Q - 9/94, p.1063 Stars
- Good - "...the result is soothing rather than bland..."
Personnel: Reba McEntire (vocals); Larry Byrom (acoustic & eclectric guitars); Biff Watson (acoustic guitar); Terry Crisp (steel guitar); Dann Huff (guitar); Nashville String Machine (strings); Joe McGlohon (saxophone); Matt Rollings (piano, Hammond B-3 organ, Wurlitzer, synthesizer); Steve Nathan (Hammond B-3 organ, piano, synthesizer); Leland Sklar (bass); Carlos Vega (drums); Melissa Coleman, Lang Scott, Harry Stinson, Mark Heimermann, Christopher Harris, Yvonne Hodges, Lisa Bevill, Michael Mellett, Robert Bailey, Vicki Hampton, Lisa Glasgow, Kim Fleming, Chris Rodriguez (background vocals).
"She Thinks His Name Was John" was nominated for Best Female Country Vocal Performance, and READ MY MIND was nominated for Best Country Album in the 37th Annual Grammy Awards.
Personnel: Reba McEntire (vocals); Larry Byrom (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Biff Watson (acoustic guitar); Dann Huff (electric guitar); Terry Crisp (steel guitar); The Nashville String Machine (strings); Joe McGlohon (saxophone); Matt Rollings (piano, organ, Wurlitzer organ, synthesizer); Steve Nathan (piano, organ, synthesizer); Carlos Vega (drums); Chris Rodriguez, Lang Scott, Donna McElroy, Chris Harris, Harry Stinson, Robert Bailey, Jr. , Melissa Coleman, Linda Davis, Lisa Bevill, Lisa Glasgow, Mark Heimermann, Ashley Cleveland, Vicki Hampton, Vince Gill, Kim Fleming, Michael Mellett, Yvonne Hodges (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: John Guess.
Liner Note Author: Reba McEntire.
Recording information: Emerald Sound.
Photographer: Peter Nash .
Unknown Contributor Roles: Derek Bason; Jessie Noble; Michael Mellett.
Arranger: Michael Omartian.
The challenge posed by the title of Reba McEntire's latest album, READ MY MIND, is simple enough: she wants to be a pop star! From the opening bluesy/jazz saxophone to fully blown-out orchestrations, the dynamic redhead is testing crossover waters that proved treacherous in the past when she encountered the wrath of critics and fans.
It's difficult for Reba not to be taken as country; she has a panhandle-sized Oklahoma twang, and an ache in her voice that could rattle Patsy Cline. Her vocals are clean and full of depth, and her slurred phrasing adapts to any style of music. What makes READ MY MIND country is Reba herself; recorded by Celine Dion, there would be no question the album was a pop release. Even when Reba gets down to down-home tradition, it's offset by a rousing R&B choir.
READ MY MIND is accessible. Reba's trademark note-augmentation (she rolls one note into 1,000) is under control as are her growls and hiccup-like vocal calisthenics.
The AIDS-narrative "She Thinks His Name Was John" is a triumph--understated, dramatic, compelling and stark. But then she brings the mood right back up with "Why Haven't I Heard From You," an R&B shuffle drowned in horns. Read our minds Reba, y'all crossed over.