Medicine Hat News
December 27, 1991
Bette Midler; For the Boys soundtrack (Atlantic) – Bette Midler is a natural in the For the Boys role of Dixie Leonard, a singer who entertains American troops from the Second World War to the present.
It’s a perfect opportunity to flaunt her unique mix of bawdy humor, singing showmanship and warm charisma.
That doesn’t mean the record-buying masses will like her For the Boys soundtrack, which is of more limited appeal than her collections of standard pop/adult contemporary music.
On For the Boys Midler concentrates on big band sounds and classic songs by the likes of Hoagy Carmichael, Johrmy Mercer and Frank Loesser.
She had enough savvy to pitch in the obligatory Diane Warren adult contemporary track Every Road Leads Back to You, a schmaltzy numberÂ sure to win the hearts of From a Distance diehards.
The sentimentality elsewhere is more dated and often swimming in syrupy strings – as on the slick numbers I Remember You, Come Rain orÂ Come Shine, For All We Know and P.S. I Love You. These are polished and well-crafted songs, true to the spirit of schlock.
Less could be said for the mushy Dreamland, where Midler doesn’t sound as sweet as she should.
But co-star James Caan is a surprisingly effective duet partner for Midler on I Remember You/Dixie’s Dream and the classic Baby It’s Cold Outside.
For the Boys is for fans of big band music and theatrical productions.
So those with no affinity for high-drama, musicales numbers shouldn’t even consider buying this soundtrack.