ToC Critic’s Pick: Martina McBride, ‘Reckless’
Few albums released in 2016 will have the lyrical integrity of Reckless, Martina McBride's first album on Nash Icon Records. Each of the 10 songs hits like red wine on an empty stomach, with the buzz growing stronger the more you sip.
"Reckless" is an outlier sonically, but representative of a very personal album from McBride. The song tells her and husband John's story. "Just Around the Corner" is a ballad of inspiration for a woman who admittedly struggled with confidence in recent years. "Diamonds" (with Keith Urban) and "We'll Pick Up Where We Left Off" are a mother's words to her daughters. Both are as relatable as anything in McBride's catalog.
"Low All Afternoon" may be the most artistic lyric. Those who like their country bro and their lyrics obvious may miss the point of Hailey Whitters' first cut as a songwriter. "He's tyin' the knot and you're tyin' one on / He got what he wanted from the one he didn't want / He's ready to settle down / Now that he's messed around with you / Weepin' willow, you're gonna hang low all afternoon," McBride sings, every word torturing the heart.
Hillary Lindsey, Sarah Buxton and Nicole Galyon contribute to the track list. Fans may recognize "It Ain't Pretty" from Lady Antebellum's Golden album, and McBride's version stays true to the story. The power of her vocals is almost an afterthought on an album dominated by stories and emotions and a singer peeling away layer after layer of her soul to share with fans.
Key Tracks: "Reckless," "The Real Thing," ""Low All Afternoon," "We'll Pick Up Where We Left Off"
Did You Know?: "We'll Pick Up Where We Left Off" was originally recorded by jam-rockers O.A.R. as a tribute to the military.
Behind the Scenes of Our Martina McBride Cover Story