Amid yet another country radio comeback, Reba McEntire flaunts her many strengths - and occasional weaknesses - on her aptly named new album, "All The Women I Am."
When the Oklahoma-born redhead transforms Beyonce's pop hit "If I Were A Boy" into a layered country ballad, and when she underscores the tension between inner strength and heartbreak on "Cry," McEntire proves once again how masterfully she communicates the emotional complexity of a dramatic story-song.
But McEntire never simply relies on what she does well; she always challenges herself to stay contemporary and try new sounds. On her current hit "Turn On The Radio" and the title song "All The Women I Am," McEntire handles the aggressively modern arrangements just fine. But the contrived lyrics waste the powerful performances she gives them.
Still, the majority of "All The Women I Am" nicely balances worthwhile uptempo tunes such as "When Love Gets A Hold Of You" with timeless ballads such as "The Day She Got Divorced," which underscores that not all splits are traumatic. Overall, at age 55, McEntire remains a powerhouse who tends to err by trying harder than necessary to show her range.
Check out this track: "When You Have a Child" displays the beauty of McEntire's talent through the restraint she shows on this sweet ode to the pressures and possibilities of parenthood.
'All The Women I Am'