked it, because songs from the Brill building were his age these songs and the way they’re performed are more his mothers age.

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I found The Movie Album to be 'reflective' and predictive. It 'hit home' and brought to mind the song Stones.

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I am one of Neil's very biggest fans and usually buy several copies of his albums to give to friends and family as gifts, etc. and have seen him in concert over two dozen times!! Everything he does is of such exceptional quality but I must admit to listening to this album once and actually taking it back to the store for something else!! As Neil himself was evidently concerned, there's no percussion to move the songs along!! They are ALL the same slow, boring tempo. I'm in shock that the very talented Alan Lindgren arranged these tunes and that Bob Gaudio produced. Unbelievable!! Listening to it it's like someone doing a really mean-spirited caricature of Neil Diamond at his worst. I'm just in absolute shock Neil could put out something so bad!! Glad you've provided me a vehicle to voice my shock and disappointment. Keep up the great job with this excellent website.

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Overall I like this album and most of the song selection. I still think Neil's at his best when it's material that he has written or has collaborated with Tom or Alan.

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I loved it. Just returned from Las Vegas for New Years Eve & Day. Wonderful. New album was well received...but then, every thing he sang was. Would like to see another album with new, original songs again soon. But THE MOVIE ALBUM was terrific!!!

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I liked the way Neil sang the songs. It was enjoyable to listen to soft music, it took me back a few years, and still does everytime I listen to the music. Whenever there is music released from Neil Diamond, it is on the top of my list to purchase.

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The Movie Album is very different from much of Neil's other albums but he sings different ways and different music all the time on each album he does and each is wonderful and new and exciting!! Neil is the best and he puts his heart and soul into every song he sings which makes his music wonderful no matter which music it is he's singing. The Movie Album is just another display of his wonderful talent as a singer. I thoroughly enjoy listening to it as I do all Neil's albums. He's just the best there is!!

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I¹m a huge ND fan, so I knew I was going to like this album even if it was so-so in comparison to Neil¹s previous efforts. But what a surprise I got the second time I listened to it! At first it just seems like another one of those classic standards compilations album, but the more you listen to ¹¹The Movie Album¹¹ the more apparent are the subtle, yet masterful arrangements of such classic tunes that Neil has chosen. And Neil¹s voice is perfect tune to sing such musically flowing ballads. I always thought Neil had a pretty good voice. And ¹¹The Movie Album¹¹ proves Neil can sing a song without having to screech and shout. These songs all came from movies, but Neil demonstrates how wonderfully written and arranged these ballads are! In ¹¹Tennessee Moon¹¹ Neil collaborates with the industry¹s finest songwriters to produce top-notch pop and country ballads. Now, in ¹¹The Movie Album¹¹, Neil Diamond has once again collaborated with the finest musicians and music arrangers, bringing a fresh and classy twist to an exquisite set of the music industry¹s finest pop standards. ¹¹The Movie Album¹¹ demonstrates Diamond¹s longevity in the music world approaching such greats as Sinatra, Bennett, Darin, and Presley. Thanks Neil, now how about a jazz album with the ¹¹Neil Diamond Band¹¹.

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The arrangements Neil did in concert from the album were far better in concert than on CD. Some of the songs I just plain don't like no matter who sings them.

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This album has grown on me. I admit that I had a bias against it before I heard it, because Neil's songwriting is one of my favorite aspects of his talent. I wanted another Tennessee Moon! As I have listened to The Movie Album over and over, it has gotten better and better. I think reading about how Neil was trying to put his own slant mark on the songs [as opposed to imitate the originals] helped me to appreciate it. Also, experiencing his doing some songs live in Nashville aced it for me as well.

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The album is to easy, no uptempo songs, sometimes you fell in sleep But his voice is still great and he sing even more beautiful Greeting and a happy Neilnew year

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I believe this is by far and away the worst Neil Diamond Album. I have been a fan for 30 years, but that does not preclude the fact that this was a poor effort. I heard him sing unchained melody live and it wasn't bad, however he could easily have done Can't help falling much better.

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I think Neil has a voice that brings romance and emotion to these songs. I doubt anyone else could sing love in three syllables... you CAN feel the L O V E... the "feel of Neil" continues! This CD, a cracklin' fire, some wine and a warm blanket (or lover) and you're set for the evening! Mmmmmm!

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WHILE THE ORCHESTRATION AND NEIL'S VOICE WERE GREAT, EVERY SONG WAS MUCH TOO SLOW. I JUST CAN'T LISTEN TO THE ENTIRE DISC WITHOUT NODDING OFF. TO QUOTE FROM "THE JAZZ SINGER," IT COULD HAVE USED "MORE BOOM, BOOM, BOOM!" I'D LOVE TO HEAR HIM DO AN UP TEMPO VERSION OF "PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ" IN CONCERT.

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Why two disks when it could have fit on one?

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I think that these songs (in general) are tougher to cover than the material Neil writes himself or most of the pop music out there. For the most part, these titles require a strong, classically trained voice. Having said that, I still enjoy listening to the album because the tunes are standards and because it is, after all, Neil Diamond!

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at first thought it was too slow. but as with all of Neil’s better albums the more you think "ohno" on first listen, the more you think "excellent" upon repeated listening I really do like this album , and think Neil made a good choice

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Every song is way too slow. He should have Diamondized them.

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I truly love this album. Neil sings the songs with so much emotion and feeling. UNCHAINED MELODY and CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE made the tears flow. The orchestra accompaniment is superb. In my opinion, Neil's THE MOVIE ALBUM will go down as one of his best works. Each time Neil releases another album, I think he can never do a better album in the future. I've listened to Neil since the beginning of his career so I should know what to expect from him. Thanks for the music, Neil!!!!

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I AM GLAD TO HEAR HIM SING SONGS OTHER THAN THE ONES HE WROTE. HE HAS A GREAT VOICE. I HAVE BEEN A FAN OF HIS SINCE SWEET CAROLINE BECAME POPULAR. I HAVE ATTENDED 7 OF HIS CONVERTS. ONE TIME I STOOD IN LINE AT BINGHAMTON, NY FOR 7 HOURS FOR TICKETS WHICH I GOT! FROM A REAL CAROLINE!!!

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I liked the arrangements and orchestration

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At first I was concerned with Neil doing other music. But I think this album will reach those who are not necessarily Diamond fans, but who like to listen to good music. The songs on the album are easily recognizable to just about everyone. Neil does each song in his own way, he doesn't try to be like anyone else. It is a good album and Neil's voice adds something to each song. submit-

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I think it is great that Neil could make this album out of love without having to worry about it possibly not being "commercial" enough. It is obvious that he loved every minute, and I love listening to it!

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Of course this is a terrific album simply because it is Neil's. I think each song is wonderfully done. The album as a whole, however, is a bit on the boring side simply because it contains all slow songs. I think doing a few of the songs a bit more upbeat would have given the album a different flavor. Hope Neil's next album contains some original songs........another Tennessee Moon album would be great!! Thanks to Joe for doing album of the month again......always a fun feature!

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I think that Neil should do what made him big: write own songs and sing them. Except from the Tennessee moon album (where most of the songs are co-written) Neil did other record only songs he hasn’t written (Christmas album 1 and 2, songs from the Brill building.) The album is very slow and each song sounds alike. Also it shouldn’t have been a double album because it is quite expensive. I am a little bit disappointed.

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When I first heard The Movie Album, I was disappointed that all of the songs were so slow. I felt like it really needed to have some upbeat tunes mixed in. But the more I listened to it, the more I came to appreciate how beautifully every song was recorded. Neil's voice is superb, and the music is soothing and inspiring. It has become a truly special album for me!

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I have to admit, I do like this The Movie Album. Historically, I have not liked Neil singing songs from other artists (especially the Up on the Roof album) but I did find this album well done and I am glad I purchased it.

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I thought the whole album was good, I enjoy listening to it every chance I get. Thanks for making the movie album.

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Glen Gabel I liked some of the album the transition from song to song is great and of course so is the music. What lacks is the fun. Neil did not seem to be having fun with this project. He sings great but it's just not fun, more like work like taking out the trash or doing the dishes.

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Hi I’ve been to four of Neil’s shows and I think he did a better job in concert than the album. I think he should have used his band for the album. His concert were just awesome I hope he comes back to Toronto

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Things I don't like: 1. Songs are too slow and monotonous - tried to listen to it while studying for an exam and just about fell asleep! 2. Neil's a songwriter, and I like to hear him sing his own songs, not someone else's. 3. Poor purchase value - only about 30-35 minutes on each CD, when all the music could have fit on one. What I like: Neil's voice sounds GREAT!

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His selection of songs is great Makes a great album for a romantic evening with that special someone. I think can you feel the love tonight Neil does especially well. Neat album...thanks!!!

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I think it was done very well and he sounds just as good as he did years ago

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I was brought this Album for Christmas. I thought that this was not one of Neil's better albums, because I think that it was Orchestra based and not Neil Diamond band in a sound studio based. Although, when the Brill building first came out I didn't like that either but as time goes on you become to like it and I think that this album will proceed along the same route.

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Overall, I was disappointed. I much prefer him singing w/ a backup rhythm section vs. strings only.

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I like all the songs on it. All the songs that he selected for this CD were moving and brought back a lot ol old memories.

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It is a great CD I still like to hear stuff that he writes but I think the arrangements are really pretty and this is probably the kind of stuff he should be singing now to save his voice. But it is not the true Neil stuff .I was excited my mom asked for it for Christmas. She knew that would be a sure thing from me. All in all I think it is a good one and I hope it does well.

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I liked most songs. Puttin On the Ritz was too slow for me though. Neil's voice is still great, he sure puts feeling into the songs.

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This is just one more great for Neil. I love it, my son & husband love it, it's great! Course everything he does is great......

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I really liked it and I think reviews are missing the point when comparing his style to the original artists (i.e. Sinatra, Elvis). The whole point is its Neil's tribute and should be his interpretations.

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I enjoyed hearing the favorites from movies that have the "Diamond" touch. He did a wonderful job and I really liked seeing the special on AMC!

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I saw Neil in concert and I enjoyed the album live. I was given the album for Xmas, so I haven't had much of a chance to listen to it. Overall, I think it is a great album. It is a sort of tribute to all of our favorite movie songs. I like some songs better than others, however, it is overall an excellent album. Great job Neil!!!

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I liked everything about. As Usual another great album,.

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It is funny you asked me to choose between those two albums as they are my least favorites........guess I just like pure Neil better. The songs are well done but I just do not care for the selections. My fiancée said that a woman should always do My Heart will Go On. I do not agree but as much as I love the song I do not care for Neil's rendition.

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I like those types of songs more on a romantic evening, or on a dreamy afternoon. They are not his usual peppy energetic type songs, but I do like the album. Different type songs for different type moods.

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I really like anything Mr. Diamond does.

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THE ALBUM WAS JUST NOT NEIL.

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I thought that this was one of the more romantic albums that Neil has done - Makes you want to fall in love all over again

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I feel it is excellent - an exploration of songs that must have impressed Neil, and songs that made him feel good. His voice and his arrangements can bring appreciation of music to any person who will take the time to listen. Who takes time off from an astounding career to go to other countries to learn where their music comes from, and come back to be an excellent writer of everything from symphonic music to rock! He is a teacher in his own right, and may God bless those who know it, and appreciate it.

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I love this album, but then I absolutely love EVERYTHING he does. The orchestra is great. I like the selection of songs. I said the least favorite was Can you feel the Love Tonight, but I loved that too, it just wasn't quite as perfect as everything else and there wasn't a way to choose none. My favorite album of his is still Jonathan Livingston Seagull because of all the spirituality in it. I sing a lot of Neil's songs on Karaoke and he has been my very favorite singer since Brother Love's Travelin' Salvation Show.

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I dislike this: in Mexico there aren’t a lot material of Neil. Why?

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This is absolutely the best album he has done in quite a few years. The last one that I got last Christmas was probably the worst album he ever did. I was very disappointed with it. I can't tell you the name of it at this time, because we are moving and it is packed up, but when I get to that box, then I could tell you the name of that terrible album. But this one is his best, by far!

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Like many others who have reviewed this the first thing that hits that where is the rhythm section. But you get over it. Then the album starts to grow on you. I felt it was the right time for Neil to do this album. With his stature and credibility he can get away with a lot of experimenting where others might not have. Easily, he has made "My Heart will go on" his own song ...he has done it with a lot of sensitivity and vulnerability. That is just about my favorite song on the album besides "Can't help...," "Moonriver," and "Unchained Melody." I am sure as I listen to it more I would like more songs.

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I love all the songs from Neil's new album "AS TIME GOES BY" I really think Neil is a wonderful singer and he proves it all time! All the songs were very great and lovely and very romantic! The album which I like better how could anyone compare. Neil is one of "THE BEST!" I am not just saying that. I think all fans would agree. Keep it up Neil. But, next time make up you're own lyrics. Movie album is the tops!

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I liked the entire album - my lease favorite is Puttin' on the Ritz - I always heard it more upbeat than Neil does it on his album - nevertheless - great selections!

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I do like a lot of the selections on this album, particularly "Ebb Tide" "Unchained Melody" and "Moon River" these are songs from my younger days and I identify with them. I also think his voice is better than it has been in a very long time which adds greatly to this album. Couple this with the new Neil look and it is terrific. I personally would still rather have original music by Neil and "Tennessee Moon" is among his best, truly written from the heart.

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At first I was undecided but the more I listen the better I like it. I think you have to play it loud and often. I now find myself humming the songs at work or in the car. I think it would be a sensation if it were paced a little faster. I think the songs sound better in person.

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REALLY GREAT TO RELAX TO AFTER A HARD DAY AT WORK.

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I feel the album was sounding better the more it was played, his voice was great, the musicians were great but it did not feel like NEIL

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Some of the songs are quite better in their original version. I missed some 'energy', especially for 'Puttin' on the Ritz' or 'Unchained Melody'. Probably I'm just too used to listening to the originals. And, of course, nobody can beat Celine Dion's version of 'My heart will go on' !

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I felt I needed a key to wind up the tempo on the songs - I guess I'm just used to hearing Neil sing rollicking rock songs! This album is way too melancholy for my liking - I also didn't like the arrangements he chose on various songs.(having preconceived ideas of how the songs had been sung by their original artists didn't help my listening habits). It is definitely NOT one of his better albums. I believe he should stick to writing & recording his own music, as it showcases his talents MUCH better! I hope I haven't offended the readers of this poll - if I have, SORRY!! :-))

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I thought it was a good album, but nothing spectacular. It was much better live (when I was it in concert) than recorded. If he would have recorded at least one new song written by himself, I think it would of added much to the CD.

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I loved this album mainly because it was the album that accompanied my first ever live Diamond concert!!!! The guy is awesome... I have never heard a Neil Diamond song that I didn't like.

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Great concept, but a very slow album.. boring at times.. would have liked to see it a bit more up-beat. If I could be so bold as to suggest an idea for another album....Duets..Ala... F.Sinatra..

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I like it because it contains so many love songs, which I think Neil does best.

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So many of the songs are ones I haven't heard in years, so it's been nice to enjoy them the once again. Having them recorded by FAVORITE vocalist is a real bonus!! And those photos.......!!!!!

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I love ANYTHING Neil sings, but his older songs are more up beat and all him!!!

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I love Neil, so I had to buy it! And I'm sure he performs it live much better than on the CD. BUT, I just think it's tough to redo a song that someone else has made famous. You get used to a certain way it is sung. But, whatever Neil does is ok with me. Just send him Boston way so I can judge for myself!!

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I liked the whole album. Neil sounds great as usual. The selection of songs were wonderful. It's very entertaining and easy to listen to.

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Thought it should have been a one disc CD.

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This album shows Neil in great voice. It is an example of his wonderful interpretive singing.

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I have been a Neil Diamond fan for almost 30 years. I love his music more than any other artist; he is my number one favorite. Personally I think "I'm Glad You're Here With Me Tonight" is probably one of his best albums. I also liked "The Jazz Singer", "Serenade", and "Jonathan Livingston Seagull." I think Diamond is an outstanding composer, and hope to here more songs he has composed in the future. I was surprised that I enjoy this album as much as I do. The arrangements are magnificent and Neil's voice is just incredible. A truly relaxing, enjoyable listening experience. I would still prefer that Neil stick with his own compositions or collaborations like on Tennessee Moon. But, it's when it's Neil's voice, I just can't resist listening.

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I am pleased that Neil Diamond made the effort to do the movie album with such richness. I agree with so many other critics who believe his voice is better than ever.

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Definitely Neil's worst effort to date. Sadly his voice has passed it's prime too!! If he had undertaken this project 10 to 15 years ago the outcome would have been infinitely better. In short "these are not ND songs or music" We found the overall CD' Disliked it! Not Neil's kind of music.Wasted$30.

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Don't get me wrong but, the movie album I do enjoy listing to. I strongly think that Neil needs to write some fresh and new material which he has not been doing...

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This is my least fav album. I had higher hopes for it, but it is just not to my liking. I'm very much looking forward to his next original album, which I'm sure I'll like much better. BTW, I'm not one of "those" who thinks that just because it's Neil means it's good, so the above rating is a bit misleading.

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I loved it! But I like this kind of music and hearing our Neil sing it was a real treat for me.

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Unfortunately, I cannot find much positive to say about The Movie Album. I think it is absolutely, without a doubt Neil's worst album EVER!! Not only is the song selection lame (Love with a Proper Stranger??? Give me a break!! Ebb Tide? Moon River? Egad!!), but the arrangements would have to improve just to be considered lackluster or uninspired. . All in all, the Movie Album lacks variety or inspiration. It sounds more like a contractual obligation recording than anything else. This is a very disappointing album, especially considering how great Tennessee Moon was. However, I would still cherish a recording of Neil doing a collection of Broadway songs. But I hope he waits until AFTER a collection of Neil originals!

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I just enjoy listening to him sing, whether it's show tunes with the orchestra or Brother Love's Travelin' Salvation Show. The man is a musical genius with the sexiest voice on earth!!

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I've been a Neil fan for over 25 years, I own all his music and have seen him over 25 times in concert. Neil's voice sounds better than ever it's just a different kind of album/CD for Neil and for his fans to listen to. Some of the songs are very beautiful the way Neil does them but I do find the Album a little to slow for my taste but I love Neil's music that's why I have it.

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The songs are classics. Neil is classic. What better match?

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I didn't think I would like it because I don't tend to like movie music and because the songs are not written by Neil. But I love it. Neil's voice and passion make the songs his own. He sounds better than ever -- and that's saying a lot!

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What can be said to put down this new album? Let me just say, NOT MUCH. Really, the only bone I have to pick is the fact that it is a double album. It doesn't need to be. Combined the total music time is less than the amount on Tennessee Moon, which was a single disc. I think that the Movie Album demonstrates that Neil has began to reemphasize his voice. His voice sounds sharper and much cleaner. It is glorious. In past albums, such as Up On the Roof, Neil's voice was beginning to show age, but Neil shows us on the Movie Album that he has done something to improve it. It was hard to choose two favorite songs. Each song has proven the test of time so each is great. Neil put his own style to each song and each came off beautifully. Though I would like to have heard some upbeat Neil, it is great to hear all of these songs done by him. I listen to the album daily. I think of all the songs on there, the most beautiful song is Ebb Tide.

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I am the only ND fan willing to say how much I dislike 'The Movie Album' ?! It doesn't matter how good Neil’s voice may sound, or how good the orchestration and arrangements may be, this is still an album recorded to buy some time before Neil get's back to writing some strong ORIGINAL material. If you want string arrangements, bring back Lee Holdridge, and how about giving Tom Catalano a call as well!

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Could have been better if his band was included with the orchestra. Definitely not Neil's style of music.

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I found many of songs when done in person at the concert last month here in St. Louis better than the songs on the CD. It's still terrific because its Neil but I have many other albums that I think were more Neil than him singing anothers song.

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It goes without saying, anything that Neil does is great to me. In The Movie Album, Neil's singing and the music was absolutely fantastic. He did justice to all of the songs. A couple of the songs I did not like, even when they were done by the original artist, but I would listen to Neil sing "Mary Had A Little Lamb". Just to hear his voice is enough for me.

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Overall the orchestrations were very good and Neil does sound better than he did on some Tennessee Moon cuts, but some of the songs chosen don't fit Neil's voice at all. Most of all I didn't like the 20 songs being split onto 2 discs where each disc is only 34 minutes long. This should have been one disc with 20 Songs or 2 discs with 30 - 35 songs. A financial rip off. Unfortunately this will not find it's way into my disc player very often - can't wait for Neil's next project of Original material, I hope it's not a long wait.

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Unlike some others who have commented on the album, I like the lush orchestration. Secondly, Neil's voice, timing, and interpretation of most of the songs is really outstanding. I would have liked to hear other movie songs, such as "Lady in Red" as opposed to the Frank Sinatra covers. The one major drawback of this set is there are too few songs for a 2-CD set. He could have included almost twice as many songs. Although I love the set, and would pay that much money again, I feel he could have given his fans more for their money - and their support!

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The album was awesome I really enjoyed his music.

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After listening to the album for a few weeks I now think that the Christmas Album Vol 1 is not so bad!

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I have been listening to Neil's work from the very beginning. His voice soothes my soul. I think he does a better job on most of these songs than the original artists. It is my opinion that he should have sang My Heart Will Go On instead of Celine Dion. I would have understood the words better, and his caressing voice does it more justice than her screaming.

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I just purchased "As Time Goes By" and I really, really like Because I love anything Neil does, however none of these songs were written by Neil himself and I miss that. I love how his romantic side, and I miss that in this album.


 

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