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Weekly Streisandicure: Guilty

April 24, 2010

pulses racing, darling...

Babs’ performance: Guilty
Nail polish: Rescue Beauty Lounge “Under the Stars”

Guilty is by far one of the best pop albums released in the 80s and owes a lion share of its brilliance to that lion maned uber producer – Barry Gibbs. There are two issues I’ve observed in Streisand’s discography: Gilding the lily and letting the rose garden go to seed. In the case of my beloved Babs hit The Main Event I find it produced within an inch of its disco ball loving life. I love this song, but can’t help thinking this version better serves the spirit of the song. The single was so freeze dried and polished, which defeats the purpose of its use in the film of the same name. And well, I might be the only human being besides Narada Michael Walden who thinks there is a disco song in need of more rather than less production, but there it is. That’s my opinion of “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)”.

I scored “Under the Stars” in a swap and I was instantly enthralled. It’s a gorgeous color and perfectly suits any number of occasion. Rescue Beauty Lounge polishes always dazzle me with their FLAWLESS application. Even if the colors themselves only move me to “meh” the application usually garners an audible gasp from me. But back to Barry.

Barry is the polish brush and Babs is the polish. When you get two elements crafted to perfection working in concert the result is Guilty, a lovingly curated collection of mood and song, which I will probably never get over. There are tons of great singers – most back up singers are often that – and there are tons of great song stylists who are able to present their meager product in an attractive and flashy way. I don’t particularly have a problem with the latter; I just prefer the former. It’s why I fall head over heels for folks like Babs, Celine, Martha Wash, Steve Perry, Luther. Or bands like EW&F and Tierra.

I already have a fairly good imagination, so I don’t need flashy costumes, weird vocal tricks or for my singers to even be conventionally attractive. What I need from them is a VOICE. Moreover, I need them to possess something approaching command of their instrument. They can be a little rough sounding or theatrically emotive or sweet or criminally underrated, but they’ve gotta have a voice.

And they need to be able to put that voice in capable hands, so they don’t lose control like Mariah, causing every high note to sound like failing brakes. Barry’s manly hands are quite capable as evident on a later production – the slamming 80s track by Ms. Ross “Chain Reaction”.

Rescue Beauty Lounge – the Babs of nail polish – mirrors some of the great and not so great elements of her music career. I believe “Under the Stars” is the Guilty in their roster of polish colors. It is timeless – if such can be said of blue nail polish – and can reflect a diverse range of moods. Guilty does the same ranging from the light hearted, buoyant title track to the tub scrubbing somebody done somebody wrong anthem “What Kind of Fool?”.

Though I wouldn’t advise listening to “What Kind of Fool?” or tub scrubbing until your Streisandicure is fully dry.

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