There’s something immediately different about Martina McBride’s “Reckless.” She begins the song at a point she normally builds to, and then lets go to begin a long, gradual chorus. From there it's anything but the same ol' Martina.

“Reckless” is mostly chorus. The verses are choppy melodically, accented with machine gun-style guitar chords. The story she’s trying to tell is clear and accessible, however. Few will listen without attaching a face to her message. You’re reckless, or you know someone who is. You’re either the “Martina” or the “John.”

The title track from McBride’s new album is a song of unquestioned love that opens a new chapter in her life, with new characters. Nathan Chapman helped Dann Huff produce the project — McBride's first on Nash Icon — and his influence is immediately felt. This record is a powerful pop statement that leans into reverb. A crash from the kick drum supports each of McBride’s steps up the scale, but the closest thing to that big 'Martina McBride moment' comes with the very first notes.

Every one of her songs is a vocal showcase, but "Reckless" is the first in quite a few years to find her matched by an equally strong arrangement. There's nothing about this song that says the 49-year-old is relying on old tricks to sell new records. That's refreshing. Many singers in her position make that mistake and later wonder why radio isn't interested.

Listen to Martina McBride, “Reckless”

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Martina McBride, “Reckless” Lyrics:

“For stumbling through a mess of dances / For squandering my second chances / For wrecking every dream and breaking everything I’ve ever had / Ooo, yeah.”

Chorus:
“I’m reckless, and senseless / I’ve jumped off the fences / Abandon all the rules / And crashed like a fool / Out of control, so criminal / You could have let me drown / But you reached your hand out and you met me in the fire / You fanned the flames up higher / Could have left me for dead / But you pulled me from the edge / For loving me / Like you do / I know I’m reckless / But you must be reckless too.”

“For trusting me when I wasn’t worth it / Forgiving me when I didn’t deserve it / For looking in my eyes and seeing the soul inside / Crying, crying, crying.”

“Everyone else, would have run, run, run, run / Everyone else, would have been done, done, done, done / Everyone else, would’ve stepped on the gas and drove away so fast and put me in the past.”