Album Reviews


Barbra Streisand

The Way We Were  Hear it Now

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Barbra Streisand no longer sings songs; she acts them out. She treats the recording studio as an extension of the stage where every emotion must be exaggerated to be understood. Actually, the studio is closer to working on a movie set and being photographed in close up, where the slightest gesture goes a long way and too much gesturing makes one appear pretentiously mannered. The Way We Were is pretentiously mannered. Streisand sings the serious songs very seriously; she sings the lighter ones very lightly. She ignores the line-by-line variations in each song's meaning. The fluke success of the single "The Way We Were" has revived her recording career, but beneath the posturing she doesn't sound very interested. If she were, she wouldn't work so hard to convince. I've enjoyed Barbra Streisand's music in the past, but of the 20 albums I listened to to write this column, The Way We Were was not only the most disappointing, but the most difficult to get all the way through.


(Posted: Jun 6, 1974)


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