Music icon, Barbra Streisand, is in a reflective mood as she celebrates her 70th year. A rummage through previously unreleased material led to ‘Release Me’.
‘Listening now, I actually think to myself, ‘that girl wasn’t half bad.” Singing superstar, Barbra Streisand, has more than a bit of a reputation for being a perfectionist, so it is somewhat of a surprise to find that her latest album is formed of a series of cuts that weren’t deemed good enough for her earlier releases. However, the diva is clearly in a reflective mood during her 70th year, and as she revisited her private collection of recordings, she uncovered 11 songs that she felt warranted sharing with her loyal fanbase. Thus, she presents Release Me, possibly her most personal record to date – a collection of 11 unworked edits.
Opening with the rather delightful ‘Being Good Isn’t Good Enough’ (from Hallelujah, Baby), Release Me begins with an insight into a legend at work. From the pointed, dry laugh and apparent insecurity of Streisand preparing for a recording, through to her flawless rendition, it is immediately striking just how perfect a recording had to be to allow for its inclusion on a completed Streisand album. ‘Being Good Isn’t Good Enough’ is classic Streisand that never was.
Each recording is equally striking for its exquisite delivery. Streisand’s off-cuts are every other artist’s wildest dreams. However, there are moments that shine brighter than the others. A sensitive rendition of her minor 1973 hit ‘Didn’t We’ tugs at the heart strings and fills the tear ducts. As Streisand duets with herself on the fan favourite, ‘Mother And Child’, she proves how effortlessly perfect an artist she is. While ‘With One More Look At You’, lifted from A Star Is Born, tingles, it is ‘How Are Things In Glocca Morra? / Heather On The Hill’, from Finian’s Rainbow / Brigadoon, that steals the show.
While Release Me is a collection of the hits that never were, Streisand, the perfectionist, has ensured that only the most worthy have made the list. Release Me is far superior to the majority of off-shoot releases and should simply be hailed for its innate beauty than its backstory.
Go Get It: ‘How Are Things In Glocca Morra? / Heather On The Hill’
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