Saturday, March 8, 2014

Reba McEntire - Just a Little Love

Celebrating its thirtieth anniversary today (March 8th) is Just a Little Love, the seventh studio album from American country singer and guitarist Reba McEntire. It peaked at number 23 on the US Billboard Country chart in 1984.

Side one begins with the title track. As the lead single "Just a Little Love" went to number 37 on the Canadian Country chart and number 5 on the US Billboard Country chart. The lyrics are about finding strength and support to get through the hectic days.

"Poison Sugar" is a warning about those guys who are charming on the surface but ultimately end up leading a woman to ruin.

"I'm Gettin' Over You" is about starting over after a divorce. Musically, it has a bit of a throwback sound to it.

Things slow down with the heartfelt "You Are Always There For Me". Thematically, it has a lot in common with the lead track on this first side.

"Every Second Someone Breaks a Heart" has a dramatic country-rock sound to it. It instantly brings to mind a dark and smoke-filled bar where there is a nightly ritual of love found and lost.

Side two starts with the bittersweet "Tell Me What's So Good About Goodbye". I like how she is able to effortlessly stretch single syllable words across a number of notes.

"He Broke Your Memory Last Night", the second single, went to number 19 on the Canadian Country chart and number 15 on the US Billboard Country chart. This swaying tune tells of a woman who finally lets go of her former love when a new one fills the void in her heart.

"If Only" keeps things on that slower, softer side with a song about regrets and speculation.

Next up is "Congratulations", a title tinged with a bit of sarcasm. I like the bluesy rhythm to this one.

The album closes out with "Silver Eagle", a quick-step dance tune. I like both the fiddle and guitar solos here.

Back in 1984, I was certainly not listening to much country music unless it crossed over to the pop charts. As such, both Reba McEntire and Just a Little Love were totally off my radar. I did become a fan of hers when she was starring in her self-titled sitcom Reba in 2001. Upon a first listen for this review, I certainly enjoyed the record. The songs were varied, and McEntire sells each one with her strong and confident vocals.

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