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Christmas Memories

187 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 30, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

For a lovely evening by the fire hanging stockings and roasting chestnuts might we suggest a touch of Babs. Includes I'll Be Home For Christmas; A Christmas Love Song; Snowbound; Grown-up Christmas List; Ave Maria and more.

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What's a nice Jewish girl from Brooklyn cum internationally renowned pop diva doing releasing a(nother) Christmas album? Well, maintaining a long-lived American tradition, for one thing. But then, this companion piece to Barbra Streisand's 1967 A Christmas Album has a mature, jazzy charm and sometimes smoky atmosphere that don't exactly conjure chestnuts roasting by an open fire. Just as Streisand has always used music as a stepping stone to something more ambitiously dramatic, she's used the holiday season here as an excuse to explore rich emotional sentiments, if not necessarily sentimentalism itself. As on its 1960s forebear, her choice of material here is mostly as fresh as it is surprising. Among the contemporary More Usual Suspects (David Foster's "Grown-up Christmas List," "A Christmas Love Song," and "Christmas Mem'ries" by Alan and Marilyn Bergman) are gems familiar ("I'll Be Home For Christmas," "What Are You Doing Christmas Eve?") and rare (Sondheim's updated "I Remember," "It Must Have Been the Mistletoe"). While not bathos-exempt (see "Closer"), Streisand's rich, ever-expressive voice masterfully drives a collection that stretches from "Ave Maria" (Schubert's, this time) to the ecumenical timeliness of "One God." --Jerry McCulley

1. I'll Be Home For Christmas
2. A Christmas Love Song
3. What Are You Doing New Year's Eve
4. I Remember
5. Snowbound
6. It Must Have Been The Mistletoe
7. Christmas Lullaby
8. Christmas Mem'ries
9. Grown Up Christmas List
10. Ave Maria
11. Closer
12. One God

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 30, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00005QCNC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,476 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD
The greatest living pop singer of our time, lush orchestrations, emotional depth, surprising material -- it all adds up to one of her best albums. I'm rather amazed at some of the criticism levelled at this record for being too slow and too "down". Is this because it doesn't feature the same songs included on countless other Christmas albums? Or because the songs aren't instantly recognizable sing-alongs? As for the tone of the record, other than the masterful melancholy of "I Remember," and plea of "Grown-up Christmas List", the ten other tracks are either romantic and hopeful, and in every case, incredibly evocative of the holiday season. Not since "The Broadway Album" and "Yentl" has she sung with more passion and subtlety. She is the best ballad singer there is, and I don't mean the contrived power-pop ballad, but something far more adult and sophisticated. And has anyone listened to Streisand's first Christmas album recently? Besides the frenetic opener, "Jingle Bells", it's one slow ballad after another, and in this opinion, a less cohesive sound than this current Christmas album. This new work is a holiday album about spirit and emotion, and reminds us of what it is to be human and feel something. Stop and listen. This is music for our time, and the season.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Brown on November 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This album is classic Barbra: powerful but vulnerable, articulate yet emotional , truly passionate and musically inspired. On even the first listening I was moved to utter chills by "Grown-up Christmas List". I immediately responded to its lyrics in the context of our new, post September 11, world. "I Remember" is a somber choice for a Christmas album, but don't we all have some bitter holiday memories that never fade? "One God" is a joyously affirmative album finale that celebrates the triumph of Love over hatred and division. And, to me, that's the real Spirit of Christmas.
Much of the album is romantic and wistful, and I certainly enjoy that too. But these three songs are deeply compelling.
Bravo Barbra!
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Sullivan on October 31, 2001
Format: Audio CD
"Christmas Memories" contains Barbra Streisand's best vocals since "The Broadway Album" and some of the performances are career highs. The last four songs in particular are all outstanding... "My Grown Up Christmas List" is incredible, a new "Ave Maria", the hauntibly beautiful "Closer" and the perfect closing song "One God". The songs here are less traditional than on "A Christmas Album" and can appeal to people of all religions. Recorded live with a 90-piece orchestra, this new collection will no doubt be as great a classic as her first. The first 8 songs spin a mellow and pleasant Christmas atmosphere that will make excellent background music in many homes this holiday season, but it is songs like "My Grown Up Christmas List" that I dare radio stations to latch on to... how beautiful a sentiment to think of adults still having the same sense of joy at Christmas as they did as children, with only their wishes changing... Of course, "Closer" would be a great choice in these troubled times. This is undoubtedly Barbra Streisand's best album in many years... the lady has still got it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is exactly what I was hoping for when I discovered that Barbra was releasing a second Christmas album. It is a superb selection of songs, well chosen to suit Barbra's powerful soprano voice.
I was particularly pleased at the inclusion of It must have been the mistletoe, a rarely recorded song. It appears on Barbara Mandrell's album Christmas at our house and has also been recorded by Vikki Carr, but I know of no other versions. The only frequently recorded songs here are I'll be home for Christmas and Ave Maria, but Barbra sings them beautifully, as she sings all the songs here. The other familiar song is What are doing New Year's Eve. I do not recognize any of the other songs here but they are all wonderful - I particularly like Christmas memories and Grown up Christmas list.
I prefer this to Barbra's 1967 Christmas album but I know that there are plenty who will disagree. You must make up your own mind. My main reason for preferring this one is that, overall, I feel the song selection was superior.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 30, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Her best studio album since "The Broadway Album." Streisand's singing on her past two albums has taken on a darker tone, but no less passionate and thrilling, yet the material wasn't always up to the par of singing. Here, the songs suit the singer, and there's nothing like it when that singer is Streisand. The arrangements are gorgeous, and the singing has an immediacy that makes the emotion even more powerful. She also not afraid to expose the occassional cracks in her delivery, which only add to the sincerity of the performances. The album's masterpiece is "I Remember" which is a tour-de-force of song/actress/singer. So many other highlights: "Snowbound," "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve," "Ave Maria," "I'll Be Home for Christmas," "Grown Up Christmas List," "One God." I suspect that this will be one of the biggest albums of her career, and deservedly so. Say what you will, but there is no better singer in pop music alive today.
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