This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
I just saw that Neil Diamond’s A&E Live By Request episode was the highest-rated instalment ever. I’m not surprised. Love him or loathe him, you gotta give Neil his due — he’s written songs so popular they’re practically encoded on our collective DNA.
Thing is, he wrote most of ’em a couple of decades ago. And his maudlin new offering Three Chord Opera isn’t going to add any classics to his catalog. These 12 songs are typical slices of Diamond-brand Middle American cheese — orchestrated ballads, sappy love songs, odes to God and midtempo big-band pop tailor-made for the big room at Vegas. Frankly, I’ll stick to oldies like Cherry, Cherry, Sweet Caroline and Holly Holy. Come to think of it, it might not hurt Neil to revisit his back catalog and remind himself of the type of songs he could be writing.