Barbra Streisand

The Third Album

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On her first album, Barbra Streisand established herself as a singer who discovered or created new standards instead of one who revived or re-created old ones. She wavered from this commitment on her second album, and on her third gave in to convention completely. There was nothing wrong with her interpretations of such old favorites as "My Melancholy Baby," "Taking a Chance on Love," "As Time Goes By," or "It Had to Be You," except perhaps that they seemed overly tame for a performer of such demonstrated individuality. And Streisand was far less successful on "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered," betraying little understanding of Lorenz Hart's nuanced lyric, or on Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's "Make Believe," which had none of the playfulness the song needed, and of which Streisand certainly was capable. She did seem assured going back to Harold Arlen's St. Louis Woman for "I Had Myself a True Love," using its bluesy tone for some emotional fireworks. But The Third Album, while it was another demonstration of the beauty of Barbra Streisand's voice, also suggested that her interpretive abilities remained limited.

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