DIARY - 31 JULY 2007 - MARTINA MCBRIDE CD REVIEW
MCBRIDE 2007 CD REVIEW
MARTINA MCBRIDE WAKES UP LAUGHING
was only ten when her daddy got fired/ he drank away the family home and
left them all alone/ and then her mommy was just so tired so she got sent
away." - Beautiful Again - Martina McBride-Brad and Brett Warren-Nick
McBride has long been more renowned for pristine vocals than production
But when she cut her 2005 classic covers disc Timeless she
also chanced her arm at production.
McBride's album sales have topped 12 million during her 15-year recording
Now, on her 10th album Waking Up Laughing (RCA-SONY-BMG) she
has also taken the creative plunge with writing - being producer allows
that sort of freedom.
McBride teamed with Florida born brothers Brad and Brett Warren for three
co-writes she emulates Independence Day writer Gretchen Peters by tackling
social comment narrative Beautiful Again.
McBride wrote with The Warrens when they opened for her on her Timeless
"They are such talented writers and they write every day," McBride
revealed in an interview to promote her new disc.
"They kept asking me to write with them, and I kept putting them
off. One evening at supper, they came to me with the idea for this song.
They had already written the chorus, and I loved it immediately. They
said it wasn't finished, and they wanted me to finish it with them. So
I agreed, and we got together in the dressing room the very next day and
finished it in about an hour. It came really easily, and I really surprised
myself with how much I was able to contribute and how exciting it was.
We decided what ideas we wanted to portray build, dream, believe, love,
sing and then came up with ways to say it. After that, we wrote two other
songs for the album. So I have to credit Brad and Brett for opening that
door for me and pushing me through it. And having the friendship we have
makes it so much easier and more comfortable for me to explore writing."
moved in her with her aunt in Arizona/ everything was fine until she told
on Uncle Bill/ when he said he only wanted to hold her/ she had to run
away." - Beautiful Again - Martina McBride-Brad and Brett Warren-Nick
character in Beautiful Again suffers a triple whammy - abandonment
by drunken father, molestation by her uncle in Arizona when she is
farmed out, and then dumped by her lover when she becomes pregnant.
Not exactly the soppy love song format soaked up by radio - even if
the heroine finds solace in the maternal bonding of her daughter.
It's the second single, sitting at #19 on Billboard after 14 weeks
on charts, and part of the meat on the bone of an 11-song album that
grows on repeated listening.
when it rains, the past gets washed away, and then/ she smiles again cause
she knows in the end the world get beautiful again."
McBride injected Anyway - the first hit from her new album that
peaked at #2 on the album charts - with a gospel feel.
"Anyway was inspired by many things, among them a poem by Mother
Teresa," the singer revealed in a recent interview.
"It was also inspired by real life and the fact that we all face
adversity in one way or another. It's a song about hope, love, perseverance
and, mostly, faith. Faith that it's not always in your hands or things
don't always go the way you planned, but you have to have faith that there
is a plan for you, and you must follow your heart and believe in yourself
no matter what. The part about believing tomorrow will be better than
today was especially meaningful to me to write because I have a tendency
to hear the news or read some kind of article, whether it is about terrorism
or global warming and I get really scared and nervous about our future.
So that line is especially helpful and meaningful to me. It helps me remember
that we're all part of a bigger plan and that we must have faith in the
future and it isn't all gloom and doom!"
"Confetti falls from the sky/ my hometown on the 4th of July 4/ a
midnight snow on Christmas Eve/ like standing up for what you believe."
- How I Feel - Martina McBride-Chris Lindsey-Aimee Mayo-Brett and Brad
41, and born in tiny town of Sharon, Kansas, underpins her original songs
Anyway and How I Feel with optimism.
And, maybe not so ironically she borrows a July 4 metaphor from Peters
huge hit Independence Day, for the latter.
McBride kicks off her disc with strident unbalanced love of If I Had
Your Name that segues into the triumphant retreat from the ruptured
romance of Cry, Cry (Til The Sun Shines) - both co-written by Hilary
Lindsey - and exorcism of another faded love in Tryin' To Find A Reason.
Yes, it's expatriate Australasian superstar Keith Urban playing guitar
- his first post rehab session - on the latter tune.
The singer also impacts on dynamic delivery of Leslie Satcher tune
For These Times where daily tragedies adorn newspaper front pages
akin to the TV sound bite of a fast breaking heart.
It's a bleak battle for the balance of power - and mercy is in the soul
of the individual who rises above it all.
"For these times in which we live/ seems like the only answer is/
giving up on finding one at all/ and we hide behind unsure/ pull the blinds
and lock the doors/ and hang a pleasant picture on the wall/ blessed is
believer who knows love is our redeemer."
It's powerful stuff - and a soulful sibling for McBride's triumphant Anyway.
McBride exudes nostalgia laced positive passion in Tommy Hyler-Rachel
Thibodeau tune I'll Still Be Me, redemption in the heartbreak of
Everybody Does and true love reigning over poverty in House
Of A Thousand Dreams.
AND BIRTH IN LOVE LAND
wearing a wedding ring in a Vegas wedding chapel/ they were herding us
in and out of there like we were cattle/ not exactly the fairy tale that
I had planned/ but mama said aren't you supposed to get married girl/
before you bring a baby in this world." - Love Land - Tom Douglas-Rachel
employs superb sequencing - not just in the songs but also in the
sting in the tail of the tale that ends this disc.
The Oklahoma couple, bound in holy matrimony - not just by love but
a pending baby - choose a Vegas chapel for their shotgun wedding.
They then appease relatives by driving home to Oklahoma for the reception
before the double punch line.
"Amazing all the progress we've made since the days of Thomas
Edison/ still only God gives life in spite of modern medicine/ doctor's
voices whispered we did all that we could do/ but your baby wasn't
strong enough/ to make it the whole nine months."
is life at the end of the tunnel and final verse.
"For the longest time I blamed myself/ thought I was paying for my
mistakes/ but we tried again, now we're watching him blow three candles
out/ he's daddy's little man and only God could have planned/ the steps
I've taken that led me to where I'm am/ love land."
This is the type of song that makes mainstream country reek of the past
but still be palatable to the present and future when delivered by a voice
as powerful as that of the singer who once performed an almost secret
Melbourne gig on her distant past Australian promo tour.
She and husband John married in 1988 and moved to Nashville in January
He mixes the sound at her concerts and their three daughters are usually
with them on tour.
And McBride says a tender "bye bye" to Eva - the youngest of
her three daughters - at the end of this album, joining her siblings who
had minor spots in previous albums.
"It was her turn," McBride said.
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