Rising indie singer-songwriter Barbra Streisand is quickly gaining buzz with her impassioned new single, “Don’t Lie To Me.” Judging by the sound of it, she’s got potential. Who knows? Some might even say a star is born.
Juuuuuust fucking with you.
The Legend, The Icon, The Funny Girl herself – BARBRA© – is back, up against the wall(s), and demanding to tear them down, with her brand new studio album.
Walls, out on November 2, marks the 76-year-old superstar’s first studio album primarily consisting of original music since 2005…over 13 years ago. Insane, truly.
The collection was co-produced and arranged with Walter Afanasieff, John Shanks and David Foster, as well as songwriter Desmond Child, and themed around “the guiding principles and values she has believed in, spoken about, and fought for her entire life.”
Why? Hang on to your multi-hyphenate hats for this one: “For all her many record-breaking and award-winning accomplishments as a singer, actress, film director, producer, screenplay writer, author and songwriter, Streisand’s dedicated social activism and commitment to philanthropy have always equaled her artistic passions.”
We love a legend with a message. And, as the only recording artist in history to achieve a #1 album in six consecutive decades, Barbra’s about to spread her message far and wide.
“Walls finds Barbra exploring both her concerns and hopes for the future in a collection filled with beautiful melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. In addition to the three original tunes which the Oscar-winning songwriter contributed to, the songs on Walls explore topics near to the celebrated artist’s heart. Streisand also brings a fresh perspective to the classic songs “Imagine” and “What A Wonderful World,” and the Bacharach/David pop standard “What The World Needs Now.” The penultimate song that Streisand sings is a timely one called “Take Care Of This House” by the legendary composer Leonard Bernstein and lyricist Alan Jay Lerner.”
“Don’t Lie To Me” is the album’s lead single, released on Thursday (September 27), which sets the tone.
As with more than a few other people in this country, Barbra is, uh…fucking over this circus. Her new single is a thunderous cry against the crooks and thieves – oh, screw it: it’s a Trump diss track, essentially. (“How do you win if we all lose? / You change the facts to justify / Your lips move but your words get in the way…“) More broadly, however, it’s not solely an ode to the Liar-in-chief: it’s a condemnation of all the evil within The Powers That Be.
Similar to Pink‘s “What About Us,” Barbra’s got a bunch of questions coming from the perspective of the people: “Kings and queens, crooks and thieves / You don’t see the forest for the trees / Hand on heart, down on knees / You can’t see what everyone sees,” she condemns.
“How do you sleep when the world keeps turning? / All that we built has come undone / How do you sleep when the world is burning? / Everyone answers to someone.”
Is that a line or what? “Everyone answers to someone.” Chills.
“Don’t lie to me! Don’t lie to me! You lie to me!”
Her voice is as piercing and powerful – 76-years-old, people! – as ever. And for all the fire and fury (eh heh) of the lyricism, the cinematic orchestral production supplies just the right amount of drama.
Also, the cry of “Enough is enough” towards the end – I could tear up at the reference, intentional or otherwise.
Barbra’s refreshing return brims with passion and conviction, at a time when message-driven music is more prominent and relevant than ever in an uncertain and upside-down world. (Perhaps Katy made some points with her Purposeful Pop, after all.)
Barbra’s tired of the lies. Aren’t we all?
“Don’t Lie To Me” was released on September 27. (iTunes)
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Photo credit: Columbia Records