10 Songs, 28 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Put the accent on the first and last words in the title and you’ll grasp the concept behind My Kind Of Country (1984). It took six albums for Reba McEntire to find her own identity amidst the bland Urban Cowboy-isms of late ‘70s/early ‘80s Nashville. Finally asserting control, she returned to her Oklahoma roots and found common cause with the emerging New Traditionalist movement. My Kind Of Country jettisoned fancy string arrangements in favor of stripped-down instrumentation and solid country songcraft. Most importantly, Reba fully unleashed her voice, conveying depths of sorrow and flashes of fire never fully expressed on record before. You can hear the difference in the hits “How Blue” (an outstanding honky-tonk mood piece) and “Somebody Should Leave” (an honest look at divorce co-written by Music Row great Harlan Howard). McEntire dips back into Nashville history for tunes like “He’s Only Everything,” “Before I Met You” and “Don’t You Believe Her,” dressing them up smartly in fiddle and pedal steel guitar. The individual tracks work together to make McEntire a vivid presence, a figure at once tender-hearted and unconquerable. Reba got it right here, and the results launched her into country superstardom at last.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Put the accent on the first and last words in the title and you’ll grasp the concept behind My Kind Of Country (1984). It took six albums for Reba McEntire to find her own identity amidst the bland Urban Cowboy-isms of late ‘70s/early ‘80s Nashville. Finally asserting control, she returned to her Oklahoma roots and found common cause with the emerging New Traditionalist movement. My Kind Of Country jettisoned fancy string arrangements in favor of stripped-down instrumentation and solid country songcraft. Most importantly, Reba fully unleashed her voice, conveying depths of sorrow and flashes of fire never fully expressed on record before. You can hear the difference in the hits “How Blue” (an outstanding honky-tonk mood piece) and “Somebody Should Leave” (an honest look at divorce co-written by Music Row great Harlan Howard). McEntire dips back into Nashville history for tunes like “He’s Only Everything,” “Before I Met You” and “Don’t You Believe Her,” dressing them up smartly in fiddle and pedal steel guitar. The individual tracks work together to make McEntire a vivid presence, a figure at once tender-hearted and unconquerable. Reba got it right here, and the results launched her into country superstardom at last.

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