She has long spoken out against the current US president, but with her new music, Streisand has declared an all-out battle. If anyone has a big enough voice to be heard, its her …
In 2016, Barbra Streisand wrote a column for the Huffington Post in which she attacked the then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. He is “a narcissist who has shown no regard for anyone but himself”, she wrote. “A bigoted and misogynist reality-TV character with no political experience and no qualms about lying loudly and often.” In November, Streisand will release Walls, her first album of original material since 2005. “This collection of songs reflects what’s been on my mind lately, and I look forward to sharing that with you,” she tweeted.
Judging by its lead single, what appears to have been on her mind lately is very much what was on her mind in 2016. The first track to be released is called Don’t Lie to Me, and its target seems plain. “Your lips move but your words get in the way,” she sings, as strings swell with a typical flair for melodrama. “How do you sleep when the world is burning? Everyone answers to someone.” (It has echoes of another pop star’s presidential potshot, Pink’s Dear Mr President from 2006, which also posed the question of how the then-president, George W Bush, could sleep at night.)
Don’t Lie to Me names no names, although Streisand aims at “kings and queens, crooks and thieves” who “built towers of bronze and gold”, which could be taken either as an admission that she’s not #TeamLannister for the final season of Game of Thrones, or a dig at Trump’s bloated-banker-monarch take on interior design.
It sets up an intriguing battle of the diva versus the Donald, and certainly Streisand, who says she is “a fierce American”, has a big enough voice to be heard. She told Associated Press that she had hoped to be “very subtle” with Don’t Lie to Me, which is, of course, not a very Streisand thing to aspire to. Obviously, there was no chance of it turning out that way. “I just went ballistic,” she said. “We’re in a war for the soul of America.”
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