Reba McEntire, “Love Somebody” (Starstruck/Nash Icon/Big Machine)
“Love Somebody” is Reba McEntire’s best manuscript of a 21st century since it draws on her strengths: That is, subtly and strenuously interpreting estimable story songs about adult relations set to contemporary nation music.
At 60, a performer — she bills herself by her initial name these days — stays a conspicuous vocalist, able of overwhelming ferocity and thespian nuance. She’s one of a good normal nation singers of her time, though she prefers pulling herself to stay current. Always ambitious, she errs usually when she tries to interest to radio with element that’s too lightweight for her talent and maturity.
“Love Somebody” strikes a ideal blend, generally on songs like “She Got Drunk Last Night,” created by Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally, and a pretension song, co-written by Sam Hunt, that finds McEntire rising to a plea of blending tongue-twisting stanzas with a testifying chorus.
Other highlights embody a duet with Jennifer Nettles on “Enough,” traffic with a partner who leaves her feeling like she’s not value a bid he puts into a rest of his life, and a romantic ballad “Just Like Them Horses,” a reverence to her rodeo champion father, created by friends Liz Hengber and Tommy Lee James.
With “Love Somebody,” McEntire proves she still has distant too most to contend to rest on her laurels.