Guilty is everything I didn't know I needed


Album : Guilty (1980)

Artist : Barbra Streisand

Suggested by : RuPaul @RuPaul

How have I made it to this age without listening to a Barbra Streisand album? I mean really, as a 30-something year old gay man I am well aware of Barbra and her influence on pop why the hell haven't I listened to her music?

With you eternally mine
in love there is
no measure of time
— Woman In Love

After a little bit of shameless self promotion of the blog I've managed to get album suggestions from both RuPaul and Michelle Visage! I'm very pleased to say that this week's album Guilty by Barbra Streisand has been suggested by the Supermodel of the World herself, RuPaul. I've been aware of Guilty for years and before this week I was even aware of a couple of songs from it. Is there really anyone in the world who hasn't heard Guilt Woman In Love before, even I have!

So the album opens with the one-two punch of Guilty and Woman In Love which is guaranteed to hook you. What surprised me is that the album is only 9 tracks long. Compared to most things that I've listened to that's a mini-album, but I can't complain because it's such a tight cohesive collection of songs that I can't imagine anything else being added. Barry Gibb's was enlisted to write the album and has writing/co-writing credits on EVERY SONG, duets on two songs and adds other background vocals throughout. I may be in love with Barry Gibb for making this album a reality.

If there's one thing I love it's swirling electric piano work.........naturally I'm obsessed with this album because it's given me everything I need in that department. Streisand's vocals are something that I've never really sat down and thought about all that much before but my god she's a powerhouse. I guess there's a reason that she's a god damn EGOT.

This may be the first album from the Album A Week Project that I've become truly obsessed with, I'm slightly worried that the coming weeks without daily listens to Guilty are going to be a tragic reminder of how life was before I discovered it. My commutes aren't going to be quite as entertaining.

Make it like we never met
But I can’t forget
It’s how I feel
Make it like a memory
Take away…
— Make It Like A Memory

I usually like to try and pick out a track or two to call out as especially worth a listen, with this I don't think I'm able to do that. Maybe that's because the album is so short? Maybe it's because to highlight a few songs feels like it's disrespecting the flow and cohesion that the album has as a whole piece of work. If I will single a song out it's got to be Make It Like A Memory not because I enjoy it more than the others but because the way it closes out the album is incredible, like it's playing over the end credits of an amazing movie.

From start to finish Guilty is every part the classic album, Streisand has done something that only a handful of artists I can think of have done, made a practically perfect album. If I wasn't moving on to another album because of this project I'd happily find myself going down the rabbit hole of Barbra's extensive back catalogue.