Picks and Pans Review: Whoever's in New England

updated 03/31/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/31/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Reba McEntire

No, the title doesn't mean McEntire has started singing about moonlight on the banks of the Charles. She's as much down home as ever. (The title song has to do with a country lady's man who makes too many business trips to New England.) There's something about the catch and quaver in McEntire's voice that suggests the purest kind of country sound. She and co-producer Jimmy Bowen have rounded up another batch of appealing tunes about women in the various throes of romance. In the Diana Rae-Jane Mariash song If You Only Knew, McEntire sings a single woman's advice to a friend about to leave her husband: "If you only knew what it's like to be alone/Put your anger down, turn around and go back home." The Michael Heeney song Don't Touch Me There frays a heartstring or two, and the lyric censors don't have to worry about the "there"—"You can lay your head on my shoulder/Oh, Baby, even get a little bit bolder/ But when it comes to my heart/Don't touch me there." The rest of the album reflects the same traditional tone of vulnerability and resilience. Reba is sticking with the folks what brung her, and more power to her. May we never see her on Solid Gold. (MCA)

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