10 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

ButterFly ranks among the oddest of Barbra Streisand’s albums. Released on the heels of The Way We Were, this 1974 effort blends material from pop, rock, R&B and reggae sources. Though Barbra’s then-beau Jon Peters is credited as producer, the guiding musical force appears to be saxophonist/arranger Tom Scott, who shifts his stylistic approach from track to track. Streisand ranges far and wide as well, getting knee-deep into Memphis funk on “Grandma’s Hands” and slipping into a countrypolitan mood for “Crying Time.” Some ideas fizzle, such as an attempt to dilute Bob Marley’s “Guava Jelly” into ‘70s mainstream pop. The biggest surprise is Streisand’s reading of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars” — it somehow catches the song’s weirdly theatrical mood. Barbra’s performances range from intimate (“Simple Man”) to languid (“Let The Good Times Roll”) to rafters-shaking (“Jubilation”). Her personality dominates the proceedings, though she doesn’t fully connect with all of the tunes. ButterFly is a curious and sporadically rewarding effort.

EDITORS’ NOTES

ButterFly ranks among the oddest of Barbra Streisand’s albums. Released on the heels of The Way We Were, this 1974 effort blends material from pop, rock, R&B and reggae sources. Though Barbra’s then-beau Jon Peters is credited as producer, the guiding musical force appears to be saxophonist/arranger Tom Scott, who shifts his stylistic approach from track to track. Streisand ranges far and wide as well, getting knee-deep into Memphis funk on “Grandma’s Hands” and slipping into a countrypolitan mood for “Crying Time.” Some ideas fizzle, such as an attempt to dilute Bob Marley’s “Guava Jelly” into ‘70s mainstream pop. The biggest surprise is Streisand’s reading of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars” — it somehow catches the song’s weirdly theatrical mood. Barbra’s performances range from intimate (“Simple Man”) to languid (“Let The Good Times Roll”) to rafters-shaking (“Jubilation”). Her personality dominates the proceedings, though she doesn’t fully connect with all of the tunes. ButterFly is a curious and sporadically rewarding effort.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
20 Ratings

20 Ratings

Ducky Dre ,

Without a doubt one of my favorite Streisand albums of all time

The songs are upbeat and make you feel the simplicity and rawness of the seventies all at once. My ultimate favorites are "Grandma's Hands", "Love in the Afternoon", "Jubilation" and "Guava Jelly". Her version of the great "Crying Time" is fun also. Streisand is one of life's greatest musical talents and her ability to reflect the times in which she sings (spanning more than 40 years now) make her a true storyteller and recorder of our American decades. This album is nothing short of BUTTAH!

MacDent ,

Beautiful!

Definitely have be included as the best album of her career. The mix of rhythms makes this recording a piece of art. From Reggae to Rock, Barbra Streisand defies any possible gravity, if there is any, in music.

Verdi123 ,

Sincere...

The album is exceptional in that it's gentleness belies the heavy issues it deals such as the death of a grandmother "Grandma's Hands" and the impending end of a relationship, "Crying Time". Overall, the songs are delivered with a sweet, sincerity that Streisand would lose a bit in later albums as the production values would take over and her voice would become less the main instrument pushing the song. Basically, you can take this album at face value. It's not trying to be anything it isn't and thus comes across like comfort food for the soul. An album you can return to again and again.

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