Reba McEntire, ‘Love Somebody': Everything You Need to Know
Reba McEntire has returned with Love Somebody, her first studio album in five years. From the title to the songs to the inspiration and her new record deal, here's everything you need to know about McEntire's 27th studio album, available at stores and digital retailers on April 14.
McEntire worked with some of the hottest young talent in the Nashville songwriting community to create a fresh new sound, but also included writers and producers she's relied on for decades. The result is a ballad-heavy project focused on love, or the absence of love. While most stay true to the sound she's defined for nearly 40 years, several like the title track and "Until They Don't Love You" find the singer pushing herself creatively. There's no shortage of emotion or fine storytelling on Love Somebody. If nothing else, Reba is a master at choosing songs perfect for her.
The album is titled Love Somebody and features a song by the same name, co-written by Sam Hunt. McEntire tells Taste of Country that this is the song that pushed her the furthest creatively.
McEntire was the very first artist signed to Nash Icon, a partnership between Big Machine Label Group and Cumulus Radio that is aimed at returning classic country stars to the marketplace.
McEntire released "Going Out Like That" in January 2015. Written by Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip and Jason Sellers, the guitar-heavy, rhythm-heavy track is reminiscent both musically and lyrically of "Turn on the Radio," her No. 1 hit from 2010.
McEntire co-produced the new tracks with three different producers; Tony Brown, James Stroud and Doug Sisemore.
Love Somebody comprises 12 tracks, with two additional tracks slated for a Target exclusive version. McEntire drew from some of the top contemporary songwriters in Nashville for the new songs, including Hunt, Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally and Ashley Gorley.
“We’ve been working on it a long time and we can’t wait to hear what you think about it,” she says. “As you all know, I love looking for songs to record. I’ve said that many times ... We listened to thousands of songs to find just the right ones for this album."
Among the tracks is a duet with Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles on "Enough," as well as "Pray for Peace," which McEntire originally self-released via Facebook in 2014.
“Going Out Like That” (Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip, Jason Sellers) — A female empowerment song about getting out of a bad relationship without the strings of guilt weighing you down.
“Enough” (Feat. Jennifer Nettles) (Kelly Archer, Aaron Scherz, Emily Shackelton) — McEntire tells Taste of Country that this song is a modern day version of "Does He Love You," her 1993 duet with Linda Davis. The songs are thematically similar, but Nettles' presence on this song makes a big difference.
“She Got Drunk Last Night” (Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally) — A mellow arrangement counters an emotionally-charged story. McEntire's ballad is about a woman who needs to feel loved, even if she knows it's not true. She calls it the most country song on the album.
“Livin’ Ain’t Killed Me Yet” (Tommy Lee James, Laura Veltz) — Tommy Lee James had a hand in writing several songs on Love Somebody, including this feisty country rocker that McEntire's longtime fans will appreciate.
“That’s When I Knew” (Jim Collins, Ashley Gorley) — Another ballad that's straight from the McEntire playbook. Fiddle and steel coat the song with country cred. "He made me laugh / We danced all night / And I didn't see your face when I was lookin' in his eyes / That's when I knew, I was over you," she sings.
“I’ll Go On” (Ella Mae Bowen, Tommy Lee James) — "I'll Go On" is a big vocal showcase that trades fiddle for piano, but still shuffles along at a heartbreaker's beat. This is a breakup song that strives to leave the brokenhearted inspired.
“Until They Don’t Love You” (Shane McAnally, Lori McKenna, Josh Osborne) — One feels the freshness of this song from the very first "Wooo." The soulful rocker brings attitude to the album. It's an original.
“Promise Me Love” (Nicole Fernandez, Jason Miller, Susan Ruth) — One can imagine McEntire singing this love song to husband Narvel. The midtempo song isn't as emotionally charged as some others — it's just a pure, unobstructed love song.
“Just Like Them Horses” (Liz Hengber, Tommy Lee James) — McEntire tells Taste of Country that she originally wanted to cut this song with just piano and vocals so she could play it at her father's funeral. Producer Tony Brown insisted she include it on Love Somebody. According to the album's liner notes, she sang it at Clark McEntire's service. He died just days after she cut it, and never heard it.
“Love Somebody” (Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne) — McEntire wasn't kidding when she said this song is the one that stretches her most, creatively speaking. Electric beats and a spoken-word style open the title track before a hammer of a chorus lifts the entire album to new heights.
“Love Land” (Tom Douglas, Rachel Thibodeau) —"Love Land" is a song about a girl making her journey through life, McEntire tells Taste of Country. But it's really much more. The ballad is both sad and uplifting. The song "just touched my heart," McEntire says.
“Pray for Peace” (Reba McEntire) — Fans first heard this song in 2014, when McEntire recorded and released it without much warning. It's a simple statement, and a needed one.
Target Exclusive Tracks:
“Whatever Way It Hurts the Least” (Brandy Clark, Tommy Lee James, Josh Osborne)
“More Than Just Her Last Name” (Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne)
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