Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Moods" by Neil Diamond (1972)

NOTE: The vinyl album cover is a different picture (same outfit), in a sepia tone with no text.

View the Premise & Ground Rules for Revisiting Vinyl.

Filed Between: Derek & The Dominos and Dire Straits

Obtained Via: Purchase at a Goodwill

Key Tracks: Play Me and Walk on Water

Obvious Filler & Swings-and-Misses:
Porcupine Pie is a soft rock attempt at a raggae children's song.  Gitchy Goomy - gibberish songs are way harder to pull of than it seems.

My Overall Rating of the Tracks Separately:
Above Average (2.5/4 stars)

It turns out that Neil Diamond is the Rosetta Stone for the nostalgia filter.  After listening to "Moods," I have now unlocked it secrets and discovered its dark mysteries.  I would have sworn Song Sung Blue and Play Me were outstanding songs.  They're not.  They're good.  That seems to be primarily how the nostalgia filter works.  It takes good songs and elevates them a notch or two into greatness.  And now I know how it works.

The nostalgia filter is a lot like dating the archetypal popluar girl in high school (I assume).  You like the idea of it far more than the actual thing itself.  But it's fun and accessible and you can relate to it immediately.  The problem is, it doesn't have anything to keep you held to it - no real substance or depth or deeper thought process.  It only exists in the here-and-now.  And that's part of why you fixate on it so much in the short-term and hold such a fondness for it after it's gone.  Until you get it again.  And then, it's still kind of good, but it's not what you thought it was when you were just a lonely band geek.

And Neil Diamond is a master at crafting exactly that kind of song.  This is even true for his tracks I have always held in high esteem until recently revisiting.  This is even true for Sweet Caroline and Cracklin' Rosie; this is especially true for Sweet Caroline and Cracklin' Rosie.  My favorite song on "Moods" this go around was Walk on Water, primarily because it's hooky and has a great break and because I really wasn't familiar with it at all.  I really liked it a lot.  I suspect I'll like it less in ten years time...

So, is it an album?  No.  That's like asking if the cotton candy you just ate made for a filling meal.

Up next, we see if I have to swallow my words about Styx being the only real prog-pop band out there as we revisit "Evolution" by Journey.

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