Single Review: Martina McBride, “Teenage Daughters”

This is the Martina McBride that I was really into when I was a teenager.

Well partially, at least. I love the huskiness of her voice, which I haven’t heard on record since her Wild Angels artistic peak. There’s none of the earnestness that has characterized her work ever since, and you’d actually have to remix “Teenage Daughters” quite a bit to get it to fit on AC radio.

Why on earth are there “do da doo doos” popping up in the middle of an otherwise charmingly resigned number about the realities of being the parent of a teenage girl? I guess they need something for the critics to poke a stick at.

But the lack of a glossy sheen and the palpably real vocal performance are more than enough to make this a winning preview of her first release for Republic Nashville. Can’t wait to hear the rest.

Grade: B+

Listen: Teenage Daughters



  1. Kevin, I agree with ya (which we don’t often do). I immediately thought more of “Cry on the Shoulder of the Road” and songs like that. But then reading across the interwebs, there seems to be quite a few people who think that melisma=more nuanced performance.

    Hopefully though, this one goes right up the charts unlike most of her last few tracks.

  2. I like this one too. The vocals sounded a bit weird to me at first, but the huskiness will probably grow on me before long. This just sounds much more authentic and inspired than anything she’s done in the past few years, and it makes me even more excited about her new album.

    I also think it’s noteworthy that Martina is unmistakably singing from an over-40 adult woman perspective, which seems like a bit of a gutsy move considering country radio’s youth obsession of recent years. This is the kind of song that artists like Kellie or Taylor can’t pull off yet, and it makes me think of how much I wish Reba was singing more from a full-grown woman’s perspective instead of trying to act younger than she really is.

  3. I’m with the consensus here – the “doo doo doo”s are my only major beef, though I could do without the guitar solo, too. Love the perspective, and love that she dares to sound tired and pissy. There’s so much more to a good performance than sounding conventionally pleasant.

  4. …the doo doo doo’s give it a nice little extra ironic twist, which skyrockets when a woman, known as “drunken martina” goes on about needing a drink. witty stuff from martina mcbride that gets better with every spin.

  5. Dan,
    I usually would agree regarding the guitar solo, but it works for me this time for some reason. I like your description of “tired and pissy” for her vocal performance. I liked the vocal, but I hadn’t thought of it that way. Makes sense.

  6. My love of Martina McBride’s music has gone sharply downhill in recent years. On her last two albums, I felt like she wasn’t trying to create anything magical or memorable. Unfortunately, her music suffered from contractual obligations rather than an artist building their legacy. I wasn’t surprised when she left RCA last fall; there was no creative spark left from anyone involved. It had become so bad that I’d all but given up on Martina wowing me again. She seemed like she didn’t care anymore and I really didn’t either.

    So I approached “Teenage Daughters” with a lot of trepidation. I didn’t expect much. I’d been hoping for far too long that Martina would correct her mistakes and get her creative juices back and she kept disappointing me time and again.

    Luckily, she pulls this one off. The arraignment is interesting and “Daughters” is lyrically very strong. Her vocal is light and whimsical and she sounds like she’s actually having fun for a change. This isn’t a second-rate attempt at anything she’s done in the past, but rather a bold step into the next leg of her career.

    When it comes on, “Daughters” doesn’t sound like anything we’ve heard before nor does it follow too closely any of the current trends in country music. It stands out because it’s the right mix of country sensibilities and sunny pop production. Martina isn’t acting old on this song nor is she trying to be Carrie Underwood. It’s age appropriate and sounds like it comes from experience.

    Say what you want about the “doo-doo-doos,” but they add a playfulness to the song that’s missing from most of the seriousness at country radio right now. They also help to keep the song current which is always a plus.

    The guitar solo is going to have to grow on me, but isn’t long enough to be a major problem. It comes and goes quickly enough that it’s almost a mood point. At least it’s a solo and Martina isn’t trying to sing over it. But it is kind of loud.

    “Daughters” is a welcomed change from Martina and a new direction I’m glad she’s going in. I’m already getting excited for her new album which is a big deal for me. This may not be the best single to hit country radio in 2011, but it’s a welcomed return from someone who really needs a career boost.

    Martina is a major player again and I couldn’t be happier.

  7. The title made me cringe, but it’s actually pretty good, but I just can’t stand the “do, do, dos” as well.

    It’s a smart release for the spring/summer radio period, as it is upbeat, but I have a feeling that it won’t do as well as the last two lead-offs (“Anyway” and “Ride) from her past two albums… since I don’t think the majority of the current audience would like this song, but I hope to be proved wrong.

    And Kevin, I agree this is a promising lead-off, but keep in mind that “Ride” was awesome and the album wasn’t as great as we hoped, so I’m going to keep a wary mind.

  8. This is a clever song. It took me a couple listens to fully understand the nuance of her vocal performance, I think. I like Dan’s description best. I was going to say ‘haggard and hateful’, but that’s probably my love of alliteration more than anything. ‘Tired and pissy’ is simpler and much more to the point.

    Thanks to this single, I’m more interested in her new music than I have been the past several albums.

  9. I bet this will actually be a sizable hit for McBride, for no other reason than Big Machine/Republic Nashville being mostly successful at securing radio play for their acts (Taylor, Reba, The Band Perry, Rascal Flatts, Justin Moore, Steel Magnolia, Sunny Sweeney). They’ve only had a few real botched cases so far (Trisha, Jack Ingram, Danielle Peck, Jewel, Jimmy Wayne).

  10. There have been two things that have kept me from really liking Martina over time: a tendency to go for the “little but loud” effect; and a tendency to do inoffensive, Hallmark-type material that is suitable for radio.

    Well, certainly “Teenage Daughters” is relatively inoffensive, but at least it doesn’t cater to the Hallmark sect. And she does dial down the vocals, to a huskiness and sound that, I would suspect, is something she has wanted to get back to for a very long while.

    I don’t know if it’ll make me a permanent fan of hers, but this is my favorite of Martina’s after “When God-Fearin’ Women Get The Blues.”

  11. I too hope this is a sign of that style to come. Some of Martina’s biggest influences honed in on that kind of production on their albums in the 70s.

  12. I kinda cringed when i saw the title, and thought this would take the route of “My Daughter’s Eyes” and “God’s Will” but I am pleasantly surprised, and will let the ‘doo doo das’ pass

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Martina McBride "Teenage Daughters" | "Teenage Daughters" Lyrics | Martina McBride Music | Dixie Streams Online Radio

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.