12 Songs

  • Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Nov 8, 2005
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 42
  2. Negative: 5 out of 42

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. GregH
    Nov 8, 2005
    7
    I'm not a Neil D fan by any stretch, but I like some of his earliest hits and stuff for the Monkees. This is pleasant enough music and the most listenable ND I've heard in ages. Part of what makes this album shine is the simple production. The songs get a 6, the production gets an 8....
  2. richb
    Nov 8, 2005
    10
    Having heard ALL his albums,this will rate among his top 3
  3. MichaelK
    Nov 8, 2005
    10
    Outstanding! Look for both Neil Diamond and Rick Ruben front and center at the Grammy Awards. This one is a classic with Neil Diamond at his very best.
  4. JasonD
    Nov 8, 2005
    10
    Amazing acoustic album. Neil's best in more than 20 years, and one of the best CD's of the year.
  5. JamesG
    Nov 9, 2005
    9
    Neil Diamond is one of the reasons I picked up a guitar in the first place nearly 30 years ago. To be able to hear him in his purest form (with guitar in hand and no overproduction on his vocals) is surely a treasure. It's albums such as this one that make is ever more evident that, while some of his most recent albums have tried to disprove, he is still one of our greatest living Neil Diamond is one of the reasons I picked up a guitar in the first place nearly 30 years ago. To be able to hear him in his purest form (with guitar in hand and no overproduction on his vocals) is surely a treasure. It's albums such as this one that make is ever more evident that, while some of his most recent albums have tried to disprove, he is still one of our greatest living songwriters. An excellent collection. Expand
  6. Mike
    Nov 10, 2005
    10
    absolutely brilliant, well worth the wait. Go Neil!
  7. KeithG
    Nov 10, 2005
    10
    An incredible, mostly acoustic album. I've waited over twenty years for Neil Diamond to return to the great sound of his years at the UNI label. This is Neil Diamond without the overproduced glitter. Just pure, simple songwriting and performing.
  8. patk
    Nov 10, 2005
    10
    wow!
  9. bb
    Nov 10, 2005
    9
    my mother loves neil...and it rubbed off on me. this album lives up to the hype. wish there was more percussion.
  10. MichaelMark
    Nov 11, 2005
    10
    Finally!!! "Hell Yeah" That's what I'm talkin' about! Thank you Neil ! Thank you Rick!
  11. MichaelMark
    Nov 11, 2005
    10
    Finally!!! "Hell Yeah" That's what I'm talkin' about! Thank you Neil ! Thank you Rick!
  12. KarenP
    Nov 11, 2005
    10
    Diamond produces his best work in years. Simply extraordinary songs, vocals, and music. Written by a man who has seen a lot of life, it's not the optimism of the 60s Neil but a look at a mature man and musician, at peace with himself and enjoying the creation of songs.
  13. FredW
    Nov 12, 2005
    0
    I know it's not Neil's doing but how can I support and enjoy a CD that has Sony Spyware?
  14. DonnaC
    Nov 14, 2005
    10
    Deeper and pulling - draws me in to the simplicity and seering feelings I haven't experienced since the early 70's! Not sure what my favorite is, but ranking high are Evermore, I'm on to you, Delirious Love, oh.... Hell Yeah.......all of em'!
  15. ChrisF
    Nov 15, 2005
    1
    If you can get past the first tune on this CD, you're a die hard Neil Diamond fan. Conservative production can't mask Diamond's over-the-top sacharine-sweet sentimentality.
  16. EricS
    Nov 16, 2005
    10
    Best work in years. Hands down. It was even better the 2nd and third times listening to it.
  17. JefS
    Nov 16, 2005
    8
    I was born and raised with Neil Diamond playing on the hi fi and find myself sining Sweet Caroline with abandon while going to work. Neil's prize is his voice and his non-self-conscious posture. His vocal personality is one of a man who just wants to sing and make people feel something. If he were your uncle, you'd be embarassed by his sincerity, but as it is, he's simply a I was born and raised with Neil Diamond playing on the hi fi and find myself sining Sweet Caroline with abandon while going to work. Neil's prize is his voice and his non-self-conscious posture. His vocal personality is one of a man who just wants to sing and make people feel something. If he were your uncle, you'd be embarassed by his sincerity, but as it is, he's simply a contemporary musical hero. Collapse
  18. EvanP
    Nov 17, 2005
    0
    This is one of the CDs Sony crippled with their rootkit that opens your PC to hackers and viruses. Avoid at all costs.
  19. SandeepM
    Nov 20, 2005
    10
    One has to listen to this album and focus on the content of music/words and the melodies weaving out this album !
  20. FredT
    Nov 21, 2005
    8
    First time hearing the album, a tad disappointed. When you understand where he is writing from and you're over 50 and you listen carefully and you're at a reflective period in your life, the music and the words just keep getting better each time you hear them.
  21. BF
    Nov 21, 2005
    0
    Horrid, horrid, horrid
  22. RemyL.
    Nov 24, 2005
    3
    The stark production only makes the weakness of the songwriting clearer. I'm sorry but it seems Neil lost his touch for good. Listen to Mccartney's last for quality "veteran" pop songwriting
  23. LedaC
    Nov 26, 2005
    10
    I love this CD. It reminds me of early Neil Diamond songs. I especially like Man of God. I have played the CD, many times, since buying it.
  24. robe
    Dec 5, 2005
    10
    The Stark production reveals the strength of Neils songwriting. Strong melodies and direct lyrics from a master songwriter. Credit Rick Rubin for pulling the layers of gloss away to reveal this mans genius intact after all these years. An amazing album
  25. marcb
    Dec 16, 2005
    10
    Best Neil Diamond songs in 30 years. Thank God for Rick Ruben. Stripped down, raw, heartfelt songs reminescent of Forever In Blue Jeans, Solitary Man, Song Sung Blue, etc.
  26. markm
    Dec 29, 2005
    10
    great melodies, great songs. the most consistent Diamond album in years. If you are a diamond fan you'll love it. If you are not a Diamond Fan, if you have to give it a few listens to nail the melodies.
  27. BobbieD
    Dec 30, 2005
    10
    I haven't purchased a Neil Diamond album since the 80's. I love his old stuff and this CD is so reminicent of that. It's terrific!!!!
  28. AFullerton
    Dec 31, 2005
    10
    Best album in years! Haven't stopped playing it. I just imagine what might have been if he had tried this back in the 80's when the music he wrote was dull and lifeless. It's popular to trash Neil for the sequins but this is the best album I've heard from anyone in quite awhile. This in not your Mom's Neil Diamond! It's much better!
  29. PaulD
    Jan 6, 2006
    9
    After giving up on him 10 years ago, I am shocked. He has found himself again. Too bad it wasn't 10 years ago... the music he could have made! Another Rubin revival! I didn't even know Rubin was in the wax when I first heard it. I heard Johnny Cash all the way. Best Neil Diamond in 25 years. If he locks in on the chemistry, the next one could be a ten.
  30. WilliamM
    Jan 9, 2006
    5
    My least favorite of a really great collection of Diamond discs
  31. YinC
    Jan 16, 2006
    10
    I'm a huge fan of his earlier works. I probably have every CD. I even have his songs on a Karaoke disc. This latest set was incredible. I'm already singing these over and over. Kudos
  32. JoeK
    Feb 4, 2006
    10
    This is clearly Diamond's best album in 35 years. It has enormous depth. There are no throw away tracks. With all the criticisms casted his way over the last 20 years this album reminds us why he is a true music legend.
  33. JohnC
    Feb 7, 2006
    8
    Tuneful and engaging. I felt that the tracks hung together quite well as an album. There seemed to be a little more instrumentation added to each song as the album progressed, resulting in a subtle hour long crescendo.
  34. ToddR
    Feb 7, 2006
    5
    Though I loved Rick Rubin's work with Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond's attempt to make a critically-viable, stripped-down album is pretty lame, mostly because these songs are just bland.
  35. march
    Feb 17, 2006
    9
    Back to the roots and the essence of what is songwriting about: hell yeah! Being a long time Diamond fan but getting more and more disappointed with his work since the Jazz Singer and finally losing him almost, I'm delighted. Some years ago after hearing what Rubin made Cash do a decade ago, I wondered what would come of it when Diamond and Rubin would join together because Diamond Back to the roots and the essence of what is songwriting about: hell yeah! Being a long time Diamond fan but getting more and more disappointed with his work since the Jazz Singer and finally losing him almost, I'm delighted. Some years ago after hearing what Rubin made Cash do a decade ago, I wondered what would come of it when Diamond and Rubin would join together because Diamond deserved it (as well),. And now it's there, what a reinvention of the man, songs stripped down to simple beauty, reminding of his best stuff from the past and at the end for desert Brian Wilson shows up touching 'hilareous love' with that light Beach Boys Mozart kind of joy: a comeback turning in to a party: to be continued I hope. Expand
  36. VB
    Mar 25, 2006
    9
    Diamond's no Johnny Cash of course and if you're looking for something similar forget it. But he's still got that talent as a songwriter he had in the '60s. Once again Rick Rubin has taken a past great who's best years might have been behind them and given them new life and a new avenue for their talents. Is this a great album like Unearthed? No. But it is a very Diamond's no Johnny Cash of course and if you're looking for something similar forget it. But he's still got that talent as a songwriter he had in the '60s. Once again Rick Rubin has taken a past great who's best years might have been behind them and given them new life and a new avenue for their talents. Is this a great album like Unearthed? No. But it is a very good one by a very good songwriter. Expand
  37. EricN
    Nov 27, 2006
    10
    a year has passed since I purchased this album,and the music still haunts and moves me.Neil Diamond has tapped into a well of lyrical and musical truths that is rare in these times.All sung with a voice that remains one of a kind.As a 30 something,it speaks volumes that a 65 year old is expressing what I'm feeling better then bands of my generation.The self-doubts of "Hell Yeah" and a year has passed since I purchased this album,and the music still haunts and moves me.Neil Diamond has tapped into a well of lyrical and musical truths that is rare in these times.All sung with a voice that remains one of a kind.As a 30 something,it speaks volumes that a 65 year old is expressing what I'm feeling better then bands of my generation.The self-doubts of "Hell Yeah" and "What's It Gonna Be".The inner-dreamer and romantic of "Oh Mary","Save Me a Saturday Night" and "Captain of a Shipwreck".The pessimist loner of "Im On To You","Create Me" and "Face Me".The believer-despite-it-all of "Man of God".Just powerful music.The one uptempo rocker, "Delirious Love" stands out from the introspection.But "Delirious Love" is also a three chord guitar gem that goes back to the days when Neil was just a great rocker from Brooklyn. Expand
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. But if 12 Songs does occasionally come across as slightly affected in its intent and presentation, it also is inarguably Neil Diamond's best set of songs in a long, long time.
  2. While the all-original material is not strong enough to qualify this as the instant classic some have suggested, heartfelt tracks like the jubilant "Delirious Love," the rousing "Hell Yeah" and the string-tinged love song "Evermore" are outstanding. [12 Nov 2005]
  3. Entertainment Weekly
    100
    [The] tension between Rubin's desire to pare it down and Diamond's tendency to amp it up makes for the best musical checks and balances; nothing gets too unplugged or too bombastic. [11 Nov 2005, p.67]