Album Review – Reba’s ‘Love Somebody’

Reba Cover

Reba, arguably the most powerful female voice in the country music genre, has released her twenty-seventh studio album, “Love Somebody.” On this past week’s Billboard Country Update (4/20/15), Reba’s first single, “Going Out Like That” sits at #31 on the country airplay chart. Although women are relatively scarce in today’s country radio climate, Reba is a legend in her own right and won’t be ignored as she has a consistent fan base. “Love Somebody,” essentially is the theme of the album as each song is about love in some way. From the upbeat songs like “Going Out Like That” and “Until They Don’t Love You” to the sentimental ballads like “Just Like Them Horses,” this album has a song for every emotion.

The album opens with the current single, “Going Out Like That.” This song is a great introduction into the album as it sets a tone for what’s to come. Although much of the album is ballad heavy, there are songs like “Going Out Like That” on this album. The auto tune is somewhat audible to my ears throughout this song but I don’t think it takes away from Reba’s voice. Reba and her team made the right choice when pushing this as the single because it’s an uptempo song that will connect with country radio listeners. This song leans on the “pop” side in terms of instrumentation and country radio is in this phase as we speak. There’s nothing magnificent here lyrically, but it’s a good opener to the album.

The next song, “Enough,” is a power ballad with two strong female voices: Reba and Jennifer Nettles. Nettles is a strong vocalist who didn’t see much success with her debut solo album. I feel like “Enough” could fare well on country radio with Jennifer’s name attached to the song. The reason her solo album didn’t do much on country radio was because it didn’t sound like anything being played on country radio. “Enough” is just a beautiful song, lyrically, emotionally, and instrumentally. After two relatively strong songs, “She Got Drunk Last Night,” although not a favorite track of mine, is instrumentally and vocally, beautiful. I didn’t enjoy the song because I felt like the story had been used before. Reba’s voice really shines on this track and I enjoy it well enough.

The next song, “Livin’ Ain’t Killed Me Yet,” is a high-energy song about overcoming all the obstacles that are experienced throughout a lifetime. It’s a different side to Reba as much of the songs before this were ballads. Reba’s vocals are spot on in this song and I believe this song could make a dent on the charts if it were released as a single. “That’s When I Knew” is one of my favorite tracks on the album. It’s a beautifully sung ballad. It’s as simple as that. The story being told in this song is so heartbreaking and just beautifully crafted. I think that’s why I enjoy this song so much. “I’ll Go On” is another strong ballad. Its lyrics are simple, but it sells heartbreak with Reba’s vocals. She’s so emotive and that’s hard to achieve especially when country radio is the total opposite during today’s time.

“Until They Don’t Love You” has to be a single at some point. This song is sassy and Reba’s voice is perfect for this song. I really enjoyed the originality in the lyrics (A-B-C-D, 1-2-3-4) and the instrumentation really matched the amount of sass in this song. This is a song I can hear on country radio and jamming to with the windows rolled down. It’s fun and catchy. “Promise Me Love” is another ballad that I would label as a favorite. It’s more upbeat than the previous ballads. I would really love this to be a single but I’m not sure it’d be successful on country radio. That’s a shame because it’s a beautifully sung ballad and the instrumentation is surprisingly upbeat for a ballad. The next song is “Just Like Them Horses.” This is the song that Reba sang at her fathers funeral. What a beautiful song…lyrically and vocally. I can’t imagine how a live performance of this song would affect other’s emotions because hearing this song gives me goosebumps. It’s well-written and Reba’s voice makes this song so emotive and heart wrenching.

“Love Somebody,” is the title track and it’s a co-write with Sam Hunt, Shane McAnally, and Josh Osbourne. Hunt is going to catch some listener’s eyes but make no mistake, this song is a great addition to the album. It’s upbeat and catchy. The instrumentation is incredibly contemporary and this song would make a great single at some point. Reba’s voice shines here as she has to hit her upper register at points in the song. It’s not a lyrical masterpiece but it’s better than most songs on Hunt’s debut album. “Love Land” is a song originally sung by Martina McBride. Listening to both songs side-by-side, you may not notice a difference. I didn’t either until I realized Reba was singing this song in third-person. McBride’s version was sung in first-person. Reba’s vocals are tremendous here and I kind of wish the album ended here because the next song is kind of the “dud” of the bunch. “Pray for Peace” is the last song and I don’t really know why they included this song on the album. It’s literally the same line being recited over and over again. The only good thing about this song is the instrumentation. Did you hear the bagpipes? It’s definitely something absent from country radio which makes it a unique song, but it’s just kind of there for me and doesn’t really have a message that had an immediate impact.

Although this album was ballad heavy, I hope listeners take the time to listen closely to the lyrics because this album is lyrically, a masterpiece, in my opinion. There are some amazing tracks on this album and I can only hope Reba finds some success on country radio.

Grade: 9/10

Please listen to the album below and respond with your feedback! I’d love to hear from you!

22 thoughts on “Album Review – Reba’s ‘Love Somebody’

  1. Derek Hudgin April 29, 2015 / 2:26 pm

    Loved “Just Like Them Horses.” Reba sings that one beautifully. I don’t know why I expected a bad album from her, but I was surprised with this one. Though, I don’t like the pop effects of Reba here…

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  2. Raymond April 29, 2015 / 2:47 pm

    Well I’m gonna start looking for a copy to buy if I can’t oh well. I’ll just find it online I do have to say Going Out Like That has grown on me if it can find it’s way in the Top 30 I’ll bump it to a 0.

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  3. Will April 29, 2015 / 3:07 pm

    I agree, this was a pretty decent album, but there was quite a bit of pop instrumentation on the album. In “Enough” the hip-hop beat at the beginning should have just been left of completely. The title track also leaned too much on the pop side for my liking, but overall a good album. I’d give it 7/10.

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    • RScottCountry April 29, 2015 / 11:31 pm

      Personally, I feel like artists who are probably not going to receive much radio play due to age or gender, especially women, are having to come out with new music that fits the trends on country radio. I don’t blame Reba for coming out with a single that leads a little on the pop side. It may not be the most “country” song on the album but I felt like the ballads on the album are as country as it gets. The storytelling is what really struck me with each ballad. I think country music is rooted in storytelling. I don’t hear a hip hop beat at the beginning of “Enough” but i’ll listen again. The upbeat songs on the album really bring out something different in Reba. She is definitely more fierce with the upbeat songs and I think including those on the album brought something more because if it was an album full of ballads, I highly doubt it would’ve been as successful as it is.

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  4. M.G April 30, 2015 / 12:26 am

    I didn’t like all the album, but “I’ll Go On” is just amazing.

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  5. Scott April 30, 2015 / 1:18 am

    I love this album, easily Reba’s best album in years and I hope it does well. This to me is a perfect album for so many reasons. First off it has a one theme that everyone can relate too, amazing ballads like “Just like them Horses” and “She Got Drunk Last Night” which have very little production and rely on Reba’s amazing vocals. Ballads that are a little more aggressive like “That’s When I Knew” and “Ill go on” where Reba really sales the emotions of the song. Enough, a duet with Jennifer Nettles where both ladies get to show off their top notch vocals, they both get their moments to shine and their harmonies are great. “Livin Aint Killed Me Yet” is a really fun up tempo track, it reminds of Take It Back. Their are people who might say that “Going Out Like That”, Love Somebody” and “Until They Don’t Love You” are all attempts at radio but I don’t think so. Reba loves Bruno Mars and of course Kelly Clarkson has influenced her, I just think Reba’s musical taste have evolved over the years and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. For someone who has seen Reba Live a song like” Until They Don’t Love You” is going to awesome to hear live. With country being male dominated and very pop I think that Reba’s Love Somebody is a stark contrast and therefore people will want to pick it up as it’s very Country Album.

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  6. Cobra May 2, 2015 / 11:35 am

    I’m kind of surprised no one has noted that “Enough” almost feels like a merging of Reba’s “Whoever’s In New England” and Sugarland (i.e. Nettles’) “Stay.” This song seemed to bring those two songs together, especially considering that “Whoever’s In New England” inspired “Stay” to begin with.

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    • Josh Schott May 2, 2015 / 12:30 pm

      I really like “Enough” too. I would’ve liked it more though if it had better production, as it’s a little too poppy for me at times. But I love their harmonies.

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