Why would a member of the miniscule EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) club and recipient of numerous accolades, with nothing left to prove, still be releasing another standards album six decades into her career? And why did she announce the news on Instagram of all places? Why not?
Barbra Streisand’s upcoming thirty-fourth studio album, Partners (her second vocal duets compilation), kicks off with the lead single It Had to Be You featuring Michael Buble. Bear in mind that Streisand first recorded the 1924 standard FIFTY years ago.
It is a relaxed, classy yet lively cover. Despite the odd ballsy brass punch, both Streisand and Buble bring energy and spice to the recording. Streisand shows no sign of slowing down, as her vibrato in the softer passages is as poised as ever. Even the higher notes that are belted do not sound forced. Buble’s vocals oscillate between nonchalance and starry-eyed wonder, and stand their own against Streisand’s.
Their voices complement each other well, especially when they harmonise together. As a result, the two renowned vocalists have created a joyous, carefree musical union. Buble injects youth and spark into the track, as Streisand even chuckles midway through the song.
Thanks to this and the generous sound mixing that makes the recording sound great on headphones, this track never threatens to venture into Muzak or the mediocre.
This cover features one of the most distinguished entertainers of all time and a well-established performer at their best. It Had to Be You is a feel-good, romantic track that should leave smiles on listeners’ faces for quite some time.