Reba McEntire has been in the business and making hit records since before many of us were born. This is why she holds the throne as the Queen of Country Music and is showing no sign of passing the torch anytime soon.
Reba released her twenty-seventh studio album, Love Somebody, on April 14th, and the dazzling veteran artist faced quite the challenge with this particular album … She had to release it to a male-dominated industry that is sprinkled with up-and-coming female artists trying to make their way in the country music world. However, if anybody was up to the challenge, it was Reba, and she was perfectly ready, willing, and able to go out like that.
Love Somebody is a twelve-track offering that includes acclaimed song “Pray For Peace,” current single “Going Out Like That,” and highly anticipated duet “Enough” (with Jennifer Nettles), as well as nine other cuts that prove Reba is still in the game and she can play hard ball with today’s heavy hitters.
“Pray For Peace” and “Going Out Like That” have already been the buzz of Music City, ranging from praise for “Pray,” its message, and its collaborative prowess (Kelly Clarkson, Ronnie Dunn, and Caroline Kole) to excitement over the modernly appropriate, yet staple Reba-sounding, “Going Out Like That.” It should come as no surprise whatsoever that the rest of Reba’s album is just as noteworthy.
Love Somebody takes two very distinct paths to reach the same destination; sassiness and sadness. The two very opposite sentiments are those on which Reba has built her career over the last several decades and have proven to be her bread and butter in the industry.
The album’s sass comes in the form of “Going Out Like That,” “Livin’ Ain’t Killed Me Yet,” “Until They Don’t Love You,” and “Love Somebody.” Perhaps the track that best envelopes Reba McEntire’s signature sound and couples it with the appeal for today’s radio formula is the fourth track on the album, “Livin’ Ain’t Killed Me Yet.” This cut shows off Reba’s spicy attitude while showcasing her spectacular vocals, all the while inspiring people to keep pushing forward because they’re still here living their lives. If there is another upbeat tune heading toward radio on Reba’s behalf, let it be this song that will fit squarely into the current trends of the genre without compromising the classic artist behind it.
The sadness on the album stems from tracks like “Enough,” “She Got Drunk Last Night,” “That’s When I Knew,” “I’ll Go On,” “Just Like Them Horses,” and “Love Land.” With each of these songs Reba tells her musical stories, discussing the loss of love on many different accounts.
While all of the ballads on Love Somebody demonstrate Reba’s soft and sentimental side, the obvious highlight in this group of songs is the duet with Jennifer Nettles, “Enough.” The back and forth nature of the track is reminiscent of the 1993 Reba/Linda Davis duet “Does He Love You?” and expresses each woman’s vulnerability as it relates to the same man. The two voices blend together in perfect harmony and the collaboration is truly a match made in musical heaven. The only thing surprising about this duet is the fact that it took so long after Jennifer’s CMT performance of “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” for a joint project to happen.
Reba’s newest album seems to express an overall encompassing message to listeners that despite the hurt it may cause and notwithstanding the pain you could eventually endure, the most important thing in this world is to love somebody. The title track sends feelings of hope and encouragement that love, even if lost, will give you life, and that working through the heartache and heartbreak is worth it for those moments your heart is full.
Something that makes my heart full is having Reba McEntire back in the forefront of country music once again, and I don’t just love somebody when it comes to her, I love somebody’s talent, poignancy, passion, and respectability that she brings to the scene. All of these qualities, and so much more, can be found on her latest release, Love Somebody.
Watch Reba McEntire’s “Going Out Like That” video