Recorded in only 4 days in June 1963, Barbra's second album is an excellently recorded collection of standards and show tunes from the beginning of her career. Every song is undeniable, as the vibrant energy of the performer radiates into the listener's ear with a sweet perfection that can't be matched. In his liner notes Jules Styne mentions that "Barbra is the first girl I have ever heard who is a great actress in each song." If that's the case, "Any Place I Hang My Hat is Home" begins the play with conviction and "Right As the Rain" continues with a wonderful soprano and eloquent phrasing.
"Down With Love" is an incredibly bluesy torch song with wailing background trumpet. The musicianship is first rate as vocals and strings blend perfectly in "Who Will Buy?" (From The Broadway Musical Production "Oliver") and "I Don't Care Much" (showcasing some fine accordion work). "Gotta Move" and "Lover, Come Back To Me" are both upbeat numbers that keep the album's pace up, while "I Stayed Too Long At The Fair" and "Like A Straw In The Wind" bring the album to a slow, yet emotional conclusion. Highly recommended, this record shows a budding superstar with the pipes, talent and expressiveness of a seasoned veteran.