Barbra Streisand is one of the most famous voices in the world—and she’s never shied away from using that voice to share her political views. So it’s fitting that the election of Donald Trump is what inspired her to create Walls, her first album of primarily original songs since 2005. “He’s dividing the country,” she tells Glamour. “He’s pulling us apart.”
Walls, which will be released on November 2, also got Streisand back into the director’s chair for the music video of the first single off the album, “Don’t Lie to Me.” In addition to the new songs, Walls also includes Streisand’s 2018 re-imaginings of classics like “What the World Needs Now” and “Happy Days Are Here Again,” which once served as the unofficial theme song of the Democratic party. “I tried to make the songs universal,” she says. “They’re not just political rants.”
That’s not to say they aren’t deeply political. “I have to vent, I have to vent my despair,” she says of the album. “I do that by writing about it. A lot of my despair is about his effect on children and what children are watching and seeing and hearing. On TV, they’re hearing that it’s okay to lie? It’s okay to brag about sexual assault? It’s okay to never apologize and constantly retaliate?”
While the lyrics to “Don’t Lie to Me” could easily apply to any relationship, the video leaves no doubt about who Streisand is talking about. Images of the president are sprinkled throughout, along with American iconography like the Statue of Liberty and moving protest photography.
“[I think Trump] has a condition that I call the disowned self, which I learned many years ago in studying psychiatry,” Streisand says. “It’s when the person himself does not recognize his own flaws, so he projects them unconsciously onto others. Maybe in this case, it’s consciously. I don’t know.” But when asked whether she expects a response from Trump, Streisand is unconcerned. “No, I don’t care. What’s he going to do? Make the Republicans not buy my album? I don’t really care about the money.”
But the album isn’t all doom and gloom. “I think people will enjoy the songs on this album, and I think they will reflect what I’m talking about,” she says. To that end, Streisand has included her own spin on “Imagine” and “What a Wonderful World.”
And she’s still got time to root for Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s latest iteration of A Star Is Born. (Streisand famously starred in the 1976 version with Kris Kristofferson and won a Best Original Song Oscar for “Evergreen.”) She even thinks another version could come around in another 20 years.
“Well, I predicted it. It’s very good,” she says of the movie’s success, before turning the conversation back to Trump. “I’m for everybody to succeed, you know…even at the beginning, [I thought] maybe [Trump] could turn it around. It’s like certain Supreme Court justices, who started off as conservative and got more liberal. You always hope for the best. But he’s disappointed me greatly.”