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.
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.