Neil (Leslie) Diamond Roy Hollingworth - Essay

Roy Hollingworth

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Neil Diamond's songs during a 1972 concert on Broadway] are pretty, and poppy, and in the way he delivers them—melancholic, and ultra-romantic…. And yet, they are as see-through and substantial as a Woolworth's nylon nightie in the rain.

Their chording is simplistic, and oft to be the same—and his voice is want to drone on, and on, and on. It creaks like an oldish door, and is seldom delivered from higher than the Adam's apple. It is a rather shaky attempt at drama. It can make you utter the expression "ugh!" and "ahhh," but seldom "wow."

They are the sort of songs that if you think only a little, you'll be able to guess as near as dammit what the next line will be. To be truthful, they lack imagination to an awful extent.

His rhyming is dead easy. Examples: Dove rhymes with love, heart rhymes with part, and willow rhymes with pillow etc. It would be far more interesting if he rhymed dove with shove, or heart with tart, on occasion, and attempted to write something a little different. As it stands Neil Diamond is heart rhyming with part, and dat's dat. (pp. 10-11)

Roy Hollingworth, "Diamond Jubilee," in Melody Maker, October 21, 1972, pp. 10-11.