REVIEWED BY RALPH NOVAK
Pop vocalists shouldn't sound as if they are yelling at you—a truth that is lost on all those would-be divas from American Idol and Nashville Star—but McBride has long mastered the art of conversational singing. That skill serves her especially well on the 11 songs on this album, which tend to the intimate. The highlight is "I'll Still Be Me," a quiet testament to preserving one's identity. McBride, who produced the disc herself, employs a string section on this tune and three other songs, and those cellos and violas add a warmth and depth that ideally complement the bright sweetness of her voice. The CD might have benefited from a duet with, say, Travis Tritt or Toby Keith. As it stands, though, it's like having a friend speaking to you artfully and intelligently.
DOWNLOAD THIS: "I'll Still Be Me"