Unglued: Neil Diamond Reviews 16 Hot New artists

Music Features Neil Diamond

Nicki Minaj
Nicki, Nicki, Nicki. Your album is nothing short of an explicit delight, and old Neil is no stranger to nasty lyrics—let’s just say the record execs in the ’80s weren’t too keen on the original title of my E.T.-inspired classic, “Turn on Your Heartlight, Bitch.” Still, I must tell you that I became so flustered during your song “Lil’ Freak” that I found it necessary to change out of my long-sleeved sequined shirt and into my short-sleeved sequined shirt.

The Paper Raincoat
There’s something primal about a guy and a gal making beautiful music together. I recall performing a duet with a ladyfriend back in the day—what was her name again? Oh yeah, Barbra freaking Streisand. You two kids remind me of us, only a crapload less famous.

Hey fellas, I really dig your song “Cannabis Canyon.” You know, in ’68 I wrote a little-known ditty called “The Pot Smoker’s Song.” A generation divides us; the chronic unites us.

When I was a boy, I had an imaginary friend named Shilo who helped me overcome my loneliness. If he were around today, I’d crank this folksy groove and dance the night away with him just like we used to. God, I miss that imaginary little bastard.

Cassis Orange
These whimsical J-Pop stylings bring me back to my time on tour in Japan. Wearing this kimono also brings me back.

Keegan DeWitt
This is the kind of cat I’d like to jam with, and afterward maybe share a banana split together. I don’t know. All I know is he’s got me feeling things I haven’t felt in years. Powerful, confusing things.

Spree Wilson
I must have missed the birth announcement, but apparently Seal and OutKast had a baby—a beautiful baby named Spree Wilson whose album is spreading the funk like the bejeweled eagle’s wings across the back of my velour jacket.

Mumford & Sons
I’ve got more hair on the left side of my stomach than these four British lads do on their entire bodies combined.

Jukebox the Ghost
This upbeat indie-pop is contagious. It made me so happy that I bought balloons for the first time in weeks.

There was a time when I could predict the weather solely with my sideburns. I can’t do that anymore, but something tells me these swarthy metalheads can.

The Points North
Someone once told me I had the buttocks of a teenaged Ukrainian ballerina. Oh, and I like these guys.

I didn’t expect such aggressive stuff from a band with a name this adorable, but then I suppose no one expected three Christmas albums from a Jew either.

Imaginary Cities
A wise man once said, “Music is food for the soul,” which explains why it felt like I enjoyed a delicious Reuben while listening to these two sassy Canadians.

Freddie Gibbs
I’ve never capped anyone’s ass before, but this album reminds me that I’d like to.

This “Go Outside” track is pure gold, but for their sake I hope it doesn’t become their “Sweet Caroline.” If I have to sing that one more time, I’m going to tear out my own larynx.

Sleigh Bells
I don’t know a single instrument on this kooky album. All I know is I just ordered a case of glow sticks and a wolf mask on Amazon. Let’s do this.

Colin Nissan writes TV commercials, humor essays for places like McSweeney’s, and books. Ok, one book. Don’t Be That Guy came out last year. Find him at ColinNissan.com or on Twitter at @cnissan.

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