Noel Coppage

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 135

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There's an interesting contrast [in Heartlight] between how seriously Neil Diamond takes himself and how seriously the songs take anything. Collaborating mostly with Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, Diamond has finally managed to recreate the spirit of Tin Pan Alley—in other words, he's recycling the mainstream pop music of 1953.

Ironically, although he has been trying to move uptown for years, Diamond still sings with the real-person earnestness of his Brooklyn roots. Combine that with the too-sophisticated-to-be-sincere nature of the songs, the 1953-style orchestral settings …, and you can imagine my various and not quite compatible reactions. Some of the stuff here is attractive enough in its own way; it just doesn't respond to Diamond's attempts to breathe life into it.

Noel Coppage, in a review of "Heartlight," in Stereo Review, Vol. 48, No. 2, February, 1983, p. 73.


Stephen Holden