Neil (Leslie) Diamond Tom Nolan

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Tom Nolan

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

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"I've seen the light," the first song [on Serenade] begins, and Neil Diamond reads his line with the slovenly confidence of an illuminated saloon singer, a cosmic Sinatra hinting at some grand message to come. But all that Diamond has to offer are bland musings adrift on an empty sea of strings, a handful of spiritual cliches ("Plainly it is all a circle") pegged to a gallery of culture heroes—from Picasso to Longfellow to Christ—and sung in a variety of dialects either embarrassing or aggravating, depending on whether sympathy is placed with the singer or the listener.

Tom Nolan, in a review of "Serenade," in Rolling Stone, Issue 184, April 10, 1975, p. 68.