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Martina McBride

Shine – 2009 (SonyBMG)

Reviewed by Rick Teverbaugh

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CDs by Martina McBride

To find any flaws in the vocal delivery or stylings of Martina McBride would be an exercise in futility. She didn't get to be four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year by accident or by putting out albums that fail to display her enormous talents.

Her new album seems not to launch her in a slightly new direction but at least give her a gentle nudge down a slightly divergent path. For one, the disc has a bit slower feel tempo-wise. Certainly the single Ride is very upbeat and is the quickest McBride gets this time around.

Songs are a bit more guitar-driven, thanks to Dann Huff coming on as producer. She still is able to tap into the writing talents of the best composers in the genre, like the Warren Brothers for the lid-lifting Wrong Baby Wrong Baby Wrong and Darrell Scott for I'm Trying.

McBride seems to be at her best and most earnest when she's offering up hope. Ride provides a healthy does of that. So does the Warren Brothers' composition. "Come on now everyone falls down/Everyone crawls now and then/Then they get up again/You cry if you want to/That's what we all do/But if you think you'll never move on/You're wrong baby."

McBride has the strongest and best voice in country music and those credentials are stamped once again here in cut after cut.