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Reba McEntire

Stronger Than The Truth [Vinyl]

Stronger Than The Truth [Vinyl]

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Stronger Than the Truth -- the 33rd studio album from Reba McEntire and the first of secular material since 2015's Love Somebody -- kicks off with "Swing All Night Long with You," a joyous slice of western swing that functions as a manifesto of sorts: unlike the gleaming Love Somebody, Stronger Than the Truth is a pure, unadorned country album. McEntire delivers on this promise, albeit in her own fashion. While she returns to this hardcore sound on occasion throughout the record -- witness the skipping "No U in Oklahoma," so nimble it could've been part of the Texas Playboys' repertoire -- McEntire sticks to the kind of country that made her a star back in the '80s, emphasizing nuanced ballads and well-rendered narratives. Tempos rarely quicken on Stronger Than the Truth -- apart from the two western swing numbers, there's the gilded confidence of "Storm in a Shot Glass," but not much more than that -- but the album doesn't feel soft or meandering. Thanks to the co-production of Buddy Cannon -- a Nashville stalwart who regularly recorded with Willie Nelson and Kenny Chesney in the 2010s -- the album feels flinty even when it's tender, a combination that's long been a signature of McEntire's. She channels this empathetic toughness into a series of songs that plays like short stories -- there are tales of dashed dreams, managed expectations, and earned love, along with many other manners of adult concerns -- and that deft, subtle blend of music and message gives Stronger Than the Truth a lasting emotional resonance. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Release Date: April 26, 2019

UPC: 843930039852

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