Neil Diamond. Yup, that’s right. He’s got a new CD coming out on Tuesday. Ordinarily, Neil’s not really my cup of tea. However, this new CD of his merits note by virtue of the fact that it’s produced by Rick Rubin. Rubin is, without a doubt, the most important producer of the last 20 years. He founded Def Jam Records and has worked with a wide variety of artists such as Run DMC, LL Cool J, Jay-Z, The Beastie Boys, Slipknot, Nine Inch Nails, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Johnny Cash. Neil Diamond is next to benefit from Rubin’s unique producing style, which doesn’t emphasize a sort of signature sound, but rather relies on his love of music and sort of filling in the pieces without unduly altering the artist’s vision. The result? Well… in 1985, Rubin produced LL Cool J’s debut Release titled Radio. Rubin took a minimalist approach, stripping down the songs to just LL Cool J’s voice and some beats. The album credits read “reduced by Rick Rubin.” This is what he did with Diamond’s new album. It’s stripped down, bare and, dare I say it, raw? I don’t know, this is all so strange, but whatever, it works. You can hear it now for free before the release date. Yeah. Neil Diamond is using Myspace to promote an album. What a friggin hipster. Make up your own mind but prepare to be surprised.
Check out Diamond’s official Web site for the last dates of his current 2005 World Tour.