European Stars And Stripes
October 10, 1990
BETTE MIDLER â€¢ Some People’s Lives – With Some People’s Lives, Bette Midler has gotten too serious. What she does best is ’40s swing: those perky, Andrews Sisters-style songs (a la Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy) with their intricate harmonies and frantic rhythms. Instead, there’s an overload of whiny, dirge-like ballads here, many in the style of Wind Beneath My Wings, her Grammy-winning hit from last year.
One of the ballads, The Gift of Love, just misses but is bogged down by gaudy production touches.
Fortunately, there’s nothing on the album quite as unabashedly sentimental as Wind, but many of the songs have those same sappy overtones, including the title track, co-written by Janis Ian.
The only flash of the old Midler is on her version of Cole Porter‘s ultra-witty Miss Otis Regrets, a clever blend of contemporary and swing styles. She can be an exceptional torch singer, as she shows on the tender He Was Too Good to Me-Since You Stayed Here, one of theÂ few times when the arrangement is restrained. – DENNIS HUNT, LA. Times