Martina McBride

Discussion in 'Music' started by Mel O'Drama, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    :D
    I've been building mine over the last several weeks. It's the first time I've done my annual Christmas playlist in Spotify, so I've had to check to find out which of my favorites (like the Light Up the World album) aren't available in Spotify and then import them over from iTunes.

    Once you've made your Christmas Favorites, is it pretty well set for the season, or do you move songs in and out for the next few weeks?

    Perhaps this guy in his Christmas sweater pulled tightly over his bulging muscles reminding you that "bells will be ringing"?

    [​IMG]


    I like that interpretation because it sort of implies that the singer is dealing with a heavy dose of denial, thinking they will get back together eventually. It's a bit darker and sadder--which I like.


    :brick:
    I don't know anything about Emmylou but now I'm sort of curious about her.
     
  2. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Gosh. That sounds like a serious project.

    I'll more than likely be moving songs in and out. From experience, someone posting a song in a Top Ten thread can put me in the mood to listen to it, so I'll be going with my whims.

    Faith Hill's Christmas album arrived yesterday, so I'll be popping a few tracks from that one into the list.

    [​IMG]

    Yup. Lee will most definitely be in there with the creme de la creme of Chrismas.


    I only have a few of her tracks in iTunes. Two duets: Another Pot O' Tea with Anne Murray and Beyond The Blue with Patty Griffin (which is a different song to Martina's). And, bizarrely enough, Emmylou's cover of Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.

     
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  3. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    I realized that I don't especially love this album.

    1. Come See About Me
    2. Suspicious Minds
    3. What Becomes of the Brokenhearted


    Chronologically (going backwards) the next album on Spotify is called The Classic Christmas Album, which appears to be mostly the same as the White Christmas album with the addition of Blue Christmas. I really couldn't come up with any definitive favorites beyond Silver Bells. I love all the songs on the album.

    1. Silver Bells
    2. White Christmas
    3. Blue Christmas




    1. Summer of Love
    2. Broken Umbrella
    3. When You Love a Sinner

    I think we talked before about how the specificity of Teenager Daughters would typically be off-putting for me but her delivery is so charming and it's has such a nice country vibe that I actually find it very enjoyable.

    Also for some reason I really can't stand You Can Get Your Lovin' Right Here.



    I hope to get to Shine this weekend.



    Ranking the albums I've done so far (excluding Christmas and compilations) in order of favorites:

    1. Reckless
    2. Eleven
    3. Everlasting
     
  4. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    While I was making the the playlist I thought of this question. I hadn't given my process a great deal of thought, but I can now reveal that it's traditional for me to start with more generic wintry songs that don't explicitly refer to Christmas. Songs like Let It Snow; Winter Wonderland; Baby, It's Cold Outside or Sleigh Ride. The more overtly Christmassy tracks come a little later. Those wintry ones will be the last ones to remain ticked, too - usually going through to the onset of spring.

    In fact some of them are in rotation all year round. The ones that are traditionally seasonal but don't mention cold weather or Christmas (the likes of Ave Maria, The Prayer, Amazing Grace, Overjoyed).


    My relationship with Everlasting is quite different to most Martina albums. As an album experience it's a favourite: I really like every song on it. But there's not a song on it that I've become addicted to in the way that I have, say, Where Would You Be; A Broken Wing or Anyway.

    It feels special to me as it was the first Martina album I bought. But even without that, I do enjoy the execution with all those vintage instruments supporting Martina's lovely voice.


    Oh yes. White Christmas has been released four different times, including the Classic Christmas album version.

    For the record, I have the 2007 release, which has every song from the first two albums plus an additional four. It's the only one with the fun version of Jingle Bells that sounds like it belongs in an MGM musical or a Tom & Jerry cartoon.




    The only track the 2007 version misses from Classic Christmas is Blue Christmas, which I have on another album anyway.


    I just looked at the tracklist for The Classic Christmas Album and decided to list my top three by play count:


    1. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
    2. Blue Christmas (with Elvis Presley)
    3. Baby It's Cold Outside (with Dean Martin)

    None of these three appear on the original version of White Christmas. Which means my Classic Christmas favourites are entirely different to my White Christmas favourites



    Something about it has felt a little off for me. I think I struggle with the sexuality in it and wonder if it's a good fit for Martina.

    But… I'm taking the challenge and I've moved it into my Favourites playlist. Besides, I could do with exploring Eleven in a little more depth as I haven't given most of the tracks on it a fair shot.



    Great stuff!!

    It'll be fun to compare notes here, too. Now - do I rank the albums in full? Do I rank them as you listen? Or do I wait until you reach the end and give my full list then…?!
     
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  5. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    I really like her voice. I need to explore a bit of her work sometime.

    Winter Wonderland in March!? You are a rebel! :D

    Maybe that's why it's mostly just so-so for me--there isn't any track that really grabs me in a big way. It's a decent album. I remember it being a long wait from Eleven to her next album and I remember being a bit disappointed it was all covers.

    I didn't realize that. Between that and all the various greatest hits albums, her label really likes to get their money's worth for her material.

    That's really fun!

    For me it has something to do with the way the song sounds. I'm not entirely sure. I just don't care for it.

    You're heartier than I am. I don't think I made it all the way through the track when I was listening last weekend.

    Oh, rank them as I listen if you don't mind! It would be fun to see how similar we are.
     
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  6. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You'd better believe it! :D

    Speaking of Winter Wonderland, Faith Hill's version has become an instant favourite and is getting some play for me already this year (the weather is very frosty and cold, so it works).


    I might have felt the same way if I'd been through the same process as you. For me, I didn't know much about Martina at that point, other than some conversations we'd had.

    Before Everlasting I had just three of her tracks in my collection - all covers - and I barely listened to two of those. The third track, her live cover of We've Got Tonight was the song that really won me over to her voice, a year or so before Everlasting. But I also viewed her as a country artist - a genre that didn't interest me until I began exploring her repertoire in more depth.

    Because I knew most of the songs on Everlasting, liked the soul genre and knew that I liked Martina's voice I decided to take the plunge. So on that level, Martina taking on a different genre and singing familiar songs worked. For me, the timing of Everlasting was perfect.


    Definitely. There's some crafty marketing going on. I can remember reading a while back that Martina only heard about The Essential Martina McBride at the same time her fans did. It's strange to think that she didn't have a say in that.

    :D I've just listened to it twice while making this post and I've decided it has the makings of a future favourite.

    As I've been writing about Everlasting, it's occurred to me that You Can Get Your Lovin' would be a perfect fit on that album. It's very soulful and the sound is very similar. But then you'd like that album even less. lol

    I feel the same way. Here goes...

    It's really close between Everlasting and Reckless and I still want to keep changing my mind.

    As a complete package I find Everlasting very consistent and satisfying and I enjoy the warm vintage sound. It has a higher play count, but then it has a two year head start. I also feel very warmly towards it because of the association of it being my first Martina album.

    Reckless feels more diverse, with a few songs that feel anthemic. It scores for having original songs - or at least songs that I associate exclusively with Martina.

    It's a very tough choice, as I love them both in different ways. But here's how they look today:

    1. Reckless
    2. Everlasting
    3. Eleven
     
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  7. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    I can't remember what it sounds like. Her Christmas album is one that I haven't played a lot. I've just realized that I didn't add any tracks from Faith to my Christmas playlist either. I'll have to rectify that as soon as I finish here.

    :D I'm glad you are making something positive out of my dislike for the song. I, however, am determine to remain staunchly not a fan of that one.


    That's one of the things I love about it--you've got your classic country sounding songs, your anthems, your feel good/uplifting songs, even a torch song. It's got a bit of everything--but still feels mostly unified in it's hopefulness.

    I'm anxious to see how we compare as we get to the older albums. I will definitely be getting to Shine in the next few days.
     
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  8. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Enjoy. I haven't listened to it a great deal yet either, but I think there are a few that will become Christmas standards for me in future years.


    :D

    Yes. It does a nice job of having its own identity while still feeling true to Martina's heritage. I've just been listening to That's The Thing About Love and thinking that it fits really well on the album but would also be a perfect fit on the Wild Angels album.

    I'm looking forward to your thoughts. Shine is an album where the songs have kind of crept up on me. I just looked at the track list and realised I'm listening to more tracks than I realised with some regularity.
     
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  9. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    What a fun album and a great one to sing along with in the shower. It feels very close to Reckless in that it has a little bit of everything and some great anthems. Her voice is so strong and powerful on this album.

    1. I Just Call You Mine*
    2. Wrong Baby Wrong Baby Wrong
    3. Ride

    The only song from Shine that was already in my Favorites playlist was I Just Call You Mine--which I only added recently, when you brought it up, Mel. Tonight I added the other two songs in my top three above and also Walk Away, What Do I Have to Do, Don't Cost a Dime, and You're Not Leaving Me (which narrowly missed the top three--love her voice in that one).



    Favorite Albums

    1. Shine
    2. Reckless
    3. Eleven
    4. Everlasting


    *I am so in love with IJCYM right now. It feels so good to sing along with it and I love trying to figure out the right places to breathe so I can keep up with the notes she holds. The lyrics "I'd be a fool not to see you, even worse to forget that you're more than I deserve" always get me. Also, I hadn't put it together until this weekend that this is the song that gives the album it's title.
     
  10. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    Next week will be Wake Up Laughing. It's an album with a couple of songs that I really love. I already know my top two, but glancing through the track list there are a handful of songs that I can't recall at all. Looking forward to getting into it.
     
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  11. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It's funny. I listen to a lot of Martina but there are a number of her albums I don't know that well, and Shine is one of them.

    Usually when I listen to an album for the first time I'll play to it in full and in order at least once. Songs that speak to me will get moved into either my Favourites playlist or one of a couple of MM playlists (one for songs I love and one for songs I want to get to know better). But along the way some of the other songs get overlooked or forgotten.

    Back when discovering Martina, I recall I bought a number of her albums in one hit from an eBay seller who had listed several. As I recall, that purchase included most of her albums from The Way That I Am through to Shine. I started listening to them in chronological order, but at some point, I think I got overwhelmed and didn't listen to the later albums in full.

    Shine
    was one of the albums that got overlooked. I do recall Lies speaking to me immediately, and that was about it at the time. A short while later, I fell for You're Not Leaving Me, then What Do I Have To Do?. Those two songs haven't really been out of my Favourites playlist and get regular plays from me.

    As you know, I kind of stumbled on I Just Call You Mine again recently. With a good number of songs I like, there's an association of where I was when I first heard it, but I have a couple of very specific memories attached the (re)discovery of IJCYM, and can even pinpoint the day and time I went from enjoying it to loving it. Two months ago on a road trip I was playing it in the car and stopped to take some photos of a stunning view with the sun low in the sky. So I even have photos attached to the memory. It's safe to say it's cemented as a favourite.

    Weirdly, I don't enjoy Lies anymore. I still think it's a great song, but it's one of those songs I overplayed and burned out with. I have a similar relationship with Heart Trouble and a few of her Timeless songs, whereas other songs have much higher play counts but haven't hit that wall.

    Ride is one that I have to be in the right mood to listen to. But when I am, it takes me somewhere very special. At this moment I'm loving it.

    I really like Sunny Side Up, but find myself put off by the "You're lookin' at a girl" line in the chorus. I've got past that with other songs but not this one yet.

    I'm Tryin' and Wild Rebel Rose are two beautiful story songs I've barely listened to. Wild Rebel feels a little different to Independence Day or A Broken Wing with the narrator playing a part in the story. I'm Tryin' has brought tears to my eyes each time I hear it. It's so poignant and I'm a sucker for couples' love getting them through everything (I'm Gonna Love You Through It springs to mind. Maybe it's even the same couple).

    I've just added Wrong Baby Wrong Baby Wrong and Walk Away to my Favourites playlist. Walk Away had a zero play count and Wrong Baby... just two plays. Now I wonder what I was thinking.


    I've realise I can't fairly rank this album - and several of her others - without giving them another shot. So I'm going to be listening to Shine a bit this week along with Waking Up Laughing.



    I'm loving your love for it. It's a really great track and I love singing along with it too. David Phelps's version is also getting frequent plays, but it's waaaay out of my singing range.


    She also sings "Shine while you have the chance to shine" in Ride. It would have been fun if she could have worked that word into every track on the album. But it's probably not the best way to write a good song.

    If you haven't already, check out these videos where she talks a bit about the title and the album. Seems she's a fan of the word. I love finding out about stuff like this:






    I think we're both coming at this from the same angle. It'll be fun discovering it along with you.
     
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  12. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    I like hearing about how other people go about exploring an artist who is new to them with a fairly large back catalogue. I never quite know how to approach that task and it can be daunting.

    I've mentioned before that my entry point with Martina was her 2001 Greatest Hits album. I fell in love with it but didn't really feel the need to explore what had come before it. I bought Martina when it came out and liked a handful of songs on it, bought Timeless and liked a handful of songs and bought Wake Up Laughing and liked a couple of songs. From that album on I didn't buy another album (just a song or two) until Everlasting. Throughout all of that her Greatest Hits continued to get lots of play along with a few favorites, like Anyway, from the albums that came after. And then you became a fan and that sparked a renewed interest in her and ever since, I have been slowly becoming more familiar with the body of her work--including all those albums that came before her Greatest Hits.

    That's beautiful! It's so cool that you have such specific associations to go with the song. Those moments where you get to experience something emotionally stirring and also happen to have the perfect soundtrack playing are rare and very powerful.

    I had a similar experience with Lies. I went into Shine this week expecting Lies to be in my top three because I had liked it so much in the past. But I found myself not really enjoying it this weekend and it didn't even make the cut to be added to my Favorites playlist. I do still absolutely love the hook--"I don't want you to call. I don't miss you at all." It's impossible for me not to sing that part.

    I just seem to have a thing with the story songs. I like most of them, but most of them I don't want to listen to on a regular basis. The exceptions right now being When You Love a Sinner and It Ain't Pretty--if those are both considered story songs.

    I love your thought that maybe the same couple features in a couple of songs. It would be interesting at some point to make a list of all the songs we think are story songs and examine the themes and story points in each of them.

    Again, I think that goes with how difficult it is to start from scratch with an artist who has a large number of songs to explore. It's natural that you want to spend time with the songs that speak to you and that can mean less time exploring other albums and songs. It makes me wish I could have a thread like this with other fans like you for every artist that I want to explore. It certainly has worked wonders for my love of Martina and Steps.

    Lots of Martina songs have been re-added to my Favorites playlist this last two weeks. With both Steps and Martina infiltrating--that's a considerable and welcome spike in estrogen to my Favorites playlist.

    I'm really looking forward to your thoughts on both. I don't have high hopes for Waking Up Laughing--which is making me excited to get into it and see if I'm wrong.

    That one went completely over my head this weekend.

    Thanks! Those were good. When she mentioned her love of 80's music and being influence by Pat Benitar (among others) on this album that really clicked. I can totally hear that influence.

    She seemed really inspired and excited about the album. It really does give me the same vibe as the Reckless album. I think they compliment each other really nicely.
     
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  13. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    I meant to mention--I actually enjoy singing songs and referring to myself as "girl"--like in It Ain't Pretty. I'm not sure why. I guess it feels rebellious and anti-establishment. I certainly have an easier time calling myself a girl than I do singing "girl" in all those boyband songs where they need to assert their heterosexuality.

    And then there are times where I feel like changing the "girl" to "boy." I caught myself doing something similar to that with this song yesterday. It came up on shuffle while I was driving around yesterday and I played it about four times in a row, and found myself singing "and your looking for the answer in his eyes. You think you're going to break up, then he says he wants to make up."




    Incidentally I didn't know there was a "pop mix" of this song by Tina too. I was only familiar with the "smooth mix." I like the smooth mix much better.

     
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  14. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    Waking Up Laughing

    1. Anyway
    2. If I Had Your Name
    3. For These Times (This song feels so appropriate for 2016.)

    Not too bad of an album. A bit heavy on the story songs. A handful of the songs, I couldn't remember every listening to before.



    Albums:

    1. Reckless
    2. Shine
    3. Eleven
    4. Everlasting
    5. Waking Up Laughing
     
  15. Jason73

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    I was curious about what were the most popular Martina songs overall, with the general public. In my mind, Anyway is her masterpiece and deserves to be her most popular.

    This is unscientific, but I brought up a list of all her songs in the iTunes store and then had them arranged by popularity. The top songs looked like this:

    1. This One's For the Girls (yuck!)
    2. Concrete Angel (OMG, too sad!)
    3. I'm Gonna Love You Through It (America loves their sad Martina songs, I guess.)
    4. In My Daughter's Eyes (I'm not even sure what this one sounds like.)
    5. Anyway
    6. Independence Day
    7. Wrong Baby Wrong Baby Wrong
    8. I Just Call You Mine


    When you search an artist on Spotify it brings up a list of five songs with the heading "popular." Again, unscientific, but the five songs that got voted "popular" on Spotify based on overall plays by Spotify members:

    1. Concrete Angel with over 7 million plays
    2. Independence Day with over 5 million plays
    3. This Ones for the Girls with just under 4 million plays
    4. All My Exes Live in Texas (which has about a 100 different country music stars singing together) has about the same plays as TOFTG
    5. Valentine with a little over 3 million plays


    Martina, Faith, Miranda and Cheryl and some guys--skip to 1:50:



    Faith Hill looks so tall!
     
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  16. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow. That's a great story. I remember you talking about her Greatest Hits album and seeing Martina live on the tour to support it, which is a great time to discover an artist. I'm honoured to be part of the journey - especially since I owe my Martina fandom to your encouragement.

    Definitely.

    That's interesting. Perhaps it's the opposite of a "grower". A "shrinker", perhaps? :D


    I never thought I'd say this but I'm so into some of the story songs. A Broken Wing is getting a lot of plays. Independence Day hasn't gone out of style for me - I'm favouring a live version in recent times. All The Things We've Never Done still brings a lump to my throat. And I love singing along to You're Not Leaving Me.

    It's struck me that there are a few different styles of story song Martina does. The first two are third person and the latter two are a combination of first, second and third.

    We should definitely do that. I've often thought how many of Martina's songs would make for a great musical. ;)

    :D And I've had a slight testosterone boost with a number of Christmas songs including male vocals being moved into my Favourites playlist.

    I'm listening to it now and will do another post to pick up on your comments about it shortly.


    I agree. That similarity has helped me really appreciate the album for the first time.

    Oh God yes.

    I've been thinking about this, and the only time I don't change the gender is the story songs. So again, that's something that's exclusive to Martina.

    I heard the Smooth Mix first and wondering how it would sound in an uptempo version like the one I was familiar with. But like you I prefer the Smooth Mix, which feels more unexpected and shows off the lyrics nicely.

    Incidentally, the 10cc version came on when I was in a shop playing Christmas music the other day, which got me wondering if it had a seasonal association. Looking at Wikipedia, it was released in December 1976, so perhaps that's why. I certainly didn't think of it of a Christmassy track until Tina's version came along.

    On a related note, I had a Tina Arena dream a few days ago. I wasn't sure what it was trying to tell me, but I did move her versions of White Christmas and Last Christmas into my Favourites sharpish.
     
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  17. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I've been re-listening to Waking Up Laughing. There are some decent songs - including one that's easily a Top Three Martina track for me - but there's something quite unsatisfying about it as an album experience to me. As I listened, it started to feel quite samey. For that reason I found it quite an exhausting listen. I wondered if it was because it was quite ballad-heavy, but I can't say that idea turns me off. My (probable) favourite Martina album has a good number of ballads on (I'm looking forward to covering that one with you). I think it's more likely a song from Waking Up Laughing would click with me if it came up on shuffle unexpectedly, but it's felt like a bit of a chore to listen to the album.

    It does have a great title though. And I did enjoy rediscovering some of the tracks. In fact, my top three after listening would look a little different.

    1. Anyway
    2. Tryin' To Find A Reason
    3. How I Feel


    For These Times is great - especially now I've read your comment about it being appropriate for this year. It would have made it into the top three if it weren't for Tryin' To Find A Reason, which I think it beautiful and poignant.


    I wasn't sure I'd enjoy Eleven, but that had some nice surprises - including that song you hate that I'm loving.* :D

    Shine is a cracker of an album. Diverse and punchy with some memorable songs. I hadn't realised how much I liked it as an album until this week. It's helped that I've discovered some of the tracks independently since I last listened to it in full.






    1. Reckless
    2. Everlasting
    3. Shine
    4. Eleven
    5. Waking Up Laughing




    * I blasted You Can Get Your Lovin'... out in the car yesterday. It sounded really good over the speakers and I loved singing the chorus with the long, gliding notes. It occurred to me that something about the structure is similar to You Can Leave Your Hat On, which got me into a weirdly satisfying flight of fancy imagining Tom Jones singing along with Martina. If you didn't hate it before… ;)
     
  18. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    :D I love this and now I want to pay attention to songs that become shrinkers.

    Yes, I think that's why I'd find it challenging to say whether certain songs are "story songs" or not.

    A very depressing one--cancer, abuse, alchoholism . . . it's the country music version of Emmerdale.

    Yes--I think that's my big problem with the album. It's just not a very dynamic one.
     
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  19. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    Martina

    Oh my--I've really not given this album it's fair due. Maybe coming after Waking Up Laughing (in listening order) paid off, but I really enjoyed listening. Almost every song had really beautiful moments and her vocals are pretty amazing on this one and I really like the arrangements of nearly every song--the vocals and arrangements take some songs that might be mediocre and really elevate them.

    How had I managed to forget about How Far. I love that song so much and really love singing along.

    I owned a physical copy of this album, so I'm sure I listened to it all the way through at least once, but I honestly can't remember hearing God's Will before. What a heartbreakingly beautiful song. It made me cry. I really like the chorus. It will reside with Concrete Angel though and be one I won't listen to very often.

    In My Daughter's Eyes in another one I don't remember at all. It's really beautiful and again the arrangement and instruments really make it a satisfying emotional experience.

    I'm going to say something that maybe won't make me seem like a very nice person: I was instantly turned off by Reluctant Daughter when she started singing about Jesus. But then I really got sucked into the song. I love the instruments in this song. It really sounds like something that might have been written for the Dixie Chicks and it's interesting to hear Martina tackle something like that. She does a really good job with it.

    I also forgot how much I love So Magical. It appeals to me in exactly the same way Blessed does. It makes me happy. It's also another song that has a Dixie Chicks vibe to me.

    I can't heap enough praise on Martina's take on Over the Rainbow.

    I find myself singing along with and hating This One's for the Girls at the same time. It's not that bad of the song. I don't know why I find it difficult to embrace.

    I really enjoyed this album a lot--way, way more than I was expected to. It's one I could happily listen to from start to finish. I really struggled to pick my second and third favorite songs. I could have easily included Learning to Fall and So Magical.

    1. Over the Rainbow
    2. How Far
    3. City of Love


    Favorite Albums:

    1. Reckless
    2. Shine
    3. Martina
    4. Everlasting
    5. Eleven
    6. Waking Up Laughing
     
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  20. Jason73

    Jason73 Admin

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    I realized a few days into listening to Martina that I had accidentally skipped over Timeless, so I will go there next.

    I'm not going to spend much time on Greatest Hits. I know that album better than any Martina album.

    Of the four new songs on the album, my favorites are:

    1. Where Would You Be
    2. When God-Fearin' Women Get the Blues
    3. Blessed

    After Timeless is Emotion--which is one of my favorite Martina albums. I can't wait to get to that one. And then it's her first four albums--all of which are unknown to me, except for the singles that made it onto the greatest hits and maybe a song or two that have come to my attention thanks to the Martina thread.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2016

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