February 9, 2011
Reba’s a great singer, and this is a great song.
Yes, the lyrics make it an awkward fit at times. Did we really need to hear Reba McEntire use the phrase “kickin’ it”, one single after using Twitter as an action verb?
But I think I get why this song is resonating with her. Perhaps more than three decades of being a female artist in a male-dominated industry makes it easy for her to tap into the double standard bemoaned by the lyric.
The problem is that even if her vocal brings maturity to the material, the production undermines it. The echo on “boy” in the chorus is terrible. It sounds like something you’d hear an overzealous synthesizer band do in the early eighties.
Reba’s only had a handful of truly great singles in the last fifteen years. “The Fear of Being Alone.” “Consider Me Gone.” “He Gets That From Me.”
They’ve been great because she found a great lyric, delivered it flawlessly, and didn’t let the bells and whistles of production get in her way.
This could’ve been a great single, with a lyric or two changed to make it more believable, and a production that didn’t call out for a Members Only jacket.
She’s Reba McEntire. She has no excuse for not getting it right.
Written by Toby Gad and BC Jean
Listen: If I Were a Boy