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Album Review

Reba McEntire, 'All the Women I Am'

November 8, 2010

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Reba McEntire has scored more hits than any country female in history, having passed Dolly Parton two years ago. She has conquered it all from the Opry to Broadway, but she’s not ready to chill on the back porch just yet. This is her 34th studio disc and one of her best efforts. It blends hard-edged, modern country-rock with some profoundly tender ballad singing, as in the throwback, Bobbie Gentry purr of “The Day She Got Divorced.’’ The album opens with the rock-riffing “Turn on the Radio,’’ which is already a hit and boasts a contemporary flair as she tells an ex-lover that he can “try to call, Twitter me, text until your fingers bleed’’ but the closest he’ll get is switching on the radio to hear her favorite song. A couple of other empowering tunes follow in “If I Were a Boy’’ (originally a hit by Beyoncé, but translated artfully into country) and the forceful “The Bridge You Burn,’’ about dumping a loser: “He’s the dead end you see when you realize you made a wrong turn.’’ Reba’s strong, no-nonsense persona gets a workout, but as the CD title implies, she is many women rolled into one. (Out tomorrow)

STEVE MORSE

ESSENTIAL “Turn on the Radio’’