Album: Barbra Streisand, Love Is the Answer (Columbia)
Friday 02 October 2009
Despite their widely trumpeted achievements, the likes of Madonna and Mariah Carey have some way to go before they acquire the kind of career momentum wielded by Barbra Streisand, whose debut appeared in 1963 and whose last studio album – 2005's Guilty Pleasures, written and produced by Barry Gibb – sold more than 300,000 units in the UK alone.
This time around, jazz pianist Diana Krall is at the helm for an album designed to emphasise the more intimate end of Streisand's talents. With Johnny Mandel and William Ross drafted in to score the arrangements, the result is a series of lushly orchestrated versions of songs such as "In The Wee Small Hours" and "If You Go Away" – impeccably delivered, but never approaching the kind of revelatory interpretations that might cause a sharp intake of breath among listeners. In some cases – "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" springs readily to mind – there's such an excess of cosy satisfaction that it's like being suffocated in fine cashmere, and I quickly found myself yearning for the soul belter whose effortless gusto animated "Stoney End". As if to compensate, the deluxe edition of the album features an extra CD of the same songs with Streisand accompanied just by Krall's piano quartet, which has the virtue of imposing a nightclub ambience, but still no greater interpretive audacity.
Download this: In The Wee Small Hours, If You Go Away
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 3 What color is The Dress, white and gold or blue and black? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Fearne Cotton quits Radio 1 after ten years for 'family and new adventures'
Seinfeld is laughing all the way to the bank: TV show generates $3.1bn in repeat fees since final episode
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Blade Runner sequel: Harrison Ford confirmed to return with Denis Villeneuve directing
All fiction follows one of six basic storylines, according to new research
House of Cards season 3 premiere, review: Has Frank Underwood gone soft?
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia