Barbra Streisand has long been known as one of lefty Hollywood’s standard-bearers, an identity that brings with it media appearances, protest attendance, and maybe some message-embedding in songs or movies.
Now, Streisand has dedicated almost an entire album to Donald Trump. The Guardian’s Emma Brockes, interviews Streisand and calls the album Walls “a well manicured middle-finger to the 45th President of the United States.”
Asked about her inspiration for the album, Streisand has nothing new or original to say. “This is a dangerous time in this nation, this republic: a man who is corrupt and indecent and is assaulting our institutions. It’s really, really frightening.” But she goes further and says the album is a call to action: “I’m saying more than just vote. Vote for Democrats! Vote for what they want their country to look like and feel like and be like.”
So Walls, far from being your average batch of protest songs, is a self-admitted campaign speech for the Democrats set to music. But, Streisand tells Brockes that she initially tried to be apolitical on the lead single titled “Don’t Lie to Me”: “You have to write lyrics that can be more than just a protest ...They have to appeal to a universal audience.” However, she soon bent to her political anger: The video is a propaganda stew of images ripped straight from mainstream news broadcasts.
Brockes reports that the “final moment of the album is a long sigh,” which Streisand included as the ultimate expression of her exasperation. Hopefully the listener reactions will be similar.