The Way That I Am

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
While Martina McBride's blend of traditional country and progressive folk styles -- along with her powerful, remarkable voice -- got country audiences to sit up and take notice in 1992, it was The Way That I Am, and most notably its Gretchen Peters-penned single "Independence Day," that blew minds. While the song itself -- told from the point of view of a surviving daughter of an alcoholic wife-beater and an abused, long-suffering wife and mother -- ends in a tragedy of suicide and death, it is nonetheless a redemptive song that makes no moral judgments yet asks real questions about what "independence" actually means. Set on the Fourth of July, it pointedly asks, Does ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
While Martina McBride's blend of traditional country and progressive folk styles -- along with her powerful, remarkable voice -- got country audiences to sit up and take notice in 1992, it was The Way That I Am, and most notably its Gretchen Peters-penned single "Independence Day," that blew minds. While the song itself -- told from the point of view of a surviving daughter of an alcoholic wife-beater and an abused, long-suffering wife and mother -- ends in a tragedy of suicide and death, it is nonetheless a redemptive song that makes no moral judgments yet asks real questions about what "independence" actually means. Set on the Fourth of July, it pointedly asks, Does Independence Day mean independence for everyone or does it mean making the choice to free yourself from your bonds, no matter how horrific the consequences? Is it a choice made independent of society, morals, and cultural and religious mores because of the depth of one's convictions? McBride delivers the story with a tough, matter-of-fact, barely concealed rage, and yet that gives way to a transcendence in the refrain so stirring and shatteringly moving it was used in the aftermath of September 11th even if it was taken out of context in the same way that Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" was. It was an instant classic and remains one over a decade later. It's the kind of troubling song you cannot immediately -- or perhaps ever -- fathom. The listener is carried into the heart of the contradiction of a day of celebration and raw horror inside a tune so seductive and catchy it feels at odds with its lyric, yet comes together on the refrain only to split again into more fragments than can be counted. When McBride declares, "Now I ain't sayin' it's right or it's wrong/Maybe it's the only way/Talk about your revolution/It's independence day," the entire world inside the song comes apart, and you are left wondering who the right, wrong, and guilty are in the refrain, and you have to make out your own point of consideration regarding a "day of reckoning." There are no answers, just facts, questions, and ciphers. The single could have sold the album alone, but the other nine tracks here are quality as well. From the opener, "Heart Trouble," to "She Ain't Seen Nothing Yet," to the closer, "Ashes," the feel on the album, set by the completely modern country-pop sound of the single, is up-tempo, glossier, and more streamlined in its focus than her debut, but that's fine because McBride proves herself capable of delivering any kind of song in the end. There isn't a weak track in the bunch, and despite the more modern, less traditional sound, it makes little difference because McBride is a singer's singer: tough, true, and in full control of her gift.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/1/2004
  • Label: Bmg Special Product
  • UPC: 755174871023
  • Catalog Number: 148710
  • Sales rank: 58,980

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Heart Trouble (3:19)
  2. 2 My Baby Loves Me (2:36)
  3. 3 That Wasn't Me (3:44)
  4. 4 Independence Day (3:25)
  5. 5 Where I Used to Have a Heart (3:50)
  6. 6 Goin' To Work (3:30)
  7. 7 She Ain't Seen Nothing Yet (3:26)
  8. 8 Life #9 (4:03)
  9. 9 Strangers (3:21)
  10. 10 Ashes (2:55)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Martina McBride Primary Artist, Tambourine, Vocals, Background Vocals
Ashley Cleveland Background Vocals
John Wesley Ryles Background Vocals
Joe Chemay Bass Guitar
Grace Bahng Cello
Brett Beavers Vocals, Background Vocals
Deryl Dodd Vocals, Background Vocals
Dan Dugmore Electric Guitar
Larry Franklin Fiddle
Paul Franklin Steel Guitar
Steve Franklin Steel Guitar
John Garcia Electric Guitar
Vicki Hampton Background Vocals
Dann Huff Electric Guitar
Bill Hullett Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
Mary Ann Kennedy Background Vocals
Anthony Martin Keyboards, Background Vocals
Brent Mason Electric Guitar
Steve Nathan Keyboards
Herb Pedersen Background Vocals
Pamela Rose Background Vocals
Mary Kathryn Van Osdale Violin
Biff Watson Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
Charlie Whitten Steel Guitar
Kristin Wilkinson Viola
Lonnie Wilson Drums
Paul Worley Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar
Johnny Garcia Electric Guitar
Dennis Wilson Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Edgar Meyer Arranger, String Arrangements
Martina McBride Producer
Don Cobb Digital Editing
Carlos Grier Digital Editing
Mike Poole Engineer
Denny Purcell Mastering
Ed Seay Producer, Engineer
Paul Worley Producer
Mary Hamilton Artwork, Art Direction
Ron Keith Cover Photo
Clarke Schleicher Engineer
Gary Harrison Composer
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