Picks and Pans Review: Emotion

updated 11/19/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/19/1984 AT 01:00 AM EST

Barbra Streisand

Nine people, including Streisand, Kim Carnes and Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire, produced the 10 songs on this album. This is like hiring nine drivers to drive a bus two blocks: You can get where you're going, but there sure is a lot of confusion. There are some terrific pop songs on the LP. Streisand's duet with Carnes on Make No Mistake, He's Mine profits from the contrast in their voices and styles (it's also reminiscent of the Paul McCartney/ Michael Jackson tune The Girl Is Mine). Streisand gives the title song by Peter Bliss a real charge, and Left in the Dark, written by Meat Loaf/ Bonnie Tyler pal Jim Steinman, is a torchy, light rock song that has verve and intelligence. Streisand, however, has often indulged in trite material far below the spectacular level of her talent, and at times she goes shmaltzy on this album too. When I Dream is the most egregious example: "Suddenly I can see/ We could be/ Out along the stars somewhere/ All alone without a care." It's one of those Streisand numbers where the louder she sings, the less passionate she sounds. On the other hand, Clear Sailing, a gentle Peter McIan/ Anne Black Montgomery song, is a model of sweet, optimistic pop. This LP obviously is a stylistic mishmash that ends up being good, bad and indifferent. (Columbia)

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