Barbra Streisand – Superman (1977) – Lp
Barbara Joan “Barbra” Streisand ( born April 24, 1942) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and filmmaker. During a career spanning six decades, she has become an icon in multiple fields of entertainment, winning numerous awards, and has earned her recognition as Mother of All Contemporary Pop Divas or Queen of The Divas.
Artist: Barbra Streisand
Label: CBS Records
Appearing only seven months after A Star Is Born, Streisand Superman seemed to continue much of its rock-oriented feel, even including several songs that had been intended for the film.
Two songs were written for the movie “A Star is Born” but not used in the picture —“Answer Me” by Streisand, Paul Williams, and Kenny Ascher; and “Lullaby For Myself” by Rupert Holmes It was unusual in featuring all recently written songs, many first recorded here.
In many respects, this album, like the way the Barbra has described herself, is a mass of contradictions … on one hand, the majority of the songs are glossy, professional-to-the max pop, often alternating between string-laden ballads that are guaranteed to wow the devoted (i.e. the top 5 hit My Heart Belongs to Me) and a few rockers obviously targeting the younger audience Streisand won over via A Star is Born (the candy-coated disco-ish I Found You Love, the rock guitar and violin bathed rockers Don’t Believe What You Read and Cabin Fever). But when you overlook the studio gimmickry, you find along the way some refreshingly bright and even insightful pop songs. Take, for instance, the delicate Love Comes From Unexpected Places, with Streisand’s hushed and husky vocals evoking knowingness and, at the same time, loneliness and painful desperation (mass of contradiction thesis at work!). Or, better yet, the lyrically astute Lullaby For Myself, which compellingly examines the conflict between maintaining independence and the selfishness that comes along with it, and the need to have a simple albeit codependent relationship. (Pretty heady stuff for a pop song!) On Lullaby, Streisand confirms her reputation as the actress who sings, beginning the song with a devil may care delivery (shaded with plaintiveness), and subsequently bringing her frustration and previously subtle plaintiveness to the surface.
Above all, the album provides a nice vehicle for Streisand’s increasingly firm grasp of Top 40 pop music. Yes, a song like I Found You Love is awfully dated– with a quasi-Caribbean musical coloring cluttering the song and a male speaking voice in the intro that evokes polyester eroticism– but Streisand is obviously having a ball, cooing a little, belting a lot! Meanwhile the title track and Don’t Belive What You Read are formulaic but enticing pop confections that exude, respectively, ecstacy and rage (hey, as much as we love seeing Streisand’s charitable, sensitive side, it’s always fun hearing her melodically spout out a little venom!)
Though the below reviews seem to indicate a pop debacle, Superman, is, in truth a nice example of Streisand elevating pop/rock, trivial and insightful, to unexpected levels.
1. Superman (2:47)
2. Don’t Believe What You Read (3:37)
3. Baby Me Baby (4:26)
4. I Found You Love (3:50)
5. Answer Me (3:16)
1. My Heart Belongs to Me (3:21)
2. Cabin Fever (3:14)
3. Love Comes from Unexpected Places (4:10)
4. New York State of Mind (4:44)