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The Movie Album

4.0 out of 5 stars 216 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 14, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

12 all new recordings

Amazon.com

It's a given that Barbra Streisand loves being a movie star. But this collection of pop songs culled from 60+ years of Hollywood history displays a love and understanding of movie songcraft whose depth is surprising, even coming from the legendary diva. Few are likely even familiar with Andre Previn's evocative main theme for The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse; fewer still would cajole veteran songwriters Alan and Marilyn Bergman to give it lyrics, then make it their wedding song, but that's the unlikely genesis of "More in Love With You" here. If its overwrought classicism represents Streisand at her most cryptically opaque, her playful recasting of the chestnut "I'm in the Mood For Love" as jazzy bossa-nova showcases the low-key sense of adventure she brings to many of the performances here. Her veteran dramatic sense effortlessly drives Chaplin's "Smile" beyond schmaltz and elevates Inside Daisy Clover's "You're Gonna Hear From Me" to nothing less than theatrical showstopper. But it's in the album's smaller, more unexpected surprises (an exotica-tinged "Wild is the Wind," the slinky, electro production of Bagdad Café's "Calling You," "Moon River"'s faithful evocation of Hepburn strumming her guitar in the film) that it reveals its true heart and soul--and that of Barbra Streisand, unabashed Hollywood movie lover. --Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 14, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: October 14, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Columbia
  • Run Time: 52 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000C1YZI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (216 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,610 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Now I know that this album in particular has had really mixed reviews, and I know I may not be completely trusted in giving it five stars amidst many hideous reviews. However, I do believe music is subjectively reviewed, and my opinion may differ from others, so here it is.
This album, is undoubtedly one of my top five Barbra albums ever, if not my favorite, and it may possibly be the best pieces of music ever to reach my ears, heart and soul. I love almost every single song on the album, I love the song choice, the delivery, the orchestration and arrangement, mainly everything.
First things first. Let's settle this issue. Has Barbra lost her voice? Is it deteriorating, and will her next album be croaking? Well, Guilty Pleasures is out, and we all got the answer. But frankly, we didn't need Guilty Pleasures for the answer. Barbra's voice is a little different from previous albums, it's a bit deeper, and the album is in a low kew. However, Barbra's voice is the farthest it can get from deterioration. Its deeper and broader (and sometimes a bit huskier) quality give it a velvety feel which is just sublime. Her voice is still unbelievably beautiful, and in no way worse than any other albums. It is at some of the most emotional it's ever been, and obviously so since the song choice is greatly personal.
There, since we've settled that issue, we go on to the songs.

1. Smile: Before I begin, I am biased when I review this song, it being my favorite song of all time. So, if you want something completely objective, move on to track 2. This song is flawless! Wow! What orchestration, what delivery, what emotion! The violin solo is breathtaking, and the final note with the slight huskiness at its beginning makes me want to weep. I adore this piece, a great opener.
2.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Of all of the many veteran pop singers who have been recording albums of standards during the first few years of the twenty-first century (Rod Stewart and Bette Midler come immediately to mind), Barbra Streisand's THE MOVIE ALBUM is the only one of the group that doesn't feel like a Vegas-like attempt to grab some quick sales. There are several reasons for this. For one, Streisand has been recording standards her entire career, even before her stint as successful pop vocalist in late-seventies. Also, instead of relying on the same worn-out tunes and tepid arrangements that plague most of the other similar releases of the last few years, Streisand has chosen a set of terrific, mostly unfamiliar material, rendered with a refreshingly tasteful production that is neither too slick nor too overdone.

The entire track list consists of mostly neglected compositions, and there are some real undervalued gems among them. Andre Previn's theme from THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE is given lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergam, and the result (entitled "More In Love With You") resembles a meditative tone poem, the exact type of rarely-heard song that Streisand handles brilliantly (as fans of YENTL know very well). Streisand's interpretive powers are expertly showcased on quietly reflective numbers like "How Do You Keep The Music Playing" and "The Second Time Around," and her still-gorgeous voice glides into the haunting songs "Wild Is The Wind" and "Emily." Streisand's octave-soaring vocals are absolutely breath-taking on Bob Telson's "Calling You," while her intense delivery of Sondheim's "Goodbye For Now" makes the arguably forgettable song far more interesting than it would be in a less capable singer's hands.
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Format: Audio CD
Barbra's back!
THE MOVIE ALBUM is excellent. Barbra opens the album with a ballad and closes with a showstopper. In between, Barbra does some of her best singing. THE MOVIE ALBUM is uniformly a success - every track is outstanding.
First things first: Barbra sounds fantastic. I'm amazed at the agelessness of Barbra's voice. Clear. Still flexible. She still has a way of coloring and exploring the sounds of words and phrases that no other artist does. Fresh. Beautiful.
On "I'm in the Mood For Love," fans will recognize the arrangement from her 1994 concert - a bossa nova beat, with a playful performance.
Anyone named 'Emily' will love how Barbra sings this Johnny Mercer song. The way she wraps her voice warmly around the three vowels of 'Em-i-ly' is creamy - dare I say like butter, er, 'buttah'? Seriously, "Emily" is gorgeous.
"More In Love With You," will get under your skin. It will take a few listenings to appreciate how complex the melody is. The Bergman's lyrics are outstanding as usual. The line, "and though the child in me was dazzled by your charms ; a woman was awakened in your arms" is so wonderful. Like "Smile", there is an excellent solo violin incorporated into the musical arrangement.
Finally, fans get to hear an official release of "How Do You Keep the Music Playing" with an new arrangement and vocal.
Just when you get used to the classy orchestrations and smooth Streisand vocals on this album, she throws in a curve-ball: "Calling You." Barbra steps outside her comfortable box and does some soulful singing on this tune. Dare I say she "gets down" ? "Calling You" is my favorite track on the album ...
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