Neil Diamond's first regular album release for Columbia Records, following the success of the movie soundtrack Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Serenade is a slight effort characterized by Diamond's attempts to make pop sentiments seem more profound by grafting more auspicious art references onto them. But whether he's name-dropping Picasso or Longfellow, Diamond still has greeting card sentiments on his mind. Nevertheless, the catchiest of these autodidactic exercises, "Longfellow Serenade," which combines comments about "winged flight" with the exhortation, "Come on, baby, ride," was a Top Ten hit.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann