sun 14/08/2022

CD: Barbra Streisand - Partners | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Barbra Streisand - Partners

CD: Barbra Streisand - Partners

La Streisand takes bloodless music to new heights

The album's cover image does not do justice to the true campness of the photo so we've included it in full below

When a person approaches a Barbra Streisand album, they would be a fool to go in carrying the same expectations as with, say, the forthcoming collaboration between experimental frontiersmen Scott Walker & Sunn O))). Or even, in all honesty, the new Jesse Ware album, the new Marooon 5 album, or some such. This applies most especially to music journalists, so often obsessed with the vanguard, with what’s coming next, and dismissive of mainstream, comfortable or rehashed sounds.

So let’s approach the 72 year old actress-diva-legend’s latest in the knowledge that her debut album appeared 51 years ago and that she’s an easy listening empress, marinated in Broadway musical history.

This thinking, if held onto with steely resolve, will take a casual listener to Partners, a collection of 12 new duets, as far as precisely three songs. At a push. With determination I gleaned the best from the syrupy Hollywood orchestral sweep of “It Had To Be You” with, God help me, Michael Bublé , the by-numbers salsa super-lite of “People” with Stevie Wonder on auto-pilot, and the Eric Clapton-esque stylings of “Come Rain or Come Shine” featuring John Mayer. After this barely bearable voyage, R&B uber-don Babyface arrives on a hideous version of the already mawkish “Evergreen”, theme to Streisand’s 1976 flick, A Star is Born, and my good intentions collapse like confetti body armour.

The album is basically schmaltz. Of course it is. It’s Barbra Streisand! But for anyone under 75, it’s so bland and insipid it’s almost unlistenable, whether M.O.R. slop featuring Billy Joel, opera slop featuring Andrea Bocelli, country & western slop featuring Blake Shelton or the unwelcome Elvis-beyond-the-grave slop of "Love Me Tender". A special shout out should go to one of the bonus tracks, a previously released cut, “I Finally Found Someone”, which features Bryan Adams, whose voice, gravelly diarrhoea for the ears, actually makes the skin crawl. So, no it’s not for me, probably not for you either, but your aunt who’s 104 might enjoy it.

Overleaf: Watch the video/mini-documentary for "It Had To Be You" featuring Michael Bublé

The album is basically schmaltz. Of course it is. It’s Barbra Streisand!


Editor Rating: 
Average: 1 (1 vote)

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A review that grandly misspells the subject's name ("Barbara Streisand") is bound to be unreliable and useless, as it reveals the abysmal level of the writer's gravitas and reliability. I give this review a zero rating.

Yikes - Paul, a regrettable oversight by the writer, now swiftly amended.

What a waste of space. After listening to the whole album I see you have an agenda. Too bad you can't review the product and instead give us a tired review of the legacy. This is one of the great duets albums. You are trying so hard to be "cool" it's sad. Bashing this great vocalist is really tired my friend. You have no real clue what great singing is. Stop calling on the ghosts of what you think might be current or cool and review the content. YOu are tired and your ship has sailed. This is a great collection!

Liking this album doesn't make you 104 sir... it makes you a person who has taste in music! Go play Arianna Grande (or who ever is hot this WEEK!) and pretend its current. You are so desperate to be fresh it's stale

What a schmuck write up with a definite agenda. I don't use the word review because it isn't! I see at least that Barbra's name has been corrected, which is the only thing that is now right! I'm so tired of reading words in print that deem to be a review where the writer has obviously not even listened to the content. Barbra Partners is a glorious listening and feel-good experience. Why don't you listen to it and maybe you'll learn what a real vocalist is!!!!!

Is this a parody of a review? Or a review? I can't tell. I've re-read this dullard's droppings twice because I just couldn't fathom that someone would actually write a review about this singer's new music (one of the most revered vocalists of the last 50 years) and not mention her voice. What? But that's what he did. A so called music journalist. how was her, you know, voice!?! We get you don't find the music choices up to your aging hipster standards but maybe you could discuss her actual craft. She sounds sublime by the way.

What an inadequate excuse of a journalist you are! Did you ever study criticism? Ever go to college? You are pathetically dumb, biased and obviously an angry person. Show me a whit of intelligence and I might give you a morsel of credibility

What an idiot. Ramblings of someone with a platform that doesn't know great music or REAL TALENT that's all too rare today. Today's popular music doesn't make it better or even good. Bocelli and Streisand slop?!! Now, I know you're out of your mind- And, I'm not 104 either!

Any schmuck with a computer can write a " review " these days. And why does Google automatically recommend this junk and waste my time?

I concur with all of the above. Mr. Green, you are an idiot.

Oddly the only bad review I've read so far! I'm many, many years from 75 and enjoyed every song I've heard so sir clearly are either not a Streisand fan ( and in that I mean you dislike her a lot) or have a tin ear..I personally think it's a bit of both.

Meow! Did someone get turned down at the bar last night? Perhaps I stumbled upon The Onion or Christwire? Can someone explain why anyone cares what a nobody named Thomas Green has to say about anything? Ring us up after you: 1) Have recorded an album 2) Performed in public before thousands 3) Sustain a career (in anything) for over 50 years and people still enjoy your work 4) See a shrink. You clearly have issues

Who is this idiot and why is he writing for the Arts Desk? I'm beginning to wish I hadn't paid a subscription now, if this is the kind of drivel it subsidises.

Hell hath no fury like a bunch of Streisand fans scorned. Learn to argue your case, you lot.

I think many people did argue their case. This is not a review. It is a hatchet job, by someone who obviously has no sympathy for the sort of music Streisand produces. I doubt she need worry. Having now achieved a number one album in every one of the last six decades, she's not going to be concerned by the review of a nobody on theartsdesk by someone complaining that Stresiand doesn't produce the kind of music he likes. He doesn't once comment on the state of her voice (in great condition for a woman in her 70s) or the collaborations themselves. This would probably not be my favourite Striesand album, but then she has produced an awful lot over a very long recording career, but I like it a lot more than I expected, with some of her old classics given a completely new treatment. There is also a lot of joy in this album, the joy of different artists coming together and producing music. In fact there is much to enjoy if you don't start out with the prejudices this reviewer obviously had. I just wonder why theartsdesk chose him for the task. Well actually they probably did it for a a very good reason. Controversy creates more comments and creates more clicks and visits to the site.

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