When you’re a music icon like Barbra Streisand, you can kind of do whatever you want.
With an eye-watering 35 studio albums and 117 singles under her belt, how do you continue to find the motivation to write and record music?
It seems the motivation is to have a fire in your belly about the state of affairs in your country.
‘Walls’ is an open book about her hopes and wishes for the future and criticisms of the worlds failings, particularly in her homeland of America. Babs has attitude and I like it.
Lead single ‘Don’t Lie To Me’ is overtly critical of Donald Trump and his policies and there’s no subtlety to it. With political songs, you generally have to interpret. But with this song, it’s written plainly for all to see. I love the grit and fire this song has and the messaging behind it. I was less enthralled with the lyric video that accompanied it (it was a bit too literal for my liking), but super producer John Shanks has done a great job to make the song feel both relevant and appropriate. If you don’t want politics infiltrating your music, then there are plenty of other great songs here.
Mixing in new music with some traditional covers has resulted a great collection of songs. I love hearing songs like ‘Imagine’ and ‘What The World Needs Now’ mixed in amongst the more modern songs. They balance each other out well and create a strong body of work.
Babs has worked with some great songwriters and producers like Desmond Child and Jonas Myrin, bringing the sound up to date without the record feeling forced.
The highlight of the new songs for me is ‘Better Angels’. The strings and the arrangement gave me goosebumps from first listen and paired with a stunning set of lyrics, it’s classic Barbra Streisand for 2018. The latter half of the song stirs you to take action and do something good for humanity. It’s inspiring.
If I had been able to submit a request list of what I wanted from her new album, this song exemplifies that.
The rest of the album is good – produced to a high standard and showcasing Barbra’s signature vocals.
I have a deep appreciation for an artist like Barbra Streisand; she’s enjoyed an incredible career so far and continues to surprise and delight fans the world over.
‘Walls’ might seem aggressive on the surface, but when you open the covers and have a listen, it’s so much more.
It’s her way to contribute to building a better future and inspire her listeners.
VERDICT : 4/5.
MUST LISTEN : Don’t Lie to Me, Better Angels, Lady Liberty.