"Love Is The Answer" Out Today! Send Us Your Reviews

Fans will be pleased to know that Barbra's 63rd album, "Love Is The Answer", was released today!

We're giving fans the chance to write a review -- and have it posted on BarbraStreisand.com

To add your review, you must click ADD NEW COMMENT (under this news report), and your review will be added.

Comments for this News article

I got the double cd through Amazon more than a week ago but I wanted listen to it during a certain time before giving my opinion.

I liked jazz only in occasions and as background music but with these so well selected and so delicately sung songs, Barbra has got to wake my interest for this genre.

Not being I a musical expert, my opinion may not be very representative but here I’m also sharing the high opinion that my husband, a really jazz lover, has of “Love is the answer”.

The union of Barbra Streisand and Diana Krall has also a sentimental value for us, because Juan, my husband, is a big admirer of Diana and I fell in love with Barbra since I rediscovered her in “Guilty Pleasures”. Both of us have trained to involve the other in our passions during a time that now has culminated with this delicious masterpiece where absolutely all the songs are a gift for us.

When I listen many of the songs “Make some one happy”, “Here is To Life” “You must believe in spring” I have the sensation that an angel is saying to me “you are right”, singing for me those deep own theories that in last years I comment with my friends, trying to convince them that life though not easy some times, always has something beautiful to offer if you know how appreciate it.

And though people could say that Barbra has not invented the wonderful lyrics, I find she and Diana has in a sense the same thinking line that I have when they had selected them.

Then there is the SONG, “If you go away”, whose big emotional impact in me I have wanted analyze finding that it reminds me two very dear members of my family that I lost when I was a child and then all the wonderful things that I could do if they could return from the death.

However this is not only a sad song for me, it’s also a celebration for the present; we are on time of making special days and nights for the loved person around.

Thanks for it and a kiss from Spain.

Ana

I waited with my review, because i wanted to know, what the album would "do to me" after listining for some time.
Obviously a lot of people need to point out, that Barbra's voice changed and sounds different today than on other albums. After reading this so often in the weeks since the release i have to say something about that: we all witnessed through the last years a lot of famous voices fade. I don't want to call names, because i feel deeply sorry for these singers, who bravely go on trying to work with what is left of their voices. I really think you all know who they are.
These singers are much younger than Streisand. So saying something about Streisands vocal ability fading is really simply ridiculous. Is there anyone around who even at fifty can sound as youthful as she does in "Gentle rain"?
Hoarse notes? Sure!! They are quite usual in jazz music. Ella did them, Sarah did them, today Diana Krall does them, so what is the fuzz about? She sings pitch-perfect and there is no wobble in her vibrato, which are the usual signs of voice aging.
So that is all there is to say about that.

Now, for the album: it is marvellous! Of course you can not just play it in the background, this sort of artistry is challenging and enjoyable at the same time. To some casual listener the songs may seem the same. But boy, they are not!! Every song is a little movie in itself. A sound-picture.The joy in "Love dance" is something quite different than the heartbreak in "If you go away". As always, you have to LISTEN to what Barbra says to you. Not just hear pleasant music.
I am most grateful that Barbra has done such a great variety in her recordings. I really find it odd, that some fans just want to hear her doing "Guilty" or "The Broadway Album" over and over again.

I don't know if Miss Streisand is ever going to read this, but there is one thing that i really disagree with her: Singing scales, warming up and training the voice is NOT boring, it can be just plain fun!! Smiling

Thank you for sharing your artistry with us!

Udo

I hope I don't live to regret this - the album as a WHOLE, is not up to Barbra's "standard of excellence."
This is from my heart and it hurt me to write that. I adore her and have been a loyal fan since the early 60's. My favorite on "Love Is The Answer" is "If You Go Away."

Most sincerely, with love,

Nancy from WI

There are three categories of Streisand fans that this album will appeal to. Here is the breakdown and MY own review on each:

1.) First, there's the casual listener who will buy every album Barbra releases and will have nothing but positive praises for her - regardless what the reviews may say or how bad the album may be. But, how can we imagine Barbra releasing an album that it less than perfect?

2.) The 2nd group consists of listeners who only want to hear Barbra release albums that THEY want her to sing and do not want to expand their horizons. In other words, there are fans who'll either want her to sing Broadway tunes, or ballads, rock, pop, etc. And if she doesn't adhere to their wishes, they often become disappointed altogether.

3.) The 3rd, and most harshest group, are those who have followed Barbra for over 20-30 years and have become, in some way, like Barbra. They think, eat, sleep, speak Barbra 24/7. They've become very detailed oriented and know EXACTLY what her intention is, and was, in E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G she does in her career, whether it's a movie, an album or her political views. WE are the HARDCORE fans.

I am proud to say that I'm a little of all 3 categories. I am a CASUAL LISTENER to Barbra when I've come to accept that Barbra has reached a plateau in her career where she doesn't need the overblown production to heightened the listeners experience on her new CDs and I can accept the little flaws that a HARDCORE FAN would NOT expect. Although I would like to hear Barbra do more pop oriented songs like she did in the 70's, I am satisfied of her work. Barbra makes you think with everything she does. And you learn from it.

'Love Is The Answer" is simple, to the point, fun to listen to and intentional in every way. Yes, her voice sounds a little hoarse and predominant at times, but it's a "new" Barbra that we've come to accept open-heartedly. Yes, the orchestration seems a bit odd, but she recorded this album EXACTLY the way she originally began her career. Thank God she included the quartet versions as well!!! It is only we who have gotten accustomed to over-produced material and orchestrations. Yes, there may be songs that we are, or aren't familiar with on this album.

But when you look at this album as a whole, whether you like it or not, Barbra gave each and every one of us exactly what we were looking for. No other artist will put this much thought or care into their work as Barbra did. From the color scheme of the font and CD booklet color where Barbra melts into the background. The color of her eyes and hair matches every hue in the background. The songs have a consistent pace where the listener is not thrown off from one song to the next. This album very much recalls "Simply Streisand". Like "Simply Streisand", was it intentional she made this album cover blue?

This is a MASTERPIECE at it's best. Barbra, thank you for ALL of your hard work! You've made each and every one of us proud and overwhelmed with your talent...maybe you'll "jazz it up" a bit on your next album? Big Band style....maybe? LOL!!!

Dear Miss Streisand, I was thrilled to hear that you had a new album out and went out and bought it the day it was released here in the UK. I didn't have a chance to play it for a few days as I was staying away from home. However, I'm glad I didn't as last night, I had a "Streisand Evening" at home. I watched Jonathan Ross' interview with you, at the end of which you sang (live and flawlessly) two songs from the album. That was my "taster". After that, I popped the CD in my bedside CD player and went to bed listening to the most beautiful ballads, some old, some new, I have ever had the privilege of hearing. All were lovely, just lovely. Those here who have said the songs all sound the same are not listening to the album as it should be listened to. Take time to listen to and savour the lyrics and the melody of each song. Attune yourself with each note. It is a beautiful, beautiful collection, Miss Streisand and Diana Krall's input is very welcome also. "Love is the Answer" will long be played on MY CD player. Thank you for this masterpiece.

Karen van Nijkerk, Croydon, UK

Absolutely Delicious!!
Barbra does it again with this magical album!
Such a pure and powerful performer!
And she really has taken care of her voice over the years. Thank You Barbra!
My brother was the one who turned me on to her and I've a fan forever...
She bares her soul in this intimately precious album as it brings back all those feelings I experienced over 30 years ago in San Juan, Puerto Rico and which have stayed within me forever. Listening to "Love Is The Answer" Barbra sets the tone for the revelation that manifests itself as LOVE.
Cozy up to your lover with a fine red wine and LIVE this album on any rainy day of life. L'chaim!

Barbra Barbra Barbra.....what are you doing????? I have loved and been a true fan of yours for over 40 years, so believe me when I say this: Every single one of these songs sounds ALIKE!!! What on earth happened? The only song that sounds a little different is 'Love Dance', other that that.....honey is all sounds the same! I am truly disappointed! Maybe next time!

I’m enjoying your new album very much, Barbra. No complaints and no regrets. I’m also proud to know that you worked with my fellow Canadian Diana Krall on this project. Well done and kudos to you both!

Daniel in Ottawa

I've always appreciated the artistry of Barbra Streisand. There are certain people in the entertainment industry that are in a league of their own. Spielberg, Scorsese and Streisand to name a select few. Barbra's approach to songs, whether on original material or standards, has always intrigued me. Upon listening to both discs on "Love is the answer" I find myself overwhelmed how Streisand maintains to make songs her own. The stripped version of just her voice with the quartet is exquisite. Knowing that she nevers sings the same song the same way, in my opinion, is a treasure of someone who has the ability to "act out" the song instead of just singing them like many artists. I've read several postings of the album with concerns about the material all sounding the same. I, too, was worried about that given the selection of songs. But if one listens to each song individually, they'll find that this truly is not the case. After all, Streisand said it herself, many times that she enjoys singing ballads. So, what's so wrong with a selection of 12 to 13 Streisand ballads? Diana Krall's arrangements have a Guaraldi-esque feel to them,subdued and eloquent. Diana not only enhances the material but she brings to them a new-found energy that is exemplified by Streisand's voice. Love is, definitely, the answer.

i cant even believe i am saying this but.........barbra, you made a cd of songs that all sound the same. i listened to it 5 times hoping to be taken on the journey your music usually takes me but alas, it did not. i think the movie album had the same problem. the cd is monotoned in its assembly. definately easy to listen to but not dynamic. and i agree with another comment made here: some of the re-released songs should have been left alone. they were superb in the original recording. barbra, i do not believe you had your fans best interest in mind with the selection of songs for this release. that the cd is a personal statement... is true. i believe it truly reflects your place in life but is it entertaining in true barbra fashion, i regret to say, no it is not. mea culpa, mea culpa

I first heard Barbra on The Judy Garland Show (when I was a kid). I remember saying, "Who is that"?, and stopping in my tracks at the sound of her voice singing "Happy Days." I had never heard anyone sing like that. I remember Judy looking so proud that there was another being blessed with "the voice."

Obviously, Barbra has still got it. Her voice is still as rich and beautiful as ever. I especially love, "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" and "Make Someone Happy." I wish I could have been at the Village Vanguard to hear her in person. She's been saying she doesn't really understand what gets to people about her. If the whole audience is crying, the voice just directly hits you in the heart. It's as simple as that.

Cheryl

I absolutely loved this CD! Barbra is impeccable! Her voice is undescribable....it is beautiful, soothing...listening to her is like having an angel sing to you! No one can sing like Barbra Streisand!
Congratulations on such a beautiful CD!

Wow what a voice what an album...
Bought the deluxe album and I listened to it in total awe.
Verry beautifull music truelly one of the best albums ever made.
Love ne me quitte pas I know it from Brell and I never thought someone could sing it like he did... I WAS WRONG.
Love it love it love it.

xx

While it makes for pleasant easy listening, the voice has become tremulous rather than vibrant. Considering her age, however, Ms. Streisand's latest efforts are commendable.
If one is looking for the unique magic that put this singer on the map, however, it is not to be found on "Love Is The Answer." While fans will still support this magnificent Diva, as far as vocal ability is concerned, one might suggest staying away from the type of music that has already been recorded to perfection, and look for less challenging, lighter fare....

It's impossible for me to "review" a perfect collection of songs sung so beautifully... all I can say is this:
"Make Someone Happy" plays in my head daily and is the newest addition to a catalog of thrilling music from Barbra. She's given me joy for 45 years and is a constant companion (in my head) calming my fears, anxiety and the daily pressures of life.
Many thanks Barbra...
Michael

Wow! Two days go by and so many folk have beaten me to the punch re what I want to say! Steven Housman, David Mayer, V.W. Patterson, bert67, and 'the blue angel' all said it particularly well...I want to reiterate a lot of their sentiments: I, too, think this is a seminal work from La Belle Barbra! It is in a league with "The Broadway Album," "Guilty," and her BIG EIGHT LP's at the beginning of her legendary career (which culminated in "Je m'appelle Barbra" - to which this new recording bears an uncanny resemblance on several tracks, not just the exquisitely rendered 'Ne Me Quitte Pas"). The tone also resembles a few of the great Sarah Vaughan's albums of the Fifties, almost a tone poem of lush, jazzy licks which nonetheless do not SWAMP the listener in a murky soup of sound (something which has occasionally happened on some of Barbra's recordings in the past couple of decades). Diana Krall and Johnny Mandel apparently are to be applauded for this, so, hats off to you two!!

I love almost every track on this recording (and both the pared down & orchestrated versions are effective, I'd say, depending upon one's mood).One or two people have complained about the slowness of the tempos. I, too, could have stood a "Gotta Move" or "I Wish You Love," but Barbra seems more in a quiet, reflective mood and I found the breeziness of the two bossa nova tunes more than enough changeup for me.

Barbra never NEEDED the vocal pyrotechnics: the high notes & the notes held for a seemingly impossible amount of time...they were mere icing on the cake. Her ability to interpret a lyric in just the way it meant the most to her (and, therefore, often to us) was always the ace up her sleeve. She is now pared down to her essence, I'd say; she can still pull out the stops when she absolutely feels it imperative, but she's perfect just as she is. As Shirley MacLaine said: 'Barbra - long may she wave!"

How does one say thank you for all of the joy you have brought to my life.

This will be THE new playlist or CD for many cocktail & dinner parties yet to come. Not only do the memories of the music make you smile but the mastery of the phrasing and delivery, knowing the lady's talent and longevity as I do, add to the experience.

It harkens back to days-gone-by conjuring up those special evenings when you went out to a club with your honey, had a martini and a cigarette in a smoke-filled room with the lights dimmed low. It reminds you of those evenings when the performer made you feel special just for being there and then making you intimately part of the wonderful evening's music and artistry.

My goodness, Barbra, thank you once again. 47 years of my life and you never cease to amaze me. I am as ecstatic today to have you as that joyous force in my life as I was the first day I heard your voice. A memory I will never forget.
With love and much thanks,
Dorsey

Great album, Barbra! It will stand the test of time. Thanks you.

Bradly Long
Los Angeles

Ok. Don't usually do this sort of thing but needs must.
Been a Streisand fan since I was a very small boy. Love all the albums from the 60,s, 70,s and 80,s Fave being A Happening in Central park. Not sure about the past decade, bit over produced and formulaic.
Not knocking the Woman (A Goddess in my eyes) New album amazing! Her voice has mellowed but got stronger,richer,more emotive! In some ways she sounds like a 19yr old girl again, I feel like a 5yr old boy again,hearing her for the first time and falling head over heels x

What is with the negative reviews I'm reading online? I have to believe that there are just a lot of critics who simply don't like Streisand, so they're not going to like anything she does. If not, then are they listening to the same CD that I am?

I'm confused. I truly think the album is a masterpiece and absolutely one of her career highlights.

Exquisitely smooth! Barbra's voice is like butta as always, yet even more so on this new album.
The incredibly pure quality in her voice belies her magnificent and wonderful almost 50 year career. No one could still be so relevant and classy but our GORGEOUS Barbra!
The tears as well as the highs of joy that she affords us in her vocal arrangements are something we've all received from her over the years and she certainly didn't disappoint us once again with Love Is The Answer.
Thank you, Barbra, from the bottom of my heart for all that you have given to us and continue to generously bestow upon us.
You are truly THE CLASS ACT of our generation! Love, Love, Love You!

When I hear her voice

When I hear her voice,
My heart opens up and sings,
My soul feels warm and free,
My spirit can’t wait to try its wings.
When I hear her voice,
Everything stands still,
I meet myself again,
And life is all a thrill.

When I hear her voice,
I can’t help but smile,
And even though it lasts just for a while,
I hear her truth, she sings it real
So exposed, so there, so pure
I listen and I feel -
Oh’ music CAN really heal.

I listen and the tears can’t help but flow,
I listen and I’m filled with hope and joy – all a glow
Thank you for the privilege to hear
And even from afar - be just a bit near
The work you do helps the days be much more clear!

Thank you Barbra for all the love and inspiration you share with the world,
I hope you also feel it coming back to you.

With appreciation and so much respect,
Nimrod (from Israel)

PS I am a singer – if you would like to have a listen you can hear me on a song I wrote called ‘Journey Song’ with the Calling Sound Ensemble, through this link: myspace.com/callingsound

I posted this on Amazon.com I wanted to be one the first ones to send in a review of the album to Amazon itself!!!!

The Deluxe Edition is simply superb. No question, this is unequivocally, one of Streisand's best albums in years!

Barbra Streisand, the entertainment grande dame, returns with one of her most beautiful albums in a long time! With an exquisite cover and marvelous artists at the controls.. Love is the Answer is a truly a marvelous recording. The shimmering stings and harp glissando outro on "Gentle Rain", makes those rainy nights seem irresistible. "Make Someone Happy" can make even the hardest music critic misty eyed. It is any wonder that this album was co-produced by Tommy LiPuma? (he worked with Natalie Cole on her Grammy sweeping tour-de-force "Unforgettable" in 1991.) Not at all, the album is a perfect collaboration between Diana Krall, LiPuma, Streisand and Johnny Mandel. At 67, Streisand's voice is at once both mature and still stunningly beautiful.

What makes this album so fantastic is the conviction in Barbra's voice. She knows better any other vocalist the art of delivery. The emotional clarity, lyric phrasing, depth and how to get across her message through the orchestration and her own innate musical abilities. Not only with the deluxe album is a listen given a chance to hear Streisand with the beautiful orchestral touches of Mandel, but on Disc 2, Diana Krall's genius skills are a beautiful compliment to the "One Voice." The emotion is palpable in and throughout "Love is the Answer".

Streisand doesn't need to gyrate, or hide behind flashy production. She is the master at giving many a listener what they don't know they really want: clarity, emotional, lyrical depth and a vocal ability unmatched.

Why should we rush? Light some candles, put a few logs on the fire for that nippy evening. "Love is the Answer" is an album tailored made for an evening of solitude or that special moment with a lover.

Favourite Tracks: In the Wee Small Hours, Gentle Rain, Spring Can Really Hang You up the Most, Make Someone Happy, A Time For Love, Here's That Rainy Day, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, and Some Other Time are just MARVELOUS with both orchestra and the quartet!

Save yourself the aggravation of reading the Billboard or Entertainment Weekly reviews of the album. Find out how much of a gem our Streisand still is and ALWAYS will be for yourself!!!

Ask Barbra, she knows not only a thing or two about Love and how to "Make Someone Happy" but that indeed, Love is the Answer!

Chris
Nashville, TN

I was really looking forward to this album. Barbra is my favorite singer, and Johnny Mandel is my favorite arranger. I also love most of the chosen songs.

Unfortunately the album is severely technically flawed making it unlistenable. The vocals are amped up, and have a fuzzy, muffled quality. They almost sound like they are being sung underwater.

I have been a fan since the beginning. I wasn't a huge fan of the rock period in the '70's, but I always bought the albums. There was always a gem or two in them. The voice still has it's unique magnificence. But the engineering of this album shockingly distorts the vocals, making them sound disconnected from the instruments.

The liner notes state that the orchestral tracks were added after the vocals were recorded with the combo, and that Miss Krall and her producer advised it. Miss Streisand states that her preference has always been to sing live with an orchestra when making a recording. One should always follow one's instinct and preference.

The tracks sound artificial. I can clearly hear the overlay of the orchestral track over the quartet track. It is jarring. On the quartet version of the album, the same engineering distortion of the vocals exist. It is also unusual to read in the liner notes that this is the way Miss Krall records. Her recent album "Quiet Nights" does not suffer from these vocal distortions. It is a very nice album.

I have a very sharp ear. I sing as well. I was at two of the first comeback concerts at Madison Square Garden. One of those nights Miss Streisand interrupted the concert to ask the sound man what was wrong with the sound. The problem was that there was a short in one of the speakers that produced a hissing sound of static whenever certain tones were emitted. I was cringing whenever I heard the static hissing. The problem was never resolved that night.

I am surprised that Miss Streisand's terrific ear and brain have accepted the advice of someone who produces much better albums for herself. The problems on this album could have been resolved.

There is a moment when Johnny Mandel's arrangement swells forth during an orchestral interlude in the middle of "Here's To LIfe" that is breathtaking. I am grateful for the breathtaking genius of Barbra Streisand.

Here's to you.

Frank Stern
New York City

Streisand.............Streisand.............Streisand...........I say this words as a prayer as a mantra. With out Ms. Barbra Streisand in my life as a musical companion I dare say where I would be or if I would be. She alone has been my constant companion in all of my 48 years on this earth. I listen to her when I am sad, when I am happy or when I just want to hear her nearly perfect voice. This album should be enjoyed with everyone who knows you and will be shared by with everyone I know. The tones, the warmth of the music literally transforms you to a single spotlight, on a small featured girl holding onto a microphone, alone on a stage. This is by far the best album I have enjoyed so far in her career. I wish for Ms. Streisand, all the love and affection that you seek, knowing you have found your heart with James and a loving son, in Jason. You have given me so much pleasure in my life and the one thing I could always count on is your pure voice, your gentle spirit and your constant striving to make this world a better place in which to live. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and hope this album really reaches some places in people that make them stop and reflect on how really great life is and how wonderful it is to be in love with another person. Thank YOU Barbra You are spectacular!
Jules from Louisville,KY

What a gift! The album I've been waiting for and didn't even know it. So pure, so simple, so sweet...it's as if Barbra is singing a love letter just to me.

Michael
Detroit, MI

After listening to both discs from the Deluxe version, I have to say I'm really leaning towards Barbra and the quartet. The songs have a more intimate sound as if Barbra were performing these songs in a small jazz club. The arrangements and the voice are beautiful and pure in it's simplicity. One of my new all-time favorite Streisand songs is Where Do You Start? It is in a word sublime. I can't stop listening to it. Brava, Barbra

How does one describe the indescribable? Convey the unconveyable? Or review the eighth natural wonder of the world?

Can you really describe what it must feel like to be standing over the gorge of the Grand Canyon, the magnificent Victoria Falls in South Africa, or the Harbour of Rio DeJaneiro? Or what it would be like to climb Mount Everest or snorkel through The Great Barrier Reef?

Well like the great Paricutin volcano in Mexico, established as a natural wonder because mankind witnessed its birth, the same could be said about the career of Barbra Streisand which erupted in the 1960s, yet is anything but dormant now.

Her latest contribution to the world is "Love Is The Answer," an impeccably and purposely delivered compilation of songs for every heart string there is. And like the Aurora Borealis, Streisand's vocals soar through the lyrics into your soul like the wave of northern lights dancing across a sky.

This is an album for the ages, and for all ages. And like the other ‘natural wonders,’ Barbra’s awesomeness has never been more present and must be experienced. Be prepared to gasp . . . I did!

Light some candles, mix yourself a drink & enjoy this luxurious musical ride. Barbra adds her special touch and intimate interpretation to each piece. I feel like I'm at the Carlyle in the 1930's when I hear Barbra's version of "Here's to Life," and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." Also, arguably one of the best tracks on the CD is her soaring and very intimate take on "In the Wee Small Hours," it is romantic, seductive, sad, and at the same time edges on reflective. "Gentle Rain," places me directly in Central Park walking in a cold autumn drizzle thinking about the amazing Kiss I enjoyed just minutes earlier. Diana Krall's artistic touches are little bursts of inspiration on the production. This CD is more than just a "must have," for any Barbra fan or jazz enthusiast but a nice little luxurious treat for yourself and the perfect gift anyone would love to find under their tree this holiday season!

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Love this album. I really want Barbra to do a jazz album with a mix of upbeat tunes as well as more slow one. I have EVERYTHING she recorded except the elusive demo track that has not been released. Thank you for a lifetime of entertainment and being so humble about just how much of an influence you are in the world of entertainment...KUDOS!!!

Brad Saiontz
Austin, TX.

In a word, BRILLIANT.

A grown up set of the most beautiful and poignant performances ever recorded by the lady.

The deluxe set is a must, the orchestra version for the car. Barbra unplugged, for in the living room, being in front of the fireplace with the one you love.

She never fails to reinvent herself, surprise her fans, and on a personal note, make me swoon.

Brava, Barbra. Yet another jewel in a crown of achievements, unequalled by anyone.

You are beyond American royalty, you are God's gift to the world.

Sing Proud!

after my disapointement with the movie album.I was really crossing my fingers for this new album! barbra has been the voice that gives me thrill for the last 25years; so each new album is something that gets me exited! especially this new one!!
so I bought it and put it on my player and go in my bed to listen!
and woah the barbra i ve adored is back !
Here s to life from shirley horn beeing one of my favourites( cd) Iwas looking forward barbra s renditions !! to be honest I prefer here s to life shirley s version; but where do you start ? is really a great version.
TO MAKE IT SHORT. this album transpires love; you can feel that the people who were involved gave the best they had; and the result is just perfect.
this album is barbra s mark of respect for her audience!!!
thank you for that piece of love barbra and other people involved in that project!
cant wait for the next project (A TRIBUTE TO THE BERGMANS).

Well my name s christian; born in france; live in belgium ( and if you read this barbra just let me tell you that the way you led your life as an artist and a person is a great inspiration!! before I leave please record the widmills of your mind; and the look of love!!!

Every new Barbra album release is still an event. Barbra, your talent and charisma come through on this recording, more than ever. Your taste in choosing the songs (along with Diana Krall) is exquisite. Your performance will guarantee you another Grammy award. Artistically, you are amazing. I hope this climbs to #1 quickly so you break your former record (#1 album in every decade starting with the 60s). All I can say is, thank you! Love, because it's the answer...
--Todd S., Hollywood, Florida

I have loved Barbra since I first saw "Funny Girl" at the drive-in with my family in 1968. I have every album and every movie, and have called myself Barbra's biggest fan like so many others.

Listening to the quartet version of "Love is the answer" has brought me to tears because of the beauty of the sound of Barbra's beautiful voice with just the most delicate of accompaniment.

Bravo Barbra, and thank you for always raising the bar.

Mark McLeod, a fan

Barbra Streisand has the BEST voice in the business. This new CD is just lovely. The songs are excellent. Diana Krall did a great job in producing this CD as well. Barbra looks happy and content.

For over 40 years I have been listening to Ms Streisand. I have always looked forward to her next album. "Love Is The Answer" is really a special album. It goes back to what she did on her first albums.....interpreting a song in a very special way.....a way that we came to recognize as the Streisand way. I have always loved the way she can take a song and make it over....something new to enjoy. "Love Is The Answer" is the album you want to listen to on a cold, autumn day, sitting in front of a roaring fire and sipping your favorite wine or maybe at a candlelit dinner with the special person in your life.
Thank you, Ms Streisand, for making your music fresh and having the guts to make this album at this time. It really is a very special album. Thank you again.

Jerry

I hate it when people throw the word masterpiece around so frequently these days, but in this case it applies. This album is a MASTERPIECE. As close to perfect as a recording can be. What a fresh, musical gift Barbra has given us with this disc!

One of her best albums ever! Like good wine, this one seems effortless. The inspired song selections and their unique performaces are a true lesson in love and life. Barbra has finally found her peace. This cd will be played many, many times.....

I received the 2 disc set yesterday and am still "digesting" it. I am so happy that Ms. Streisand chose these beautiful songs to interpret, especially the disc with the Krall quartet. It sort of reminded me of those early albums, which I will always treasure. For me, the 1960's Barbra has the most meaning. Those albums helped me to get through an otherwise bleak childhood and gave me hope that I too would make it in this life, and I have.

I guess this would be a good time to Thank Ms. Streisand for many things. I was going to send a personal note along with a picture of my 2 "children" (dogs), but I guessed she would never have seen them. Maybe she will read this?

I am the Gentleman who purchased the "Timeless" 2 piece sequined mock turtleneck and pant set from the "timeless" concert that is on the DVD. It was a pleasure to give to the Streisand Foundation. THANK YOU for the beautiful autographed photograph you sent me, I will always treasure it.

Thank you for the gift of your voice and PLEASE keep recording and singing new material. I, too, am tired of hearing "People", "Evergreen", Happy Days" etc. Whatever you are bored with, I am too. Smiling

I am lucky to be alive during your lifetime and you will always be an inspiration to me. I was standing outside of the VV on Saturday night and saw You, Samantha, Renata and everyone else getting into your black SUV. You looked BEAUTIFUL! I am so happy you are looking well!

Well, I better shut up, doubt if all of my "ramblings" will get on here. Also don't want you to think I am a crazy fan, I am not. I just appreciate your work and Thank you again for the gift of your music and for being someone I have always admired and looked up to.

Fondly,
Benjamin Ingoglia (Does my last name ring a bell? I believe you know my cousin) Smiling

it is an intimate masterpiece and I could only suggest, based on the warmth that the Village Vanguard had offered, Barbra would do a tour of the finest cabaret or show lounges in the country. Some of the proceeds could go to her favorite foundation charities. Just a quick thought. I would even be happy to help with the logistics!

When Barbra Streisand's album opens with the lyrics "No Complaint's and no regrets, I still believe in chasing dreams and placing bets", you know you are in for a full on Barbragasm.

LOVE IS THE ANSWER was finally released on September 29th, 2009.
After surviving months of anticipation and promotions, I feel like i'm holding a fragile newborn as I take the plastic wrap of my deluxe edition.

I was one of the "luckiest people in the world" to have been present inside the Village Vanguard this week, to have heard some of the tracks from the new album live, but I still wasn't prepared for how much I would fall in love with this album.

After listening to both the regular release, and Quartet Versions, I am so happy that she decided to release both.
My favorite versions of each song so far are all on the Quartet Versions, but I can't choose between some. It would be like making Sophie"s Choice!

On this album Barbra doesn't belt, or hold notes as long as she might have 20 years ago.
Her voice is pure, velvety, and rich on each track.
She acts her way through each song so well, adding a slight laugh or rasp every so often, that you feel as though you are living it, and that she is speaking directly to you.
In both versions of "If You Go Away", Streisand makes you feel as though you are about to lose your one true love.
That magic and emotion conveyed through a single track, is why so many fans love her, and have been so devoted through the years.

Our Barbra has certainly matured vocally through the years, and I am happy to have taken the journey with her if this is the end result.
The songs are in a familiar enough style for any longtime fan to love them without feeling distanced, but still give a breath of fresh air since her last album 4 years ago.
They are also fresh enough to seduce a brand new audience, who might simply be fans of Diana Krall, and modern Jazz.

In my opinion, based on consistancy and vocals, and song selections, this is one of Barbra's best albums of her career.

My Favorites:

Quartet Versions: Wee Small Hours, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Make Someone Happy
Regular Version: Here's To Life, If You Go Away,Some Other Time

Good album! Barbra sure can carry a tune!

In an era when it seems that everyone who has even moderate success in the arts is placed upon a pedestal and labeled a diva, it would be difficult to overlook an artist who has remained on top for nearly a half century. Barbra Streisand's latest album, entitled “Love Is The Answer,” is a beautiful return to her recording excellence that was so consistent in the first two decades of her career, beginning in 1963. For this album, the duties were handed over to the more-than-capable hands of Grammy Award-winning artist Diana Krall (who is remarkably making her debut as a producer along with the brilliant Tommy LiPuma) with arrangements by Grammy Award-winning musician and songwriter Johnny Mandel.

The album is extraordinary and carries only a couple of missteps. Interestingly enough, the missteps are (of course) subjective, considering everyone will take something different away from each song, as certain songs and arrangements will always carry more weight with a diversified audience. That's just the way art goes.

The album begins with the Shirley Horn staple “Here’s To Life” and seamlessly glides into the world of melancholy bliss with an exquisite rendition of “In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning.” "Gentle Rain" is the third track, which is gorgeously subdued. The Mandel arrangement and Streisand’s vocal, along with Krall’s piano, make a splendid ménage a trios.

Track #4 is when the album takes a sharp turn and blossoms into ultimate art. "If You Go Away (Ne Me Quitte Pas)" is simply the finest performance on the album – no bones about it. Judging from her interpretation of this Jacques Brel/Rod McKuen piece, this is a throwback to her "Je m'appelle Barbra" days of the mid-60's and undoubtedly brought back "the actress that sings." Perfection.

I found myself really enjoying "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most," and I did rather well not making comparisons to her earlier live recording because this was flawless until a very brief and odd change-up of arrangement that came in halfway through the song. It became oddly bouncy for a brief period, which threw the mood of the piece. The original arrangement returned and all was well with "Spring." The brief intrusion was minor and the only part of the track that hung me up.

The famous standard "Make Someone Happy" and the Alan & Marilyn Bergman/Johnny Mandel composition "Where Do You Start?" are absolutely flawless in arrangement and vocal. They shine.

"A Time for Love" is a stunning vocal of the Johnny Mandel/Paul Francis Webster composition. This is another perfect example where one gets lost in the drama due to Streisand's unique brand of singing a story to the point of actually visualizing the setting.

The Sinatra staple "Here's That Rainy Day" sounds as if it could have been written for Streisand. The Jimmy Van Heusen/Johnny Burke composition is one of the most gorgeous songs ever written. Now with Streisand's interpretation on record, "Rainy Day" has a place in history that is watertight.

"Love Dance" is a pretty composition by Gilson Peranzzetta, Ivan Lins and Paul Williams, but I would have reduced its nearly five-minute arrangement down to a respectable three and a half minutes. After a while, the song begins to drone and gives the feeling it has nowhere to go. Perhaps that's why the song fades instead of having an ending as most standards do. Don't misunderstand my critique, the vocal is top-notch, it's just that the melody (or lack of) becomes a tad monotonous.

"Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" is a welcomed song – maybe because of its popularity, maybe because of the sensationally unique reading, maybe both. It works and nothing makes me happier than to hear Barbra improve on a song that became a pop staple a half-century earlier for another artist. The arrangement and vocals are superb and breathes new life, as Streisand exhales this "smoke" brilliantly.

"Some Other Time" is a magnificent arrangement. Diana and her piano shine so beautifully and her tinkling of the ivories is perfectly suited to Barbra's superb vocals. They're as smooth as silk. The marriage of melody and vocals are extraordinarily matched.

The Alan & Marilyn Bergman/Michel Legrand song "You Must Believe In Spring" is worth the extra $$ for those who purchase the "Deluxe Edition" of this album. It is billed as the "Bonus Track." It has no strings, it has no bass, and it has no snare drum effect. What it does have is what Barbra has always thrived on, a simple piano arrangement and her naked vocal. Truth be told, for a "bonus" I may have picked a more familiar song that would've appealed a bit more to the masses, but when you have just Barbra alone with a piano, any song is a bonus.

Is this a perfect album? As close as one can get to perfection. Is it a work of art that belongs in the chosen few of Barbra's most brilliant work? Yes!

For all who haven't heard this album yet; This album exudes the same labor of love not heard since Streisand poured her heart & soul into 1985's "The Broadway Album."

Hats off to Diana Krall for paring down Barbra's sometimes overproduced arrangements of late, and restraining her vocals to compliment the album's simplicity, which resulted in its excellence. Krall's production value alone deserves the first of many Grammy Awards this album and Barbra should and will be honored with.

After many years of waiting for another Streisand masterpiece, it's easy for me to say that the title "Love Is The Answer" could have easily been titled "Streisand and Krall Are The Answer."

On a personal note: Thank you, Barbra, for bring so much joy to my life for the past 40-plus years. No single performer has made me feel the way you do before or since. You are a once-in-a-lifetime sensation. I feel fortunate to have been one of the lucky people along for your brilliant ride.

-Steven Housman
http://www.stevenhousman.com
http://open.salon.com/blog/sharkbjs

Come on, Barbra fans, join me!!
Let's ask Sony Music (if it's not planned yet) to bring Village Vanguard to DVD!!
It would be the perfect bonus for this brilliant album!!
Like the icing on the cake!!!

BRING VILLAGE VANGUARD TO DVD!!

This album is just wonderful. Incredible to hear Barbra singing so well after all these years, she is one of the few singers of her generation who has managed to keep her voice in tip top shape!

I must say that i particularly like the second CD in the deluxe version. The Diana Krall jazz quartet with Barbra. It is lovely to feel that she is happy just to sing with this classy, and most exquisite jazz quartet, and not neccesarily need all the strings etc to be satisfied with her performance. and the sound quality.

Amazing to hear her sing with just piano on a couple of songs. Really really lovely.

Song choice is in some ways predictable, and yet new. Love the Jaques Brel song.
I must say, as much as i like this album. I thought she may have sung with Diana Krall on some songs at least....

Barbra Streisand -- the singing actress who has been smothered in the varnish of too-sweet perfection on so many recent recordings -- has returned in dramatic and devastating fashion with the release of "Love Is The Answer," elegantly produced by Diana Krall. Without question, this is La Streisand's tour de force -- in some ways even more potent and primal than her seminal "Broadway Album, " released decades earlier. With grace, maturity and a microscopic attention to the meaning of the sublime lyrics that envelop her, Barbra rises to the occasion like a thoroughbred and gives one of the great bravura vocal performances of her career.

Let's be blunt: The big steel-belted high notes are not in evidence here nor is her upper register as fluid or as fiery as it once was...but who knew those vocal losses wouldn't make a bit of difference? This is Streisand boring DEEP into often extremely difficult material, reminding one of her earliest recordings when each moment, each breath and each word told a story and uncovered a veritable tableau of emotions. Not since "The First Album" have I heard Barbra reveal herself so much in a recording -- and to such stunning effect. The mask is off and the woman -- not the image -- looms into view. It's almost shocking on first listen.

The collection of songs revolve around love -- lost, found, rejected and rediscovered. "Here's To Life," a bittersweet paen to the beauty of being alive even in the midst of growing older, is a nod to Barbra's Muse -- Shirley Horn. It's a beautiful vocal filled with hope -- simple, serene and sublime. And Johnny Mandel's strings ebb and flow like the tides on a sunlit shore.

The mood grows darker, however, as she moves into the suffocating stillness of "The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning," where the loneliness of a broken relationship is palpable in Barbra's haunting vocal. After confronting the abyss, Streisand moves back into a more optimistic mood with "Gentle Rain," where, unlike the rejected suitor of "Wee Small Hours," she is the comforter to a distraught lover. Time and love heal all wounds...Barbra's delicate and dreamy vocal on "Rain" cleanses the palette for the upcoming theatrics of "If You Go Away," which finds Streisand back in "Je M'Appelle Barbra" territory, desperately confronting, in English and French, a lover who may -- or may not -- desert her. Harkening back to her career in the theatre, Streisand turns Brel's song into a three-act play, offering up a master class in the art of interpretive singing.

"Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" continues the cycle of love lost as Barbra, in an indelibly cynical vocal, mocks the cliches that flutter around youthful romance. Listen to the way she spits out the phrase "My condition must be chronic." Splinters from the heart, indeed.

"Make Someone Happy" is a meltingly romantic return to the power of optimism -- and it's the definitive performance of this Styne/Comden/Green classic. Here her vocal floats and flows over Mandel's sublime string arrangement with the assurance of someone who truly IS happy...the sense of understanding and peace is palpable.

Arriving next is the album's masterpiece -- "Where Do You Start?" Backed by a cascading waterfall of chords from Krall's piano, Barbra simply breaks your heart with an octave-spanning vocal that navigates the emotions of an unravelling relationship and its aftermath with startling honesty. "A Time for Love" is a rapturous response to the broken dreams witnessed in "Where Do You Start?" and here Streisand is at her most romantic...after all the heartbreak, she still believes in love. She may bend, but she will never break.

The final Proustian cycle of songs, "Here's That Rainy Day," "Love Dance," "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" and "Some Other Time" cushion Streisand in a Remembrance of Things Past aura and she rises to the occasion magnificently. From the haunting desolation of "Rainy Day" to the breezy bossa-nova jazzy whispers of "Love Dance" to the sting of "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" to the ambivalent good-byes of "Some Other Time," this is Streisand in ravishing -- and revelatory -- form.

And now, back to the Voice. As an often stubborn long-time fan, I cannot say that I was immediately receptive to the occasional flaws that Barbra has decided to allow into the final mixing of this collection. Yet, would her vocals -- and the very essence of the soul-baring PERFORMANCE that she gives on the CD as a whole -- be as memorable if she had polished and powdered and perfected her performances as she has done in the past? I think the answer, in the final analysis, is no.

With Diana Krall proving to be a producer of near-genius instinct and impeccable musicianship, "Love is The Answer" is unquestionably Barbra's finest recording since "The Broadway Album." Streisand had thought about and prepared for this collection of songs for many years and the planning has paid off magnificently. As Barbra sings in "Here's To Life," "here's to dreamers and their dreams..."

Thanks, Barbra. Your dream was well worth waiting for.

Let's face it, Barbra Streisand is not a cheap addiction to have, especially on an English teacher's budget. In the 30 years that I've been a fan, I've gone from buying her vinyl LP's to cassettes, and now CD's. I paid $5,000 for two tickets for her millenium concert in Las Vegas and not even a glass of champagne was included. I paid another $2,500 for the second concert on Jan. 1 only to be told by the woman sitting next to me that she, like many others, was there for free because they needed "extras" to fill up the arena to do the DVD of the concert. Then Barbra announced that her last and final concert would be in NYC and for $2500 the VIP tickets would come with a full dinner and champagne, plus gifts yet! Then in 2006 I flew from Paris to Miami only to see her in concert and forked out another $1,400 for two tickets, plus airfare. THEN I paid an additional $500 to see her when she sang in Paris. With all the money I've invested, I thought it would only be right to be at her concert at the Village Vanguard. Well I wasn't! (Lord knows I tried) I was sad and frustrated and thought that life is unfair. But after hearing her new album "Love is the Answer" (it was released today in France) the brilliance of this woman washes away all frustrations and reminds me of pure beauty - that in itself is priceless; and like an addict, I've paid for my latest fix once again. and a feeling of nurturing satisfation has washed over me. Barbra, if you ever read this, "Baby, you're a hard habit to break" Enjoy one and all! David

Love is the answer. And the answer is that I love Ms. Streisand. Honestly it’s a love affair that has lasted now for over thirty years. Like any great love affair, it’s ebbed and tided over the years - all for very different reasons. It’s not that I have loved her any less, just for different reasons. In the 70’s it was for this voice of grace that seemed to effortlessly come from no where, taking a world by storm. Then in the 80’s for a female taking on a male world and not only reaching the bar and grabbing hold but catapulting over it, setting new standards in art, business and social justice. Making us think about how we relate as between women and men in this world even leading us into human reflection to question our sense of spirituality and personal relationships. Then in the 90’s as she led us into the greater arena of global social justice, addressing such hot issues as AIDS, Gay Rights and Global Warming. . . . if we thought we could not love you more, how wrong we were. Having listened to the compact disc most of the day today, how much joy your sweet songs bring. They reflect all that you have been, a perfecting gifted singer, a mystic making her way to understand how we interrelate and another human in this world that wants to connect on a very personal way in a public venue of a song. Bravo, Ms. Streisand. A job well done! While for the moment I am content with this gift and who you are, I cannot wait to continue to watch and enjoy who you will become.

I was so thrilled when I got home and opened up my CDs. It was the Barbra I first heard when I was 10 in the early 70's. The 2nd CD, accompanied by just one instrument, is the best. Only Barbra can melt into an instrument. I shivered listening to "If You Go Away" in French, my favorite language. A luscious rendition. No one will ever match her rich, soothing voice. The video clips of the Vanguard Concert are fantastic, too! Waiting for that DVD to come out! I've emailed "everyone I've ever met" to tell them about "Love is the Answer". Thank you, Barbra. It was worth the wait!!! Marie.... Long Beach, CA P.S. - I should look so pretty at 67!!! (I'm 47).

I just love it... a few people, even fans!!!, "criticize than to praise"...
Oh, the voice is not the same... (hellooo!!! she is 67 years old!!! I'm a singer myself, and this cd is sublime SUBLIME!!! in performance)
Oh, is too slow... (have you ever been a Barbra fan to say this?? all her best songs are slow ballads...)
Oh, old songs, we want new ones... (they are new ones, you want to listen to barbra singing "night of my life" than "where do you start?" or "if you go away"???)
Come on, people!
If you don't like it, just say "I don't like it". Period.
But please PLEASE!!!, don't back up your taste with unreasonable reasons!!!
If not, as Barbra herself would say... "shut the f up!" ja!!!

In my opinion: I love it. I can give you all the reasons why, but it doesn't matter, it fills my heart and soul... and touches me so deeply...