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CD Review: Neil Diamond 

Home Before Dark

The Deal: Legendary singer returns to formula of his last record, hits number one for the first time in his career.

The Good: It's hard to believe that Diamond hasn't had a number-one album before his latest release, but judging by the success he had with 12 Songs, maybe it's not so surprising that he hit the mark. Like his 2005's album, Diamond has returned to working with producer Rick Rubin who convinced the icon to strip his music down to its bare roots. Diamond follows those instructions again, offering 12 tracks that highlight his unique vocal stylings over acoustic guitar and basic instrumentation. From the album's first single, the powerful "Pretty Amazing Grace" to his fantastic duet with The Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines on "Another Day," Diamond has turned in some of the best music of his career – which isn't easy to do, considering all the classics he's written.

The Bad: Not a thing, unless Diamond gives up on working this way.

The Verdict: Pick up this album and 12 Songs – don't worry, it's cool to say you like Neil Diamond again.

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