Album Review: Reba McEntire, Love Somebody

Reba McEntire Love Somebody

Reba McEntire
Love Somebody


This is the strongest album Reba McEntire has released in more than twenty years.

Listening to Love Somebody is hearing a legend of the genre rediscover her own voice. She’s always been an excellent singer, but after making her name as both a heartbreak queen and the common folk’s Everywoman, she had tremendous difficulty navigating the post-Shania Twain landscape of female empowerment anthems.

After so many albums where she sounded like she was playing catch-up with younger artists who never had the talent to match her in the first place, she’s gone back to doing what she’s always done best. Love Somebody tells the tales of real women, sometimes in the first and sometimes in the third person, always with the perfect balance of grit and vulnerability.

The woman in the Brandy Clark co-write “She Got Drunk Last Night” is giving in one more time to an old flame, because she’s “tired of feeling old” and can’t face returning home alone.”I’ll Go On” finds her heartbroken, but determined to survive without bitterness or anger at the man who doesn’t love her the way that she loves him.    “Enough”, which is a powerful duet with Jennifer Nettles, has her stuck between the realization that the man isn’t good enough for her, but not being ready yet to completely leave him behind.

Even the uptempo tracks are mature and nuanced, and her life experience makes “Living Ain’t Killed Me Yet” and the title track resonate with the wisdom that comes with time.   The production is wisely sparse, showcasing her vocals with minimal intrusion.  Even when it occasionally seems that things are about to get too busy, like on “Until They Don’t Love You”, the bells and whistles are kept in check, and McEntire never loses control.

McEntire’s own legacy always overshadows her newest work, but Love Somebody features a handful of tracks worthy of inclusion among her finest recorded moments.   In addition to the previously mentioned “She Got Drunk Last Night” and “I’ll Go On”, her cover of “Love Land”, previously recorded by Martina McBride, elevates the already compelling composition into “My Elusive Dreams” territory through her passionate performance.   “Just Like Them Horses” is absolutely gut-wrenching, a four-hanky weeper about a woman letting go of her dying husband.  It’s her finest ballad she’s recorded since the ones that made up the core of For My Broken Heart.

For those that can hunt down the Target or International Edition, you’ll get two additional tracks co-written by Brandy Clark, and they are both good enough to stand with the rest of the album, with “More Than Her Last Name” capturing the claustrophobia of the modern housewife better than anything she’s recorded since “Is There Life Out There.”

Reba’s been doing this for so long that she has fans from all generations and with a wide range of stylistic preferences.  If you believe, as I do, that For My Broken Heart is one of the best country albums ever released and that Rumor Has It is nearly as good, this is the Reba album you’ve been waiting for.   Buy it now.

Best Tracks: “Just Like Them Horses”, “She Got Drunk Last Night”, “I’ll Go On”, “Love Land”


  1. So Going Out Like That is an Outlier on his album because I was very nervous about this album but it looks like I might have to buy this album after all looking forward to listening to it and like ZBB new album which I’m excited for.

    When it comes out can you review Kelsea Ballerinis debut album The First Time please.

  2. This is more along the lines of straight 4 star album for me, but even that’s saying something. There are some absolutely phenomenal tracks on here, “Just Like Them Horses” being the best. My biggest issues with this album were the tracks when it sounded like Reba was trying a little too hard to be “hip” (“Goin’ Out Like That”, “Love Somebody”), and the amount of reverb/echo on “She Got Drunk Last Night” and “Promise Me Love”, which really got in the way of those songs.

    Still, its definitely one of my favorite albums thus far this year.

  3. First off, I really enjoyed this album much more than I figured I would. I do like “Going Out Like That,” and you can’t fault the woman for trying to compete with one or two tracks, but the rest of the album is so much better than that single would indicate.

    This is the type of review that drew me to CU, and I was glad to read it. Most of the reviews these days seem to revel in the negatives of current country music, but I’d rather just praise and promote the good stuff than to spend paragraphs seeing how many ways a writer can rage against the mainstream.

  4. My favorite Reba album since What if it’s You! I’d just like to throw it out there that my favorite song on the album is That’s When I Knew! It wasn’t mentioned in the review, but its a great song about that moment when you know your finally over somebody! Reba sounds great on this and after hearing it for months I have to admit that Going Out Like That has really grown on me! My niece an nephews who are teens love today’s country (gag) but I can’t tell you how excited I was when I found out how much they love Going Out too! I guess Reba knows what she is doing getting some younger fans into her new music! If you love 90s country this is an album for you!

  5. This album is definitely one of my favorites. I love the upbeat music and the storytelling Reba does! It is so good to see the younger generation getting excited to hear Reba again!!

  6. I agree with this review a hundred percent in this being Reba’s best album in 20 years. It’s probably because I found her music in 2003, but I prefer Reba’s voice now more now than the 90’s and its used too great effect on Love Somebody. You have songs that are classic Reba like “She Got Drunk Last Night” and “Just Like Them Horses” both are stripped down and rely mostly are Reba’s vocals and there isn’t anyone who can bring the emotion out of a song like Reba. You have an intense charged duet in “Enough” with Jennifer Nettles, there harmonies are great and their voices really work well together. “That’s When I Knew” is another great song that I think in a fair world radio would play. You have a great uptempo track in “Livin Aint Killed Me Yet” which Reba’s vocals soar on and it’s lyrics really apply to everyone. I know a lot of people will say that “Until They Don’t Love You”, “Going Out like That”, and “Love Somebody” are all attempts at her trying to stay current but I don’t think so. Reba has toured with Kelly Clarkson, went to Bruno Mars concerts, Celion Dion in Vegas, and others. Reba’s musical taste has changed and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I heard “Until They Don’t Love You” on a cmt concert special and she really goes after that song vocally, it allows Reba to really show off her legendary stage presence. This is a long way of saying go buy the album.

  7. I have to say that I was really surprised how much I have grown to enjoy this album. I think All The Women I Am threw me for such a loop that it was hard to believe Love Somebody was as a good of an album as it seemed to sound like. On the surface it sounds like Reba is chasing the modern sounds, but I think the album has shown that she has really found her voice in the modern sound of country and has taken command of this sound. I think that’s what was so jarring about the album for me -a big departure from what I would have expected from her after her 2010 album- pleased she is making a return to form. Sounds a lot like what I would expect from a Reba album during the 90’s.

    I brought the Target edition primarily because the bonus tracks were both Brandy Clark co-writes (without hearing the bonus tracks). I think both songs add a lot to the album as a whole and elevate it to a new level. Both tracks have become two of my most favorites from the album.

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