It has been six long years since 2008 and that time must have seemed doubly long to fans of Neil Diamond. His latest album Melody Road is his first since 2008. At seventy-three years of age the albums might come less frequently but they are not of inferior quality. The twelve songs are of the warm soft-rock variety that we’ve come to expect from Neil Diamond. Very few musicians have been able to release the amount of music that causes the listener to have a smile on their face as this guy has over the decades. On many of the tracks he strips it down to pretty much his voice, his guitar and the songs. The country/folk rock arrangements are quite sparse and they fit the songs to a T. As far as the theme running through the album it all about a person of a certain age looking back at the road he has travelled over the course of his life as well as looking forward to what is ahead. The album leads off with the title track “Melody Road” which is a peppy little number and also finishes with a reprise of it. “First Time” is a fun rocker. “Seongah and Jimmy” at over six minutes is a treat of a slower ballad with a very interesting story to it. Pleasant listening experience from front to back.