Posts Tagged ‘Love Somebody’

Reba’s Return To Country Music

When a singer is forty years into a musical career that has produced more top ten hits than any other woman on the country chart and she’s tied with Dolly Parton for the most #1 singles by a woman, it’s hard for songs to sound original.

But, on her 27th studio album, “Love Somebody”, Reba McEntire sounds original and familiar at the same time.

Reba Love Somebody

In its first week, “Love Somebody”, Reba’s first new album since late 2010’s “All The Women I Am”, debut at the top of the Country Album chart and at #3 on the Billboard 200 (a ranking of all musical genres) selling 62,000 copies.

This is her 12th number one country album and her ninth Top Ten album on the Billboard 200.

The first single, “Going Out Like That”, is now up to #25 on the Billboard Country Singles chart.

“Love Somebody” comes in two versions:  a standard 12-song album and a deluxe Target exclusive that features two additional songs.

Hopefully when you bought the album or you buy it, you give yourself time to listen to it without interruptions.

When I listened to it for the first time, I was driving and got only two or three songs into the album before real life forced me to start listening to it again later.

That was a disservice to Reba’s efforts on the album and for my listening pleasure.  Because of that, at first listen, I thought the album felt disjointed.  That is far from the truth.

Upon devoting proper time to my idol’s heartfelt gift to her fans, I realized how much the album is classic Reba and how much I’ve missed hearing new music from her.

While the first single, “Going Out Like That”, which kicks off the album, was released four months ago and is slowly gaining traction at country radio, there’s no talk publicly of the second single.

As you explore the album for possibilities, the clear cut winner would be, “Enough”, the second cut on the album, which is a duet with Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland.

This song tells the story of a married woman hoping her man finds enough about her to stay while “the other woman” is hoping for the same thing.

Earlier when I said the album sounds original and “familiar” at the same time, “Enough” will have you flashing back to Reba’s Grammy Award-winning, #1 smash duet, “Does He Love You”, with Linda Davis, from 1994.

Reba has always had her finger on the pulse of people (mostly women) going through breakups and dealing with heartbreak, people hoping to find love, and for people finding that love.

“She Got Drunk Last Night” and “I’ll Go On” both satisfy the breakup and moving on theme.  “I’ll Go On” reminds me a lot of one of my favorite Reba songs that was never released as a single, “He Wants To Get Married” from 1992’s “It’s Your Call”.

In 1991, following a very dark time for Reba, she released a very personal album, “For My Broken Heart”.  The title track and first single and the last song on the album, “If I Had Only Known” are alive in this album’s “Just Like Them Horses”.

The beautiful song is stunning.  It’s about one person facing the reality that their time on Earth is over and they convince a survivor that they’re ready to go and that have to say goodbye.  They do it with grace, dignity, and respect.

When Reba got the song, she thought of her father, Clark, who wasn’t doing well.  When he passed away last October, Reba sang it at his funeral.

Reba 2011

Finding love against all odds is a strong point for Reba and through my 25 years of being a fan, she’s given me hope when I didn’t think there was any.

On this album, “That’s When I Knew” would give any man or woman faith that love is right around the corner and it’s my favorite song on “Love Somebody”.

Reba excels at upbeat anthems, too, and there are many on “Love Somebody”.

“Livin’ Ain’t Killed Me Yet” and “Until They Don’t Love You” are great, and then there’s the simplistic beauty of the mid-tempo, “Promise Me Love”.

When there’s a new Reba album, I admit that I’d be disappointed if there wasn’t a song that doesn’t truly rip your heart out and bring you to tears.

On her recent efforts, “Moving Oleta” (from “Room To Breathe”) and “Roses” (from “So Good Together”) come to mind.

On “Love Somebody”, that song is “Love Land”.  After I got over the mindset that the mother didn’t want her daughter to have a child outside of marriage, the message song brought me to tears — first, of sadness and then, happiness.

Reba Love Somebody

“Love Somebody” is a solid album and it makes you realize how much Reba has brought to country music over the past forty years.  It also makes it clear how much she could offer country music radio if it looked beyond ageism.

This is Reba’s best album since 2004’s “Room To Breathe”.

GRADE:  B+

My favorite tracks:  “That’s When I Knew”, “Just Like Them Horses”, “Promise Me Love”, “Until They Don’t Love You”, “Going Out Like That”, and  “Enough”.

Here’s a Reba bonus.

Last summer, before it was announced that Reba was working on “Love Somebody”, she released “Pray For Peace”, featuring her good friend, Ronnie Dunn, of Brooks & Dunn, and her daughter-in-law, Kelly Clarkson.

It’s featured on the new album.

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A Special Day for Three Lovely Ladies

If today is your birthday or anniversary, I hope you have a happy one and that the next years are incredible.

Rainbow Cake

It’s March 28th.  Today is the 87th day of the year and there are 278 days left in 2015.

It’s going to be a great day for celebrations today in the Quad Cities, but on this day back in 1920, there was a major Palm Sunday tornado outbreak in the Great Lakes and the Deep South;  in 1979, the Three Mile Island nuclear plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania partially melted down; and in 2005, an earthquake rocked Indonesia with a magnitude of 8.7.  This was the fourth strongest quake since 1965.

But, let’s get back to birthdays and celebrations.

60 years ago today, my idol, Reba McEntire, was born in Kiowa, Oklahoma.

Reba Love Somebody

While she has been very busy over the past years, she hasn’t had a new album out since November 2010.

That changes soon!  Her new album, “Love Somebody”, comes out on April 14th, and it features her new single, “Going Out Like That”, which is getting some country music airplay.

“Rolling Stone” says this of the new song, “The country music icon is known as much for her empowering songs as her breakup numbers, and her latest single combines both.”

lady-gaga-born-this-way-ball-2-435x580

Also celebrating her birthday today, number 29, is recently engaged Lady Gaga!

And, back in 1964, 51 years ago today, my parents married.

Dessie-Hollie-Anthony -- Fall 1964

Later that year, she’d give birth to a baby boy six weeks premature.  Yes, it’s yours truly.

Happy birthday Reba and Lady Gaga, and Mom, happy anniversary.

Champagne

Here’s some cake and a mimosa in your honor.

Anthony

Still A “Rebel Heart” and an “Unapologetic Bitch” 32 Years Later

It’s hard to believe that Madonna’s first album, “Madonna”, came out almost 32 years ago.

Madonna 1983 Album

Just this week, she released her 13th studio album, “Rebel Heart”.

Madonna Rebel Heart

At 56, she still has a lot to say and she still brings relevance to pop music even though most radio stations in the United States and England are blatantly ageist and won’t play her new music.  That’s the only reason that I mentioned her age.  It appears that if you’re a woman of a certain age, it doesn’t matter if the music is good or not, you have no place on today’s Top 40 radio.

This isn’t my opinion, this is fact.

BBC Radio1 in the United Kingdom wouldn’t add Madonna’s new single, “Living For Love”, the first release from “Rebel Heart”.  However, it was added to BBC Radio2 stations.  That’s the U.S. equivalent of not being hip enough for MTV, but okay for VH1 — when they were music video stations.

Madonna

Last year, BBC Radio1’s George Ergatoudis, who programs the station’s playlists, stated they were going for a younger audience, ages 15-30, “The vast majority of people who like Madonna, who like her music now, are over 30 and frankly, we’ve moved on from Madonna.”

So, is Rebel Heart” worthy of radio airplay in the U.K. or the U.S., two of most influential countries in the world of music?  The first single, the Diplo-produced, “Living For Love” is incredible and it became Madonna’s 44th number one song on the Billboard Dance Club chart.

There are several versions of the album available.  Here in the U.S., there’s the standard 14-song collection and a 19-song deluxe version, which I bought and I’m talking about today.

While I think that Madonna and Reba McEntire are two of the greatest entertainers in music and I’m huge fans of both, I’m not one of those people that think every song and every album they release is the best thing ever.

Madonna is putting that to the test this week and Reba’s first album in more than four years, “Love Somebody”, comes out on April 10th.

Reba Love Somebody

Rebel Heart

Back to “Rebel Heart” which is likely to debut at #1 in the U.K. becoming her 12th number one album.

In the U.S., it’s in a neck and neck race with the “Empire” television soundtrack to top the Billboard 200 chart.  If “Rebel Heart” does top the U.S. chart, it’ll be Madonna’s ninth number one album and her sixth consecutive chart topper dating back to “Music” in 2000.

Of the 19 songs on the deluxe album, eight are absolutely flawless (“Living For Love”, “Devil Pray”, “Ghosttown”, “Bitch I’m Madonna”, “Joan of Arc”, Holy Water”, “Inside Out”, and “Rebel Heart”).  Those all are A+ songs.

“Ghosttown” has already been picked as the second single from the album.

Religion still plays a big part in Madonna’s music and here’s a warning:  “Holy Water” really isn’t about what you’d think is.

It’s a song about sex and it’s very graphic with lyrics that would make me blush!  Oh, who am I kidding?  It’s my favorite song on the album, but listen at your own risk!

“Holy Water” sounds like a continuation of her 1993 “Erotica” album and it’s fun and very sexual.

And, Madonna gets points for smoothly working in her 1990 hit “Vogue” into “Holy Water”.

Seven more songs are great and would still rate an “A” or “A-” (“Unapologetic Bitch”, “Illuminati”, “Iconic”, “HeartBreakCity”, “Wash All Over Me”, “Veni Vidi Vici”, and “Messiah”.

That leaves four songs that are just okay.

Honestly, there’s nothing really wrong with “Hold Tight”, “Body Shop”, and Best Night” because I love Madonna’s voice on them.  However, for a woman who’s had more Top Ten songs on the Billboard Hot 100 than the Beatles, those three of the four weakest songs on “Rebel Heart”.

Madonna Boob

Obviously, Madge still loves sex and is not shy singing about it.  I love it that Madonna is still a very sexual woman and that she still wears what she wants and loves showing off all of her amazing assets (if you know what I mean).

The final song that I haven’t mentioned, “S.E.X.” is the opposite of the sexy she exudes on “Holy Water”.  It’s sounds very juvenile and unsexy.  Maybe it’ll take more listens before it arouses my musical curiosity!

I want to feature a few of songs that I deemed “A+” and “absolutely flawless” before I share my final grade and some parting thoughts about “Rebel Heart”.

In the fun category and with a little help from her friend, Nicki Minaj, “Bitch I’m Madonna” took me back to the zaniness of “I’m Going Bananas” from “I’m Breathless”, music from and inspired by the movie “Dick Tracy”.

The fun doesn’t stop there on “Devil Pray”, the second song on the album.  It sounds rooted in bluegrass and would compliment “Don’t Tell Me”, Madonna’s hit from the 2000 album “Music”.  “Devil Pray” will likely play prominently in the fall “Rebel Heart Tour”.

While Madonna is known for her ability to fill dance floors, she excels at ballads and that is so clear on “Joan of Arc”.  I could listen to that song all day!

If you buy the standard version instead of the deluxe version, you’ll miss out on the title track, which is one of the most autobiographical songs of Madonna’s career.

FINAL SNIPPETS ABOUT SOME OF THE SONGS

“Unapologetic Bitch” has a very reggae sound.

“Illuminati” name checks everyone from President Obama to Oprah Winfrey and from Justin Bieber to Lady Gaga.  Is it the new “Vogue”?

“Iconic” opens with boxing legend Mike Tyson and features a very weak rap by Chance The Rapper.

“Wash All Over Me” is a beautiful, subtle ballad.

“Veni Vidi Vici” features many Madonna song titles as lyrics and a poignant and time sensitive rap by Nas about rioting in Ferguson.  Too bad that Nas didn’t rap on “Ironic”, too!

Madonna Rebel Heart

Age should not be a factor when of the top-selling music artists of all time releases a new album.

“Rebel Heart” shows that Madonna is still relevant and that she still has her finger on the pulse of pop music.  After all, she is and will always be the “Queen of Pop”.

Sadly, radio groups saturate their playlists with artists that appeal to teenagers and young adults.

It would be nice if these people could experience the music of in icon that has changed with the times and refused to act her age.  After all, age is just a number and Madonna is a “Rebel Heart” and some things will never change.

To borrow a line from the best, she “ICONIC”.

“REBEL HEART” gets an…

A

After just the first few listens, I haven’t decided if “Rebel Heart” will be of my favorite Madonna albums of all time and replace “Like A Virgin” in the Top Five.

For right now (and in April 2012 when I first blogged this), Madonna’s self-titled debut is still my all-time favorite:

#5  “Like A Virgin” (1984)

#4  “MDNA” (2012)

#3  “True Blue”  (1986)

#2  “Confessions on a Dance Floor” (2005)

#1   “Madonna” (1983)

Anthony