It was a long time coming, but Martina McBride finally puts her previously unutilized song-writing skills to good use for three tracks on album number nine, which she also produced. Two of these tracks are straight-up single material - the already released "Anyway", followed closely on the album by "How I Feel". The third is "Beautiful Again", a real tear jerker of a song, dealing with broken homes, abuse, and single parenthood, but which shows that it's possible to focus on the positive and move on.
Tracks to listen for include the opening song "If I Had Your Name" (listen for the guitars and violins); "Tryin' To Find a Reason", a breaking-up ballad featuring Keith Urban; "I'll Still Be Me", a poignant song about endless love, and "Love Land" the emotional closing track.
The high point of the album is undoubtedly the song "Anyway", with its motivational lyrics, and chorus that brings to mind the Joan Osbourne hit song "What if God Was One of Us". As she sings on the track - "You can pour your soul out singin' / A song you believe in / That tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang / Sing it anyway / Yeah sing it anyway". If she keeps singing them like this, I don't think she'll have to worry about being forgotten in a hurry.
The other single "How I Feel" is also an excellent track, and has the potential to become a new Christmas song, thanks to the one line that mentions snow on Christmas Eve. (It worked for Stevie Wonder's "I Just Called to Say I Love You", didn't it?)
Although many of the songs are inherently sad, most of them show some light at the end of the tunnel, so that by the time you reach the end of the song, you get that tingly warm sensation you feel when something tugs at your heartstrings, and that's a good thing.
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Amanda Richards (arichards)
I write reviews for a hobby. Most of my reviews are short and to the point, on account of my short attention span. I try to make my reviews both informative and entertaining, and sometimes I succeed. … more
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After 16 million in sales and 22 top 10 singles, some artists might be afraid to tinker with success and tempt fate. But not Martina McBride. Following up on her platinum-selling Timeless album, a poignant collection of country classics representing her first effort as solo producer, she's at the production helm again for her ninth studio release, Waking Up Laughing. Since her debut in 1992, McBride has maintained a consistent presence on the country charts, including six number one singles, and has also enjoyed crossover success in the pop and adult contemporary genres. Always striving for new artistic heights, McBride is breaking new ground by serving as producer, writer and artist for her latest album, which includes three songs she co-wrote with the Warren Brothers and other top songwriters.