Download: Fanatic, Walkin’ Good.
P!nk, The Truth About Love (RCA) * * *
P!nk’s first album since becoming a mom feels like the radio-friendly work of a real flesh and blood, complex human being, given to temper tantrums one moment, tenderness the next. Though overlong and not a creative stretch for the gifted P!nk, that honesty is a real selling-point.
On How Come You’re Not Here she excoriates her wandering partner who appears to be carrying on with an underage lover. She blasts the guy on the scorching, innuendo-laced kiss-off of a single, Blow Me (One Last Kiss) for what a lousy expletive day she’s having. But P!nk can also express tenderness on Just Give Me a Reason (a duet with fun.’s Nate Ruess) and the pretty piano-pop of The Great Escape.
Tabloid watchers who have charted her turbulent marriage to skater Carey Hart will no doubt buy into the sentiment attached to True Love: “At the same time I wanna hug you/I wanna wrap my hands around your neck.”
Download: Blow Me (One Last Kiss), Just Give Me a Reason.
Barbra Streisand, Release Me (Columbia) * * *
Barbra Streisand celebrates the 50th anniversary of signing with Columbia by opening her vaults to release unreleased songs. The 11 songs range from 1967’s Willow Weep for Me, intended for Simply Streisand, to If It’s Meant to Be, meant for her Alan and Marilyn Bergman tribute disc last year. None are truly essential. But, with the exception of an overly-sweetened studio version of With One More Look at You, wisely axed from the A Star Is Born soundtrack, all are quite good.
The majority of the selections are issued without alteration. But for 1977’s Superman reject, Try to Win a Friend, Streisand felt Larry Gatlin’s ballad could use more country instrumentation so she recently sent the track to Nashville producers who added pedal steel. The song is a highlight, as is the exquisite Jimmy Webb ballad Didn’t We. The Streisand voiceis peerless as always.
Download: Try to Win a Friend, Didn’t We.
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