Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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 B... 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
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"Christmas Memories" will linger for many years...
Christopher Sullivan | New York, NY USA | 10/31/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
""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!"
Bruce Brown | NYC, NY United States | 11/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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!"
What else do you need?
L. Shirley | 11/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."