87 of 93 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Duets (Audio CD)
2002 is the 40th anniversary of Barbra Streisand's recording career with Columbia Records. She signed her first contract with them on Oct. 1, 1962! Columbia, in celebration of this, released ESSENTIAL BARBRA STREISAND along with several remastered Streisand albums earlier this year. As 2002 draws to a close, Columbia has released *another* collection of Streisand hits - this time DUETS - Streisand's collaborations with various singers over the years.
The DUETS album has 2 new tracks: a duet with Barry Manilow ("I Won't Be The One To Let Go") and another with freshman and producer David Foster protege Josh Groban ("All I Know of Love"). The new tracks show that, at 60, Barbra is still in excellent voice and singing like a dream. The Manilow song (cowritten by Richard Marx) is an old-fashioned pop tune which I like a lot. "All I Know Of Love" (written by Foster) takes some getting used to. It's a "busy" song, half classical, half pop. Groban sings in Italian. Barbra does not. Yet, it is a fresh sound for Streisand and she rises to the occasion.
The rest of the tracks have appeared on previous Streisand albums. A new fan may not have heard these songs. They range from excellent (the duet with Judy Garland; Ray Charles; "One Hand One Heart" with Johnny Mathis) to simply ordinary.
There are some overlooked gems that I am glad were included here. I happen to like the Don Johnson duet ("Till I Loved You"). If you can get past the obvious Johnson jokes, it is actually a good song and their voices (rough and sweet) mix wonderfully. "Make No Mistake He's Mine" is the best Streisand duet with another woman, IMHO. Again, Kim Carnes' gritty voice is a great foil for Streisand's smooth one. "One Less Bell" is a duet from the BARBRA JOAN STREISAND album - Barbra duets with herself! This is an incredible track. Some will make fun of the fact that Streisand duets with herself, but I suggest listening first - it's an instant classic and I am glad it's getting the exposure on this DUETS album.
I would be happy never seeing "Enough Is Enough", "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" and "Guilty" on another Streisand album again. They have already appeared on at least 3 other albums. They are excellent songs and definitely have a place in Streisand's catalog. I just wish they'd stop getting recycled. (It would be cool to hear a remix of "Enough is Enough" though...)
I gave this cd 5 stars because I love Streisand and am glad everyone will get to hear these classic duets assembled on one cd.
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Initial post: Dec 2, 2012 8:59:03 PM PST
Katharine Silvia says:
I bought "One Less Bell" solely from your review Matt and yes it gave me chills listening to it for the first time. How many of us haven't compared ourselves to our own versions of our younger selves? She's Barbra Streisand she sang with Sinatra and Judy, she can sing with herself if she FEELS it right to do so. The music of the night duet I heard also for the first time and this literally brought me to tears. Theater for those who only think TV is old now, is where you can find unparalleled excellence in the arts, and this is an exquisite performance. So in the end I bought the CD so I could download into my Infiniti's hard drive. Barbra heard through BOSE will literally stop your heartbeat, so thank you Matt, Thank you Barbra Streisand, and thank you gay men and my mother for showing me her!!!! BUY IT NOW
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