UPDATE: We have our answer. On Thursday morning, at the scheduled time, Barbra Streisand tweeted out a release date for her new “Walls” album. The 11-track collection, which includes seven originals, will be out Nov. 2. She also released the set’s first single, “Don’t Lie to Me,” a song she co-wrote, on digital platforms Thursday. The album is available to pre-order.
“Don’t Lie to Me,” and several other songs, are a direct result of the times in America, Streisand told Time magazine. “Even basic human decency seems to be melting away faster than the polar ice caps. An artist — at least — has a form of expression, which I’m grateful for. It gives me a way to let off a little steam.”
Streisand tells Time she was also inspired by the Parkland student activists who took to the national stage after the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 students and faculty members dead. She said the students see “right through the lies. It’s easy to feel powerless, but we’re not.”
Could Barbra Streisand be pulling a Beyoncé or Eminem?
On Wednesday, the 76-year-old superstar posted a cryptic tweet that merely said, “Set your alarms for 6:15am ET tomorrow…” and hashtagged her post with #BarbraWalls,” which refers to the title of her coming new album, “Walls.”
Dropping a major album without any pre-release hints is something contemporary megastars in rap and R&B like Beyoncé. Kanye West and Eminem have done with big new albums. The attention of an unexpected new download like “Lemonade” and “Kamikaze” almost always guarantees an all-important No. 1 debut and its accompanying media attention.
But that’s not what artists of Streisand’s generation do, or what their (we’re being polite here) seasoned audiences expect.
But Streisand is no stranger to No. 1 albums. She had her first one in 1964. In fact, she’s the only pop artist in history to score a chart-topping album in every consecutive decade from the 1960s to her most recent studio set, “Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway,” in 2016. For that project she performed a well-received concert tour that brought her to Miami that year for the first time since 1963.
“Walls” will be her 36th studio album. It is her “Trump era inspired album” according to media reports, including Broadway World, which reported an earlier working title in February. She’s teased it a bit, by releasing a brief video clip on Twitter on Tuesday that noted the progress of the set’s first single, “Don’t Lie to Me.”
But a release date, other than sometime in the fall, hasn’t been provided and “Walls” isn’t available for pre-sale on sites like iTunes or Amazon yet.
What she has been is politically feisty. She recorded robo calls for her pal, Congressional candidate, Donna Shalala before the Florida primary in which the former University of Miami president beat Democratic challengers in her quest to take retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat.
But all of this doesn’t answer what, precisely, fans should rise at the early hour of 6:15 a.m. for — and her people, of course, aren’t talking.
Releasing the new single wouldn’t be that earth-shattering, given she’s already put a bit of it out there. Doing a Beyoncé number on her fans would be the coolest thing Streisand could do on her push for a 12th No. 1 album.
For fans, this mysterious social media activity on her part could be worth an early morning wake-up call.