Highlights: Reba McEntire, ‘Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope’

Reba McEntire, Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope © Big Machine

★★★½

Reba McEntire, Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope © Big MachineCountry superstar Reba McEntire returns in 2017 with a country-gospel album, Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope.  

Veteran country superstar Reba McEntire returns with in 2017 with a country-gospel album, Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope. A double-disc affair, the first disc of Sing It Now focuses on the classics – the hymns that shaped Reba.  The second disc expands the effort, featuring newly penned inspirational songs.  All in all, McEntire delivers a well-rounded effort.

Disc 1

“Oh, How I Love Jesus”

Oh, How I Love Jesusfeatures a thoughtful, foreshadowing intro. Foreshadowing the forthcoming energy proves to be a great touch, eliminating the typical blasé introduction to the beloved hymn. The soundness of the record doesn’t stop at the intro.  Throughout its course, superb country-gospel production work propels the overall performance.  The result is a well-rounded record that plays true to Reba’s roots. The crème de la crème is clearly the timeless, beautiful refrain: Oh, how I love Jesus.”

“Oh Happy Day”

Oh Happy Day delivers a funky blend of country and gospel. Beyond tour de force “Oh, How I Love Jesus,” Reba has another exceptional gospel song to flex her musicianship.  The record naturally takes it time to percolate on the verse ahead of the chorus.  The chorus is powerful, featuring jubilant horns and superb choral vocals. As awesome as the production is, the best attribute of the gospel gem is Reba’s voice.

“Softly and Tenderly”

On disc-one closer “Softly and Tenderly,” Reba enlists the services of Kelly Clarkson and Trisha Yearwood.  Expectedly, the results are winning.  

 Disc 2

“Sing It Now”

Disc two switches from classics to inspirational originals.  Fittingly, title track “Sing It Now” kicks things off.  Reba recollects on her spiritual journey.  All in all, she confirms her belief in God: “But if I could sing it now / I can still sing it now.”

“God and My Girlfriends”

“God and My Girlfriends” has a predictable script, but the results are respectable through and through.  Country musicians are more likely than the pop musicians to reference God, so this type of record is common.  Reba is thankful for both.

“There Is a God”

“There Is a God” channels the power of faith – ah “faith the size of a mustard seed.” Throughout the verses, Reba focuses on the simple things in life, and how amazing and beautiful they are.  On the chorus, she attributes these things to God: “There is a God / How much proof do you need?”

“Back to God”

“Back to God” ranks among the most moving moments of Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope.  With all the problems that plague the world, Reba asserts, “We gotta give this world / Back to God.” This is a song that certainly appeals to the Christian base, embracing the power of faith and prayer above all.

Final Thoughts

All in all, Reba McEntire shines on Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope.  The effort isn’t the second coming, but it is pleasant and well-rounded.  The messaging by McEntire is pitch-perfect, particularly on gems like “There is a God” and “Back to God.” Vocally, she sounds magnificent.

 Gems: “Oh, How I Love Jesus,” “Oh Happy Day,” “Softly and Tenderly,” “Sing It Now,” “God and My Girlfriends,” “There Is a God,” “Back to God”

Reba McEntire • Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope • NASH Icon • Release: 2.3.17
Photo Credit: NASH Icon
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