"I'm the Greatest Star" The Essential Barbra Streisand on Disc

By Ben Rimalower
25 Jan 2014

3. "The Second Barbra Streisand Album" (studio album, 1963)

A thrilling earful of what Barbra Streisand was doing so successfully in nightclubs and cabarets in the 1960s, "The Second Barbra Streisand Album" finds her in ridiculously full voice, blaring out clarion tones with abandon as she tears her way through Peter Matz's masterful arrangements of standards and the Great American Songbook. Some might object to some of these interpretations as over-the-top (the near-melodrama of "Like a Straw in the Wind," the overt sexuality of "Lover, Come Back To Me" or the camp of "Down With Love" and "Gotta Move"), but Streisand's dynamics are fully committed and brought to life in truthful character.