Album review | POP

Bette Midler, ‘It’s the Girls’

For her first album in eight years, Bette Midler scores with a fizzy and fun tribute to the classic girl-group sound. With the help of producer Marc Shaiman (“Hairspray”), Midler is both reverent and mischievous on “It’s the Girls.” Midler offers faithful renditions of classics like the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” and the Shangri-Las’ “Give Him a Great Big Kiss,” while reworking others to fine effect, including a countrified take on the Supremes’ “You Can’t Hurry Love” and a mournful piano rendition of TLC’s “Waterfalls” — mercifully, sans an attempt at Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’ rap. Midler teams up with pal Darlene Love for a swinging duet on “He’s Sure the Boy I Love,” from Love’s Crystals. A snappy “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon,” an oft-covered Andrews Sisters hit, conjures Bette’s giddy bathhouse days, while her version of Martha and the Vandellas’ “Come and Get These Memories” has an exquisitely melancholy wistfulness. Midler — whose own multitracked voice provides the crisp harmonies — has a clear love for the form, and it shines through every sha-la-la and shoobie-doobie-shoo-wah. (Out Tuesday)


ESSENTIAL “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon”

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