Q - May 2002, p.1363 out of 5 stars
- "...Blessed with a voice that can tenderise like an eight-pound sledgehammer....a good career overview..."
Personnel: Barbra Streisand (vocals); Oscar Castro-Neves (guitar); Earl Gary Herbig (alto saxophone); Dumler (English horn, oboe); Richard Todd, Brian O'Connor (French horn); Stevie Wonder (harmonica); Randy Kerber (piano); Bob Esty (keyboards); David Foster, Randy Waldman (synthesizers); Neil Stubenhaus, Charles Berghofer (bass); Steven Schaffer, Sol Gubin (drums); Paulinho Da Costa (percussion); Rhett Lawrence (keyboard programming); Sydney Pollack, David Geffen, Ken Sylk (background vocals).
Producers: Barbra Streisand, Peter Matz, Richard Baskin, Bob Esty, Paul Jabara, David Foster.
Reissue producer: Kim Skalecki.
Engineers: Don Hahn, John Arrias, Humberto Gatica.
Recorded at Randy Waldman Studios & Lighthouse Studio, North Hollywood, California; Village Recorders & Westlake, Los Angeles, California; Evergreen Recording Studio, Burbank, California.
Digitally remastered by Stephen Marcussen.
This is the making of THE BROADWAY ALBUM.
Streisand made a triumphant return to her roots in 1985 with THE BROADWAY ALBUM. Rather than record a collection of standards with orchestral accompaniment, she instead chose to create a multi-faceted collection heavily informed by her appreciation for contemporary pop music while still remaining true to the spirit and sound of Broadway. Her newly found affinity for the music of Stephen Sondheim also provided a new angle; never before having included any Sondheim on her records, she performs six of his songs here.
The record opens with Sondheim's exhilarating "Putting It Together," featuring new lyrics that personalize the song into an anthem for Streisand's own life and work. The arrangement has an almost rock-like kinetic energy, sharply contrasting tracks such as "Send In the Clowns" and "Adelaide's Lament." Streisand rethinks some of the classics: THE KING AND I medley is delicately arranged with synthesizers, giving it the feel of a distant dream, and "Can't Help Lovin' That Man" from SHOWBOAT is presented here as a sensuous ballad featuring Stevie Wonder's exquisite harmonica. Arranged with atmospheric synths and drum machine, the closing "Somewhere" evokes a place beyond our world, giving what could be described as an angel's-eye view of the Great White Way.