Reba McEntire, ‘Somebody’s Chelsea’ – Song Review
Country great Reba McEntire continues to do all the right things, yet somehow her most recent songs can’t find space on country radio playlists. ‘Somebody’s Chelsea’ is her fourth single from 2010’s ‘All the Woman I Am’ album, and lyrically it’s the most powerful and accessible yet. However, the thick production value will still cause some ears to bounce off the song like a space shuttle grazing off Earth’s atmosphere at too shallow a trajectory.
‘Somebody’s Chelsea’ tells the story of a single woman finding herself seated next to a recently widowed man on an airplane. He begins telling their story as McEntire launches into a soaring chorus that proves the legend still has plenty of power left in her voice.
“When he told me her name / I heard myself say / I wanna be somebody’s Chelsea / Somebody’s world / Somebody’s day and night / One and only girl / A part of a love story / That never has an end / You know that’s what every woman wants to be / Somebody’s Chelsea,” she sings.
McEntire and co-writers Liz Hengber and Will Robinson tell a heartwrenching and heartwarming tale, using only the necessary words. It’s wonderfully concise and easy to follow — there’s no doubt both male and female fans will give their sweeties an extra firm hug after listening.
The old man finishes his story in the second verse: “He made me laugh when he talked about / Their first date and her father’s doubts / He said, ‘Even as her hair turned gray / She still took my breath away’ / And that it never changed with time / That’s when I closed my eyes.”
The other elements of the single wear like Justin Bieber‘s old hairdo. It’s just too dang perfect. Yes, this will be difficult criticism to digest, but it’s one that may explain McEntire’s recent radio struggles, including ‘When Love Gets a Hold of You’ petering out at No. 40 on the Billboard chart, and the risky Beyonce cover ‘If I Were a Boy’ failing to reach Top 20. These songs didn’t meet the bar the singer has set for herself over her three decade long career.
A legend like McEntire doesn’t have to cater to national trends; she’s certainly earned the right to make music however she wants. A little less polish could do her well, though. Right now she’s the best dressed person in a room of blue-collar workers. She says interesting things, and she’s really sweet. But it’s tough to get past the shine from her shoes.
Listen to Reba McEntire, ‘Somebody’s Chelsea’