ALBUM REVIEWS: New releases from Barbra Streisand; Rosanne Cash
Release date: Nov. 2
Review: It's no surprise that fervent Hillary Clinton supporter and longtime Democratic Party fundraiser Barbra Streisand doesn't think much of Donald Trump. The surprise is that the legendary singer chose to devote much of her new album, "Walls," to a series of laments about the U.S. president's policies.
Streisand never mentions the president by name, but she doesn't have to. Opening track "What's on My Mind" speaks of her dashed hopes in the current era. The next one, "Don't Lie to Me," is even more direct, beginning with, "Why can't you just tell me the truth? Hard to believe the things you say."
The title track complains about the divisive nature of building walls and even picks up Clinton's campaign theme that it is better to build bridges instead.
As a counterpoint to this gloom, she combines John Lennon's wistful "Imagine" with the Louis Armstrong classic "What a Wonderful World" and also covers "What the World Needs Now."
But those more hopeful tunes don't really save this offering from its lugubrious tone. Streisand's vocal range and control are still extraordinary, but the lyrics often fall flat.
"Walls" will likely please her legions of fans but may not bring many new listeners to her side.
"She Remembers Everything"
Release date: Nov. 2
Review: "She Remembers Everything" is the sort of lovely, literate work we've come to expect from Cash for more than 30 years. Her last three albums have largely looked back, at musical and family history, and this is a return to a more personal songwriting style.
The project was bicoastal for Cash, who recorded half at home in New York with husband John Leventhal, her usual producer, and half in Oregon with producer Tucker Martine. Leventhal's production can often seem too mannered, so a listener appreciates the kick of someone new. Truth is, there's more consistency than one would expect with a divided creative process.
The 2000s haven't been easy for Cash. It's a blessing she came out of it with her abilities and ambition intact.
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