Personnel: Barry Manilow (piano); Dean Parks, Ken Berry (guitar); Joel Pargman, Alyssa Park, Katia Popov, Nina Evtuhov, Kathleen Sloan , Ralph Morrison III, Radu Pieptea, Joel Derouin, Kevin Connolly , Roberto Cani, Neel Hammond, Tereza Stanislav (violin); Andrew Picken, Roland Kato, Dave Walther , Alma Fernandez (viola); Timothy Loo , Trevor Handy, Cecila Tsan, Vanessa F. Smith (cello); Sara Andon, Steve Kujala (flute); Dan Higgens, Gene Cipriano, Greg Huckins, Terry Harrington, Jeff Driskill (saxophone); Gary Grant, Chris Gray , Wayne Bergeron, Daniel Fornero (trumpet); Justin Hageman, Jim Atkinson, Danielle Ondarza, Steven Becknell (French horn); Dave Ryan, Charlie Morillas, Steve Baxter, Craig Gosnell (trombone); Curtis Brengle, Doug Walter (piano); David Benson, Greg Bartheld (drums, programming); Gregg Field (drums).
Audio Mixer: Bill Schnee.
Liner Note Author: Barry Manilow.
Recording information: Ignited Now Studios, Los Angeles, CA; OceanWay Recording, Hollywood, CA; Peppertree Studios, Palm Springs, CA.
Arranger: Barry Manilow.
At 71 years old, Barry Manilow has reached the age when he can do anything he pleases, and what pleases him is singing along with old records by dead singers. That's all My Dream Duets is: Manilow brushing off his old cabaret routine so it can spruce up vintage records by Jimmy Durante and Judy Garland. He's not the only new element on these electronically rejiggered duets -- instrumentation, usually synthetic, sometimes as incessant as the drum loop that runs underneath "The Candyman," has been added -- but he's the notable addition, crooning full verses in addition to sliding in some corny asides. For all his showboating, he doesn't do much to distract from his idols. Time and time again, the singer who stands out on My Dream Duets is the original vocalist, the one who cut the track originally and stamped it indelibly with his or her own personality. Manilow recedes out of deference but also practicality: he's not duetting with a living singer, he's singing over an existing track and tailoring his performance to suit established contours. Consequently, there's not much dynamism here, but it's also not stiff because Manilow hams it up on the margins. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine