McBride's voice shines on new album

by Alison Bonaguro

Special to the Tribune

Published March 24, 2009


There's kind of an urban legend in Nashville that every singer uses pitch-correcting software. Everyone, that is, except Martina McBride. 

And true to that notion, her voice is the best part of her latest album, "Shine," released Tuesday. It is pure and without the slightest flaw.

The songs, though, are a touch too sweet. Most of the 11 tracks are full of ain't-life-grand messages, which is a bit of a departure from McBride's graceful, moving, save-the-world fare. The titles alone on songs such as "Sunny Side Up" and "I Just Call You Mine" paint a picture of love gone right. Others, though, occasionally get to the core of when love goes bad. Such is the case with the fragility reflected in the lyrics, vocals and melody on "Walk Away."

 The album's first power single, "Ride," is its best, with McBride belting out the sage advice to "shine while you have the chance to shine."

The sentimentality saturating the music is certainly not a reason to stay away.

If anyone can make happy country music believable, it's Nashville's Mrs. Nice Girl. After almost two decades in the business and 18 million albums sold, it's very likely McBride just has nothing left to be angry about.

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