Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Barbra Streisand: Guilty [Columbia, 1980]
Produced by Gibb-Galuten-Richardson, and Barbra Goes Disco ain't all. Somewhere in their success-addled minds Barry and Robin saw a chance to return to heartthrob ballads like "To Love Somebody" and "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?" But after years of writing fluff--great fluff, occasionally, but fluff--they can't match that standard. Lucky for them Streisand doesn't oversing every time out, even floats some of the uptempo stuff--music of the spheres if you consider her voice a platonic ideal, polyurethane disco if you don't. But most of the time she oversings. And when she dramatizes a soap like "Life Story," the mismatch is ridiculous. C+