Review – Martina McBride’s “Reckless”

Martina McBride Reckless

When you think of popular country artists of the 90s, Martina McBride is undoubtedly a name towards the top of the list. After all she racked up numerous awards and scored 12 top ten hits, including four #1 songs. Just like Shania Twain, Garth Brooks and numerous others she capitalized on the more pop sounding country that soared in popularity. McBride was one of the top female acts in country music until the mid to late 2000s, maintaining a solid presence at radio. Of course in recent years older acts such as herself have been pushed off radio. McBride even lost major label status after parting ways with Republic Nashville after her lone album with them in 2011. But now she’s back on a major label, as she signed to Big Machine Label Group’s NASH Icon label. Alongside other 90s stalwarts Ronnie Dunn and Reba, McBride looks to recapture mainstream attention with the backing of the NASH label. McBride has just released her single under her new label is “Reckless,” the lead song from her new upcoming album.

This is a song that McBride fans are going to instantly love, as it harkens back to McBride’s music in the mid to late 90s. You’ll recognize right away the lingering piano and acoustic guitar that stays present throughout the song. This is combined with the lightweight, pop production that makes the song feel a little flimsy, but also allows McBride’s vocals to be the focal point of the song. The song itself is about a reckless woman who is thankful and a little surprised for the man in her life loving her. She says he has to be a little reckless himself to be with a woman like herself. And if you think this theme sounds boring and uninteresting I would agree with you. Whether you look at the lyrics or production, there’s just not a lot of meat to the song. Martina herself sounds a little quiet, which is weird because McBride has such powerful voice. Everything about this song just feels half-baked.

Martina McBride is undoubtedly capable of producing better music than “Reckless.” I’m a little shocked this was chosen as a lead single, as I would think they’d have chosen a power love ballad to be the lead single. This would play right into McBride’s wheelhouse and would give her a great chance at getting noticed at radio. Cam and Jana Kramer proved over the last year radio will accept these types of songs. Then again Ronnie Dunn played to his strength with his lead single and stalled out at radio, while Reba attempted to hawk the current popular sound and failed to gain much traction too. I see the same thing happening to McBride, which is a shame because female country artists are gaining a lot of traction right now at radio. You can only hope the album is better. Only Martina McBride fans will find “Reckless” to be worth the time, while the rest of us will hear it once and forget about it within a week.

Grade: 4/10

9 thoughts on “Review – Martina McBride’s “Reckless”

  1. Raymond March 1, 2016 / 11:20 am

    Yeah I found myself rather disappointed in this song. It just feels like the idea was there, but not yet fully written, the production had potential, and then it went absolutely nowhere. Martina McBride voice started off good, but never took off. Each element of the song could’ve been taken too the next step and this could’ve been a good song. But since they tried only half way that’s the score this song earns 5/10.

    I remain hopeful that the album will be solid, I mean Martina McBride has had a lot of great songs “My Baby Loves Me”, “Independence Day”, “Concrete Angel”, “Ride”, “Wrong Baby Wrong”, “This Ones For The Girls”, “How Far”, and her last hit she’ll arguably ever have “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” (not a fan of that song but I saw the appeal).

    Hey Josh, I’m not trying to question your whole reasoning behind why radio hasn’t been real supportive of Nash Icon singles but I think I have a better more factual description. It has more to do with label politics then anything. The only stations that tend to play these songs are the Nash Icon stations themselves and I think iHeartMedia or Cumulus (not both) and I think that’s it (maybe some indie stations) So with the exception of Reba’s lead off single which Nash Icon worked for any station they could find. Radio in general tends to ignore these Nash Icon singles while the stations that do play them tend to play them a lot, hence flame outs in the 40s.


    • Scotty J March 1, 2016 / 2:10 pm

      Yeah you are right I remember seeing somewhere that a huge percentage of Reba McEntire’s airplay for ‘Going Out Like That’ was from Cumulus which is a partial owner of the Nash Icon label and at the same time the song was getting very little support from iHeart stations.

      The combining of a radio network with a record label may have a ceiling that cannot be overcome no matter the performer or quality of the song. In essence competing radio companies would be rewarding there competitors by making there songs hits.


  2. Ron March 1, 2016 / 11:46 am

    What is with that cover? She looks 15


    • Josh Schott March 1, 2016 / 11:50 am

      Haha! Yeah there was definitely some “touching up” done with this picture. Not a very convincing look.


  3. Derek Hudgin March 1, 2016 / 11:49 am

    This is a rather underwhelming return for Martina. Granted, other Nash Icon artist Reba’s “Going Out Like That” was also disappointing, yet her album turned out to be great. So I’m hopeful for the eventual album to bring better music.


  4. Amanda March 1, 2016 / 11:49 am

    Meh, it’s alright. Sorta disappointed considering “A Broken Wing” is one of my all-time favorite songs. In the end, you can do much better than “Reckless”, but you can also do much worse.


  5. Kevin Davis March 1, 2016 / 12:06 pm

    Yep, half-baked on both fronts: lyrics and music. Out of curiosity, I looked-up the songwriters: Zach Crowell, Sarah Buxton, and Heather Morgan. Zach Crowell collaborates with Sam Hunt, co-produced his album, and co-wrote “House Party,” “Take Your Time,” and “Break Up in a Small Town” — plus some bad stuff from Chase Rice and Dustin Lynch. I don’t know much about Sarah Buxton, but she helped write FGL’s “Sun Daze.” And Heather Morgan co-wrote several songs on Brett Elderedge’s ‘Illinois’, including “Lose My Mind.”

    If those songwriters are any indication of the album as a whole, I am not hopeful. It’s funny that NASH Icon was started to offer an alternative to the mainstream and yet we have the exact same writers for the worst offenders in the mainstream. So, basically we were hoodwinked into thinking that NASH Icon would be any different.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Scotty J March 1, 2016 / 2:15 pm

      It’s sort of like there motto is ‘We let our older artists record the same crappy songs as our younger artists’ only the problem is they are not age appropriate like that pathetic Reba McEntire song. This could have been a real positive but unfortunately I get the feeling that it won’t last for any of these artists to release second albums.

      Liked by 3 people

  6. OlaR March 1, 2016 / 3:06 pm

    Not the song i expected. But it’s growing. Glad it’s not a “ballad with a message”. The whole “Nash Icon” concept is not working well. “Reckless” will not see the higher ranks of the charts.

    Checkout/New Releases:
    Joey Hyde/EP – was on Capitol Nashville a couple of years ago. The five songs on the EP are not bad. Melodic rock yes, Country no.
    Trick Pony/Pony Up/EP – Now a duo (Heidi Newfield & Keith Burns) & with Producer James Stroud. Six songs with “Hard Rain Soft Kisses” as my highlight. Heidis Voice is still strong & the production is up-to-date (but not outstanding). Two versions of “Hard Rain…” (Acoustic & Electric).


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