Showing posts with label reba mcentire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reba mcentire. Show all posts

Monday, April 8, 2019

video review: 'stronger than the truth' by reba mcentire

Okay, this was genuinely great - definitely take some time to check it out, it's absolutely worth it!

Next up... oof, busy episode of Billboard BREAKDOWN ahead, stay tuned!

album review: 'stronger than the truth' by reba mcentire

Okay, so I should probably provide some context why I'm choosing to cover the newest album from Reba McEntire, an artist who I grew up with and remain a huge fan of to this day, both behind the mic and the camera - hell, normally that'd be enough, but legacy acts like her don't tend to get huge attention these days except from diehard critics. But for as few detractors as country music fans have towards her - and really, she's so universally beloved at this point of her career even despite some wild swings and choices - I've never really considered Reba an 'album artist' where I'd rush out to find a new album. Yeah, her incredible line of singles and even a couple of deep cuts have staying power to this day, and it should be noted she has producer credits on the majority of her albums... but not writer's credits, an artist more known for great performances and curating great pieces than writing them herself.

Now most of the time nobody really cares about this - Reba is one of the few acts who has such phenomenal presence behind the microphone that nobody gives a damn, and she's also old and wise enough to back up her words with genuine substance, so if she's making comments in the lead-up to this album suggesting that she's going to make this more of a neotraditional project... well, against the odds I was inclined to believe her. And it's not like she hasn't been through some real personal turmoil in the past few years - notably a divorce from her longtime partner and steel guitarist - so if she wanted to assemble one hell of a country record, I was at the very least curious, especially given how the critical reviews have been considerable - so what did Reba bring together on Stronger Than The Truth?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

video review: 'sing it now: songs of faith & hope' by reba mcentire

I really need to get better about posting these videos when they're done and up, this one took nearly three days... granted, it was absolute hell to edit and put together, but still, no real excuse here.

Next up, though... stay tuned!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

album review: 'sing it now: songs of faith & hope' by reba mcentire

I don't even know where to start with this one.

See, when I saw this come up on Patreon, I literally went to the guy who requested it and asked politely if I could skip it or he could ask for something else, and I figured I'd have good ground: after all, it's a selection of traditional religious hymns, that's not something any critic normally covers. And there's a very good reason for that, given that the music on a record like this is normally secondary at best, with instead the main purpose being for worship. And again, that's not saying that music can't have religious themes, but when you're considering the art of it all, you're left scrabbling for something that's often not even as relevant, especially on a lyrical level. There are, of course, exceptions, but in certain brand of evangelical gospel, poetry and writing often take a back seat to conviction.

But then it was pointed out to me that there was indeed a second disc of entirely original religious songs... and I still wasn't very satisfied at all, my overall point still stood. But then I thought, 'Well, hey, this is Reba McEntire, the country artist who managed to survive the overly sanitized 80s in order to become one of the most impressive and long-running hitmakers in the 90s, there'd undoubtedly be some quality here'. And hell, I even stand behind her self-titled TV show as being a lot smarter and well-written than so many people gave it credit, and she was an expressive actress. And it wasn't like there wasn't a demand for this album: it debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200, it sold tens of thousands of copies, people clearly were interested. And hell, I still have faith, even though my view of it is a lot more complex and layered than what you typically see in evangelical parishes, so maybe this record could move me despite my extreme skepticism. So are these songs of faith and hope up to that challenge?