Picks and Pans Review: Sweet Sixteen

updated 06/05/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/05/1989 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Reba McEntire

The only thing to quibble with on this album is its title, since (I) McEntire isn't 16 and (2) it's only her 16th album if you count a greatest-hits package. Okay, so she does break a mean reviewer's heart, leaving only bottom-of-the-barrel criticisms.

The "sweet" part is accurate. Even when she's singing the Everly Brothers hit "Cathy's Clown"—which she does with notable harmony help from backup singer Suzi Hoskins-Wills—she makes the heartbreak easy to take. McEntire also helps out with the songwriting with pleasing results, especially on "You Must Really Love Me," a tune about how hard it is for the lovee to believe they could be the object of the affections of anyone as swell as the lover. (Nashville vet Don Schlitz co-wrote the song.)

McEntire and Schlitz also wrote "Am I the Only One Who Cares," which she has said was inspired by "all these kids who are writing suicide notes and how they feel so alone and unloved." So is this woman too good to be true or what? (MCA)

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