Room To Breathe

There was a moment when it would have been reasonable to doubt Reba. While she was busy expanding her career to Broadway and TV, her only musical output in the last four years was three relatively uncertain new tracks on a greatest-hits collection.

Well, there's nothing uncertain about Room to Breathe. Reba powers through these 12 tunes with at least as much energy and commitment as she's ever shown under the spotlights of New York or Hollywood. Room is a summation of all Reba is and all she does, packed tightly into 45 of the most irresistible minutes of her quarter-century career.

At this point, Reba's music is practically a genre to itself - earthy, accessible sounds topped with a loving but defiant attitude. Room makes that formula work like gangbusters, and occasionally even expands on it.

Shopworn sentiments like those in "My Sister" or the Alzheimer's saga "Moving Oleta" would curdle in the mouths of many singers, but Reba makes you believe every word. And when she gets hold of a tune as good as "Once You've Learned to Be Lonely," "Somebody" or the Vince Gill duet "It Just Has to Be This Way" - well, nail down anything loose. This ain't just a comeback, it's a revival.

SOUND ADVICE:
Breathe it in

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