Sandra's Country Music Site



"What If It's You"

(MCA, 1996)

by Sandra L. Toney

Reba McEntire has been around for a long, long time. According to my last count, this CD, "What If It's You," is approximately her eighteenth release. But how does it rate to the previous seventeen releases? As much as I love Reba's music, I was a bit disappointed in "What If It's You," although I can't really pinpoint a specific reason.

Because Reba's last four or five CD's have been so outstanding, perhaps I was hoping she would once again outdo herself. "For My Broken Heart" (MCA, 1991), "It's Your Call" (MCA, 1992), and the fabulous "Read My Mind" (MCA, 1994 ), which had the poignant story of a woman with AIDS, "She Thinks His Name Was John," all were very successful and each displayed Reba's unique style, yet still had that certain something that every album needs to be distinctly memorable.

I guess that is what is missing from "What If It's You," -- its own personality and presence. I like all the songs, but I don't LOVE them. Not one of the ten songs on the album stand out on their own and shout to be heard. Mediocre is a good word to describe McEntire's latest attempt.

Several singles have become radio hits, such as "The Fear of Being Alone" and "I'd Rather Ride Around with You," which is a rather mindless song about a girl missing her cousin's wedding while cruising around with her beau and wondering what she is doing as McEntire sings, "My cousin's gettin' married at the Methodist church/That's why I stayed home from work/I'm supposed to hold the flowers when the new bride kisses the groom/That's what I'm supposed to do/So what are we doin' with the windows rolled down/Twenty-five passionate miles from town/Oh I love her like a sister baby but to tell you the truth/I'd rather ride around with you . . ." The tune is upbeat and catchy but the lyrics are too "cutesy" for a superstar like Reba to even consider performing. I think this song was a major disappointment (and I was surprised it was selected as a radio release).

Besides "I'd Rather Ride Around with You," there are a few other upbeat tunes that deserve a listen including "How Was I To Know," and "Never Had A Reason To." But, as always, Reba shines brightest on her ballads. "Close to Crazy," "Just Looking for Him" and, the best selection on the album, the title song, "What if it's You," all find Reba McEntire at her best.

Diehard Reba fans should definitely buy this CD but, if you aren't a faithful follower of McEntire, you might want to save your money and wait for her next release which, in all likelihood, will be the Queen of Country back at her best once again.

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