Hot August Night II
might not capture Neil Diamond
at the peak of his career like its predecessor did, but it makes a convincing case for Diamond
's skills as a showman. Running through his biggest hits, Diamond
turns in a flashy, showy performance -- his vocal ability may have eroded a bit in the '80s, yet he still knew how to get a live crowd excited. For the most part, that excitement translates to record, making Hot August Night II
an enjoyable listen, but not an essential one.