Julia Chirls || Staff Writer

On April 14, Reba McEntire released her newest album, Love Somebody. This is McEntire’s twenty-sixth studio album to be released during her forty-year career as a legendary American country music singer, songwriter, actress, and one of the best selling artists of all time. Without a doubt, her album sales will skyrocket, having previously sold 85 million records during her career. McEntire has won two Grammy awards, including Best Female Country Vocal Performance at the 1987 Grammy Awards for “Whoever’s in New England” and Best Country Collaboration with Vocals in 1994 for “Does He Love You” featuring country music singer Linda Davis. Billboard immediately placed her first single on her newest album, “Going Out Like That” on the Hot Country Songs chart.

McEntire began her newly released album, Love Somebody, in October of last year. By that time, eleven of the twelve tracks on the album had already been produced. McEntire collaborated with Jennifer Nettles to record the second track “Enough.” Nettles is one half of the widely successful band Sugarland and is the lead vocalist. While a member of the duo, Nettles earned two Grammy Awards for “Stay:” one in the category for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and one in the category for Best Country Song in 2009. In total, Sugarland has been nominated for 69 various additional awards and has won 18 of those, including American Country Music Awards and American Music Awards.

“Going Out Like That” was very successful upon its release, it has a shocking resemblance to one of her recent hits “Turn On the Radio” released on her 2010 album All the Women I Am and “Consider Me Gone” on her 2009 album Keep on Loving You. This has a very similar beat to the two songs, while appealing to a younger crowd. Although it may seem repetitive, I think it really is a bright spot in the album and it is a tune you can sing along to.

In contrast to “Going Out Like That” is “I’ll Go On,” the sixth song on the album list. As opposed to the quick beat of “Going Out Like That,” there is a slow tempo with vocals that are filled with passion and soul. This soulfulness is appropriate considering the lyrics in which she expresses her sorrow and loss after splitting from her significant other. I think the two songs balance each other out, however, and represent a good pair to listen to back to back. I disagree with iTunes listeners, whose lack of enthusiasm makes it among the least popular songs on the album. It is without a doubt one of my favorites.

Sugarland fans will for sure enjoy “Enough” for which McEntire paired with Jennifer Nettles. As the second song on the album, it is a worthwhile listen. It is also the second most popular among listeners on iTunes — no surprise here. What country music fan would not like a blend of the voice of an iconic singer with a career that is decades long and a wildly successful, younger voice to go along with it? In terms of style, it reminds me of the hit Sugarland song “Already Gone.” There are sustained notes with the blend of two ranges of vocals in addition to a steady drumbeat to keep the song going.

Love Somebody will not disappoint. Don’t pass up the opportunity to hear yet another successful collection of work by a legendary artist. There is something for everyone here, no matter what your musical interests are!

Sophomore Julia Chirls is a staff writer. Her email is jchirls@fandm.edu.