Single Review: Reba McEntire, “Stronger Than the Truth”

“Stronger Than the Truth”

Reba McEntire

Written by Hannah Louise Blaylock and Autumn McEntire

“Having me another won’t make the clock rewind. But I’m drinking every drop, knowing what I’m looking for I’ll never find.”

Reba McEntire is following up her Grammy-winning gospel collection with some of the purest country that she’s ever done, and if “Stronger Than the Truth” is any indication of what the album has in store, she’s gunning for the sound and substance of the new traditionalist albums that made her a superstar in the nineteen eighties.

What’s different this time around is her age. Singing a line like the one above while drinking away your pain has a deeper resonance.  Yes, she’s been left before on record.  Many of her finest recordings ever document the pain of a long-term relationship dissolving.  But when she sings about a marriage dying now, it has a potency that even Reba herself couldn’t deliver thirty years ago.

That’s because the wife being left in “Stronger Than the Truth” isn’t being betrayed by the love of the last decade, but the love of a lifetime.  The violation of that trust being broken, and the helplessness that accompanies it, are only heightened by McEntire’s bare and vulnerable vocal:  “The only thing I can do is pour a glass and pretend that this pain is gonna end.”

Reba’s powerhouse vocals gave her classic breakup hits an underlying layer of confidence and resilience.  There’s none of that here.  Just unyielding heartache in the wake of the ultimate betrayal.

It’s as sad and lonely a record as I’ve ever heard.

Grade: A

 

7 Comments

  1. Great review. Agree completely. Please let this single get some radio airplay and start a shift in current country music.

  2. Just listened to this. Count me in among the supporters! I can’t wait for the album as well.

    Also, this line: “There’s no low that’s lower than being THE LAST ONE TO KNOW…”

    I don’t know if the songwriters were intending to reference one of Reba’s earlier hits or not, but that’s still a pretty interesting title drop for another song.

  3. I really wanted to love this as I prefer Reba when she does real country. It’s a good song but it just doesn’t the “it” factor to me. I am optimistic the new album will be great.

  4. I got that For My Broken Heart vibe off this song and that’s a good thing. If Reba’s new album is anything like this song, we’re in for something amazing.

  5. This is a good interview with Reba where she talks about the upcoming album! She said that they asked publishers to find them stone cold country songs, but they didn’t have very many stone cold country songs that had been written in the last five years. So, they had to go back a bunch of decades and write their own songs for the album. I was just excited to hear stone cold country attributed to the album!
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