Streisand: I am the wind beneath your wings...

145336__babs_lI have really mixed feelings about ”Stranger in a Strange Land,” Barbra Streisand’s new bring-the-troops-home song and video, currently posted at the music page on Amazon.com. It’s from her forthcoming CD Guilty Pleasures, a collaboration with Barry Gibb and a sorta-sequel to Guilty, her zillion-selling 1980 CD of duets with the Bee-Gee-in-chief. (In another 25 years, they can release Guilty Conscience and sell all three as a boxed set.)

The good news: Barbra still sounds like buttah, and not even Gibb’s whispery, disembodied falsetto can distract too much from Streisand’s still robust pipes. (Uh, tell me again, why did everyone think they made such a great vocal pairing?) Unfortunately, in her bid to record her own ”From a Distance,” she’s somehow figured out how to take a song about soldiers fighting abroad and make it all about her. The lyrics are all about how wonderful the singer is for providing steadfast moral support to poor grunts she doesn’t even know. (Contrast that with the traditional homefront song, like ”I’ll Be Seeing You,” where the singer is addressing a soldier who is a loved one.)

It’s also jarring to see footage of grim-faced troops mixed with shots of Streisand and her session players in her well-appointed, tastefully lit studio. Babs, you’re a legend, but when it comes to creating artful videos addressing the emotional cost of war, you’re no Green Day.

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Comments (7 total) Add your comment
  • Tommy Marx

    Although I like a few of her songs, I’m not a huge fan of Barbra’s. But after reading your dismissive and nasty comments about her new song, I went to Amazon and watched the video for myself.
    Omigod it’s bad. It’s much worse than you said. Barry Gibb sounds extremely annoying (since when are backup vocals meant to drown out the actual singer?), and the song itself feels like it was written by a committee. Yes Barbra has a good voice, and I’m sure her heart is in the right place, but her duet with Don Johnson carried more emotional impact than this ludicrous attempt to become relevant one last time.
    I wanted to write a scathing rebuttal of your review, but Gary Susman, you are way too nice. This is a song and video that is best forgotten. And I’m a gay liberal who thinks Bush is an idiot.
    Barbra, you have lots of money. You can shut up now.

  • Brandon

    I’m a big Barbra fan, but sometimes she makes questionable choices in service to her ideology. And frankly, the only time Barry Gibb is worth listening to is when he’s being played by Jimmy Fallon on SNL’s “Barry Gibb Talk Show”.

  • Jose Rivera

    …Well I believe that everyday that passes by I get more convinced that people tend to be so critical and less supportive. I guess and wonder that it is easier to criticize than to praise. May I ask something Mr. Susman, can you sing?…Yes I thought you could’nt! Of course!

  • Larry Manalo

    Barbra Streisand deserves her fame in the music industry. With her mighty voice no other singer has ever had

  • angela lucas

    she doeas what she can, and she does it best. enough said.

  • Gerry Freedman

    I have just seen the video.
    I am a Gay Conservative Politician, in the United Kingdom, and even I think Bush is an idiot, and the American people (those on the thinking East and West seaboards) must feel very sad that a man like Bush can be elected and then, G-d only knows why, re-elected? If I were an American, Id have to be a right-wing Democrat. I could never vote for those lunatics in the Republican Party. The only sane members of that Party (Spector, Todd-Whitman, etc. are all disliked, bewildering, as they are the only sane Republicans)
    I am, however, very much in favour of the neo-con agenda, as I do think that terror cannot be allowed to go on and on, without a counter reaction from the west.
    I also think Barbra Streisand is the world’s greatest singer, and her views, although not conservative, are held by her with conviction. She has EVER right to express her views in any form of media to which she happens to think will express her view to the largest audience.
    Can I also say, I think the song is rather beautiful, and she sings like a songbird. As for Gibb, his warbling is rather annoying, but this must have been the price Barbra had to pay.
    Can we please stop this silly Streisand bashing!
    We all know who doesn’t like her. Jew haters, right wing loonies, the Christian Right, Gay men who hate gayness, and a collection of other freaks.
    Long Live Steisand, that’s my view, and Im a Conservative democrat!

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