Barbra Streisand (Columbia)
Lovers, as Streisand herself might sing, are the luckiest people in the world. Now that she’s hit the jackpot with new husband James Brolin, she can’t stop swooning about it. Like a besotted friend you’re happy for but wish would knock it off, Streisand can’t keep her squishy feelings to herself. This album of love songs is a valentine with way too many doilies. For anyone who doesn’t get the significance of the happy couple enjoying the sunset on the CD’s jacket, she reprints the famous photo from her 1964 People album, which also featured sand and a setting sun. “As you can see,” Streisand writes in her liner notes, “I’m no longer alone on the cover.” Stating the obvious is what this album is all about. A few tunes, including the Gershwin brothers’ “Isn’t It a Pity?” and her duet with Vince Gill, “If You Ever Leave Me,” as well as a tune from Funny Girl, “The Music That Makes Me Dance,” stand out simply because they don’t drip with sentimentality and because Streisand allows a bit of blues to creep into her vocals. And the surging string arrangements and hearts-and-flowers orchestrations (committed by William Ross, Arif Mardin, David Foster and others) that smother most tracks are kept to a low roar.
Bottom Line: Warning: Gushing bride may cause blushing