Okay, so yesterday I got my copy of Barbra Streisand’s new album:
‘Encore – Movie Partners Sing Broadway’
Recently (if you consider May ‘recently’), I reminded you that I was the original Babsophile. But, my true devotion came then went, dropping away from her for decades, but still sampling from time to time.
The last record I bought was ‘What Matters Most’, which didn’t so much to me. Before that, it was ‘A Love Like Ours’, from which I liked ‘Isn’t It a Pity’, and ‘The Music that Makes Me Dance’ (from ‘Funny Girl’… old habits).
This new duets contrivance has resuscitated my ardor, but within bounds. The craftsmanship is there in abundance, but thankfully not the overbearing, it seems as relaxed as the new rush of interviews she’s done promoting the album.
The formula here is each track as a small dramatic scene. Curiously, out of ten, only two are opposite women, and they are not my favorites.
‘At the Ballet’, with Daisy Ridley and Anne Hathaway, is the lead track of the album, and the lengthiest. Apparently intended to be something of a centerpiece, disconsidering the talent chasm separating these singers, I don’t know why ‘B’ would place her 74 year-old voice next to these crisper ones.
The other girl duet is with Melissa McCarthy, and the lyrics of ‘Anything You can Do’ have been tailored to that actress’s movie persona. Chalk-up my lack of appreciation for this track to the fact that ‘salty broad’ is one of my very least favorite types on screen and in life.
Done with the dissing, my favorites are ‘Who Can I Turn To?’ and ‘The Best Thing that Has Ever Happened’, which luckily appear in that order.
Ms. S. has resurrected Anthony Newley, who died in 1999, for the loneliest song ever written. The lyrics (his) are perfectly tragic and the delivery so gorgeous, I teared-up just shy of a sob. (There, there Dave…)
Who can I turn to / When nobody needs me? / My heart wants to know / And so I must go / Where destiny leads me / With no star to guide me / And no one beside me / I’ll go on my way / And after the day / The darkness will hide me
And maybe tomorrow / I’ll find what I’m after / I’ll throw off my sorrow / Beg, steal, or borrow / My share of laughter / With you I could learn to / With you on a new day / But who can I turn to / If you turn away?
Surviving Anthony Newley, fortunately Alec Baldwin rescues the mood with the strictly speaking only true ‘duet’ on the record, Sondheim’s ‘The Best Thing…’ which in the CD booklet Ms. Streisand edifies was originally performed between a man and a woman, then between two men in the rewrite of its show. Neat.
Now, here’s something I need from you. On hillaryclinton.com, there is a lottery in place for a chance to meet Barbra Streisand, who is currently campaigning for Hillary.
I’m already rehearsing my conversation with Babs so I don’t gush, and you could really screw this up if we can’t keep any negative critique here just between you and me.