50 Greatest Hits
For the dedicated Reba disciple, 50 Greatest Hits won't offer anything you don't already have, save for a stellar chronological sequence of her hits. But for the casual fan, this is the Reba you need. It opens with the rootsy "How Blue" from 1984's My Kind Of Country, ending with the Kelly Clarkson-cameoed "Because Of You" from 2007's Reba: Duets. Following McEntire's progression between those two songs is an absorbing experience, hearing her try on different styles from song to song. She flirts with countrypolitan divorcee balladeering à la Tammy Wynette with 1986's "Whoever's In New England" and she sings like Dolly Parton on a 1989 rendition of the Everly Brothers' "Cathy's Clown." The cinematic "He Gets That from Me" muses on domestic partnership over a nearly twangless backdrop of polished Nashville pop. So then what doesn't this former three-disc set offer? All of her Mercury recordings and songs from Just a Little Love, her first album for MCA, are absent, as well as "They Asked About You" and "On My Own." But that's OK because this is a hits compilation and not a singles collection — and you also get a lot of chart toppers that didn't make the 2005 double-disc compilation Reba #1's.