Tuesday, 8 May 2007

BarbraNews Fans Review New CD!

CreativeDoc: Nuance, shadings, inflections. Barbra's unparalleled career has broken new ground in many different media, but without question, her most inspired gift is her ability to interpret lyrics to match and even surpass any musical accompaniment. This transcendent quality has been recorded on Live in Concert 2006 for posterity and demonstrates definitively that Barbra's interpretvive genius has only grown with age. In cleverly abandoning much of her most popular airplay catalog that has found Barbra stretch successfully into contemporary pop, disco, and even rock, Barbra focuses in this showcase on the music that makes her dance, the types of songs that brought Barbra to the world stage originally and in staying true to this form rather than showcasing all of her musical style, she overwhelms the listener by the range of her musical interpretations within this style, a style where Barbra has not had a parallel. As always, Barbra's breaking of conventions are showcased on this CD - in an American Idol where singers are predictable throughout a song with excepted crescendos and showcasing the best of their "talent", in the era of pipe-gifted Xtinas who have yet to learn that songs have a dramatic arc and a story, Barbra provides the unexpected by adhering to a repetoire of singular songs whose lyrics demand Barbra's skills to reach an apex of musical definition. Backed by an orchestra that, for once, matches her style and nuance, Barbra makes each song on this collection, without exception, an individual musical journey. From the triumphant Starting Here, Starting now to the completely unexpected Down With Love, the genius and pure delight of her roots in the definitive Funny Girl suite, Barbra brings her life experience to new heights in gems such as Have I Stayed Too Long at the Fair?, What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?, My Shining Hour, and more. However, the definitive moment within a showcase of highlights is her using her interpretive skills on the perfectly chosen Unusual Way. Barbra demonstrates anew why Barbra's singing will indeed be timeless, much moreson than in her last live CD of the timeless label. Here, Barbra shows that her ability to find meaning in a song in a chill-delivering sense of wonder has not diminished; the changes of aging have only brought new pathos, new thrills, new pleasures for her listeners. Only this time, Barbra finally seems to share in the pleasure that her music brings, rarely, if ever seen, in previously live ventures. For this listener, Live in Concert is an A+ and her most imortant work since The Broadway Album.

NewYorker: The album was a pleasure to listen to. I was planning on playing it in the background while getting some work done, but there was small chance of that happening once the overture began. The experience of listening to this album is uncannily similar to the one I had while seated in the huge arena hearing Barbra live.

She is just as affecting coming from my little cd player as coming from the enormous stage. It was impossible not to hold a visual in my head as she sang each song. The whole concert came flooding back, which is what she must have intended while putting this together.

On the recording, the songs that jumped out and made me applaud as if she could hear me were exactly the ones I can recall cheering for at the concert, only then she was actually able to hear me, and most likely did. This version of My Man is astonishing. Unusual Way was particularly nice to have on cd, so I could hit repeat several times and finally catch the words (I was too busy crying at the concert to follow the lyric.) Have I Stayed Too Long at the Fair was indeed just as moving as I remembered. Really, the highlights are just as high, and the surprises just as surprising as they were on that magical night.

What a wonderful job she has done capturing the concert for everyone who was not able to attend. They can take it from those of us who were there, it really was this good.

BJS424: Well,I've finished and am totally ferklempt!!!!
Whatthis woman can still do for a song is astonishing!!!
During Act 1 I thought her voice was thicker, lower, but still glorious. Then came act 11 and it was miraculously higher, clearer, purer. Amazing!!!!!! The instrument was warmed up and hitting the stratosphere. And she took risks.
What she did with "Unusual Way", Children will listen, Too long at the Fair and the gorgeous "My shining hour" blew me away!!!!
And Linda, I thought my neighbors were going to call the police as I played Down with love at almost full volume from 8 speakers!!!!!

MotherFocker35: I decided to listen to it, experience it, the same way i did Judy's AT CARNEGIE HALL album...I waited until night, turned out the lights, and slipped on the headphones. It truly felt as if I were there again (I caught the Atlanta show).

I won't comment on EVERY track. First, the arrangements by Bill Ross are wonderful, thrilling! The Overture and Entr'acte really heighten the anticipation. I've never been a fan of "Live" albums, but this one is so well produced, recorded, mixed, it stands beside studio efforts. The sound is awesome.

STARTING HERE, STARTING NOW (an early Streisand fave of mine) sounded better to me in the Atlanta show--this one sounds a little hesitant, but still a joy to hear.

MA PREMIERE CHANSON (an oft overlooked gem from an overlooked gem of an album) took my breath away...if only she had sung the entire song! Plus, she didn't mess up the piano in Atlanta.

COME RAIN OR COME SHINE was a definite highlight of the show for me. What a sexy arrangement and vocal!

And what a treat to hear her sing FUNNY GIRL (the title song from the film version). This is one of her great vocals of the show. I was moved to tears. This is another fave from the 60s.

Even more surprising to me was how moved I was upon hearing PEOPLE, a song we've all heard a million times, but Streisand sings it on this album as if she's finally realized the true meaning of the lyric. We all remember how relaxed and funny and personable she was--almost inviting the audience to touch her, and reaching out to them in turn. "People who need people..."

In ACT 2, THE MUSIC OF THE NIGHT is probably the best showcase for Il Divo, as the song is a bit operatic. They are better served here than the other 2 songs they join Barbra on--they are sometimes way too loud, overpowering. But they are a part of the memory of that evening and shouldn't detract from the album.

To me, one song is worth the entire price of the whole album: UNUSUAL WAY. This song/performance stopped my heart that night 6 months ago in Atlanta. I'd never heard the song. This track is a classic example of Barbra's greatest gift as a singer--the ability to make the audience listen to the lyric as she sings, the ability to create a character/drama, the ability to elicit emotion (catharsis) from the listener. After stopping, my heart soared as her voice soared midway through the song. This is the one track I've waited 6 months to hear again, and I listened to i4 times last night!

WHAT ARE YOU DOING THE REST OF YOUR LIFE features one of her better vocals of the album, almost matching the original album version of the 70s. This is definitely in my top 5 of her 70s songs, and such a thrill to hear.

Another heartbreaking performance (alongside FUNNY GIRL) was her new rendition of HAVE I STAYED TOO LONG AT THE FAIR, bringing at last a full understanding of the lyric (as in PEOPLE). A great moment.

The lovely and poignant MY SHINING HOUR (by the master Harold Arlen) was a genius and inspired way to close the show. The lyrics, Barbra's performance and life history/experiences say it all.

Today, i received my Barnes & Noble copy, which I purchased for the sole reason of hearing WHEN THE SUN COMES OUT (she didn't sing it in the Atlanta show). This is probably among my top 5 60s Barbra songs, and I couldn't wait to hear it. It was magical! Almost like time travel. I wondered if she would belt at the end, and she did. I gasped, then laughed out of sheer joy--a glimpse of the old Barbra, who is still here! If only this track had been included on ALL the cds, as it is a perfect encore to this concert--she started the show with a mid-60s track and , coming full circle, closes with a song from that same era.

How blessed we all are to have seen this legend, and to be able to re-live the experience time and again...

ItsMeGerald: "Streisand Live in Concert 2006" will, in the future, be looked upon with the same regard and genius as "Judy at Carnegie Hall". She not only stops time with her voice, she invites you into it, visiting her own past and everything about life as she lives and feels it. The ethereal control evidenced in her early career has given way to a nylon-ripping warmth that reaches out to us with outstretched arms. If there is a "narrative" to each song, then the silent narrative of this entire album is one of sweet loss and majestic appreciation, both for her audience and her own life. This is artistic achievement at its greatest, and time will only prove that out.

ColorMeDoug: OK...I have to confess.... I couldn't stand not having my B&N edition yet, so I ran out to a local Target last night and got their "special ed" of the recording. I think that it takes Barbra most of the first act to warm up...but by the time she gets to the FUNNY GIRL suite, her voice is sounding great... and she really KICKS ASS in Act II. Did you notice how she hits and holds that final note (with YOUUUUUUUUUUU) on "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life" just like on the WAY WE WERE (studio) LP? In the bonus track on THE CONCERT VHS that Blockbuster sold, she sings the final "with you" with a lower note, only switching to the higher note for the last few seconds. The crescendos to which Barbra's voice rises in "Unusual Way" are chill-inducing. Oh my!

Re: the two bonus tracks: lovin 'em. It's too bad that she kind of "throws away" "Stoney End," as it sounds near the end of the track like her voice was really shifting into "rock" mode. So glad to have the "full" version of "Don't Rain on My Parade." Am still puzzled as to why she removed it from her FUNNY GIRL suite, as it is one of Barbra's most "anthemic" songs. Nobody rains on HER parade!

TheSunDoesNotSpit: I tried not to get my hopes up so as not to be disappointed but it really is amazing.....I just heard "my man" and have tears streaming down my face...that is the most passionate version of that I have ever heard..the "what is the difference if I say" moment literally made my spine tingle.....I am so grateful that she is still putting it out there for us...she moves me as no one else can

Martian Marty: You guys have said just about everything I wanted to say. It's goosebumps for me. The overture? It's like being there again. And knowing that some of it was recorded both nights in Florida is incredible to me and I'm positive the opening remarks are from there, I remember that distinctly. She's in glorious voice and COMFORTABLE......relaxed, makes a world of difference.....more so than the first big concerts. Incredible stuff. Unusual Way.......still can't listen to without breaking down, it just kills me, it is so very beautiful. I loved buying a bunch and giving to my friends.
Packaging is great and I love the shoes in there....nice touch. And very happy to see my Toronto journalist friend Richard have his quote in the liner notes. He didn't know till I wrote him today. He's thrilled. And a fan from way back.

It's a total triumph and maybe Grammy will reward her next year. If not this I don't know what......wonderful, wonderful, stuff.......true, like falling in love with her all over again......if I only had one more wish........typical fan wanting more it would be to share her singing Nobody's Heart Belongs to Me as she sang in Florida......god it was incredible. I bet that'll be on the DVD. Love, love, love................

Linda E: Barbra is HOT and ALIVE!!!! She reaches through those speakers and grabs you and pulls you in. If the CD wasn't titled "Live 2006" you would have to keep checking the recording date as this is her best live recording ever!!! Her vocals, personality, and interaction with the live audience, just shines through. How appropriate that her final vocal before her encore is "My Shining Hour". That sums up this CD to a tee!!!

BarbraNMe1: I cry every time I listen to it! I WAS THERE! I SAW HER SING THAT!!! I SAW HER EXPRESSIONS!!! This CD is by far my favorite live recording she has done!!! AMAZING BARBRA BRAVO!!!!!!!

JT: It is simply sensational!! I was especially excited about this since I wasn't able to make it to the tour (grrrr..). What a sublime experience it was listening to the concert. I've made it through the show once so far. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Unusual Way!!! She sounds fantastic, the arrangements are superb!

Alexandra Elizabeth: sublime- I received mine yesterday and have listened to it about 3 times now. For me it brings back a flood of emotions from last October. Her voice is deeper and sexier than ever. Down with Love sounds fabulous as does My Man- she knocks it out of the park with those two for me personally. What are You Doing the Rest of Your Life is unbelievably good. So many emotions today listening to this in the car.. I had tears flowing a few times- now I have a huge headache and am going to lie down for a while!! I hope everyone loves it as much as I do.

BarbraJoanStreisand Fan: From the second the orchestra starts up with the overture, your skin fills with goosebumps. The quality of the audio is the best Barbra has ever put out. The moment she starts to sing "Starting Here, Starting Now" it's hard to keep your tears from flowing with emotion (Barbra, you STILL do it to me!).
This CD is a MASTERPIECE and when the DVD comes out and we can also SEE her singing, it will be heaven.
So glad I took the day off to buy the CD first thing at 8:00 and stay home to listen to it all day....also glad my neighbors are not home!

Hippolyt: I'm listening to the CD for the second time now, and it is a pure delight! She is in great voice, and indeed the most relaxed I've heard her recently. The song selection is great - although I could do without Il Divo, of course. But they don't spoil the delight at all. Streisand is still the best there is.

BabsJim: It sounds incredible in my car. I have no idea what the system is but it sounds like I'm there all over again. I think it's the best of all her live recordings. I like that it doesn't sound all dubbed over and just live and raw right there with the music. You owe it to yourself to listen to it on a good sound system to really feel the energy come through...not that it doesn't sound good on it's own. I guess I'll be in my car a lot.

Don: There is just too much to love in the package.....the thrills and chills going through me when she sings My Man, once again the hairs on the arm go up....After 46 years at the game, she is still master....The bonus track of Don't Rain On My Parade is amazing....and I am again in love with An Unusual Way.....what a standout in an evening of standouts...

BJSC: Jesus! The CD gave me chills.

I got home from taking final exams, ran to my car (sweatting like a cat in heat), got to Wal-Mart, drove home, still sweatting and go back to my dorm, shut the lights off, turned the air on and BAM...It was like 7 November all over again! The chills! The orchestra! The Overture---it gave me the same chills again! The whole CD is fantastic and Barbra is in another one of her primes! She needs to keep using that voice!
Highlights---"Ma Premiere Chanson", "Unusual Way", and about the rest of the CD.

I almost cried during the overture, "Starting Here, Starting Now", "My Man", "Unusual Way", and the reprise! It was fantastic to live it all over again. Barbra, you f-----g rock! I love you.

More coming soon.