Review: Country queen tells story ‘Stronger Than The Truth’

Reba McEntire releases emotional album bringing an older vibe

Courtesy of Reba McEntire and Buddy Cannon.

Courtesy of Reba McEntire and Buddy Cannon.

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The queen of country music, Reba McEntire, started her career when she released her debut self-titled album, “Reba McEntire,” on Aug. 15, 1977. Although her first album didn’t reach high on the Billboard country music chart, her future albums sparked the start of her successful career. McEntire released her 33rd studio album, “Stronger Than The Truth,” on Friday, April 5 after releasing a single every Friday until its release.

The lead single, “Stronger Than The Truth,” was released on Friday, Feb. 15 and provided fans an opportunity to preorder the upcoming country album. The single starts off with a simple story about living in an old town, but as the music escalates, the story does too. McEntire uses lyrics, “There’s not a sound, a sound as loud as silence” and “There’s not a low, lower than being the last one to know,” to tell of the hardships she had to go through when she was told her husband was cheating on her. Her strong vocals and emotion-filled lyrics showcase the well-composed story seen throughout the album.

“The Clown” reigns as the longest track on the album with over five minutes. One of the first lines, “The words, ‘I don’t love you anymore,’ spilled from his mouth,” reveal the next part of the story from “Stronger Than The Truth.” A long piano solo fades away and fans can hear the hurt through the lyrics, “In that room full of jokers and jesters, I was the clown,” because she is fighting the pain she feels. The way she continues the depressing story lets fans understand all of the feelings felt.

Track one, “Swing All Night Long With You,” demonstrates a honkytonk feel with the constant beat and is easy to two-step to just like the second single released, “No U In Oklahoma.” Both songs have an oldies feel but “Swing All Night Long With You” has multiple instrument solos and talks about taking “another swing at love.” Country music fans enjoyed the change of tone with these two songs and how they demonstrate a traditional sound different than the pop-country fans hear today.

The last track, “You Never Gave Up On Me,” ties the album together because it is a piano ballad. McEntire’s vocals are strong and she is able to showcase her fantastic singing and storytelling through lyrics such as, “I never gave up because you never gave up on me.” Throughout the song, it was difficult to tell who she was singing about but she says, “Thank you, momma,” at the end and it gives a whole new meaning to the song.

With wonderful storytelling, tremendous vocals and the use of older sounds, “Stronger Than The Truth” deserves 5 out of 5 stars. The hard and emotion-filled lyrics showcase McEntire’s feelings and experiences throughout her life. It is not difficult to dance along to her songs, whether they’re slow or fast. Fans can’t wait to see what the country queen releases next.

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