_(exerpted from original article)_
_That whiff of shmaltz we’ve all detected over his last two decades is mostly in those damn shirts_
Mention Neil Diamond to just about anyone under forty, and the name conjures up images of sparkly shirts, orgasmic housewives, and arena tours. They might confuse him with Barry Manilow, or start singing their own thunderous renditions of “America” and “Love on the Rocks.” They might recall that their parents listened to him if they weren’t cool enough for the Stones or the Cars. They might chuckle, or worse yet, scoff. And why not? Most of Diamond’s best-known hits are pretty unhip — they were unhip the day they hit the airwaves, they got less hip as time passed, and they’re not even retro-ironically hip now. He inspires impersonators, for chrissakes. And it’s been this way for a good twenty years.