Martina McBride Shine Review

Album. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

Capable of raising goosebumps or bringing a tear to the eye.

Sid Smith 2009

Such is the emotional force and directness of Martina McBride's voice when it's in full flight, were she to sing an excerpt from a pick-up truck's user's manual it's likely that she be capable of raising goosebumps or bringing a tear to the eye.

This ability to be able to imbue even the most meagre material with an emotional charge and dramatic investment has undoubtedly contributed to her continued success since her launch in the early 90s.

Since her crossover from the country charts and into mainstream success, McBride's rise has been unstoppable thanks to a collection of songs which in turns have largely celebrated triumph over adversity, making love not war and a resolutely loud 'n' proud optimism at all times.

Shine offers more of the same. Having covered ground with people as diverse as Keith Urban and Megadeth, Dan Huff's production confers no great surprises on McBride's potent voice as it squarely positions her in the middle of an album that leaves nothing to chance.

With Wrong Baby Wrong firing the starting gun on a set of tunes that takes in air-punching rockers, aching ballads and stadium-friendly sermons to the redemptive powers of stoicism, everything is uniformly coated in an impeccable radio-friendly gloss that ensures not a single hair is ever out of place.

That will be good news for Shine's commercial prospects but it does little to belay the sense that as an artist, McBride isn't being stretched or tested enough with yet another by-the-book blockbuster.

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