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Whoever's in New England
     

Whoever's in New England

5.0 1
by Reba McEntire
 

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After an unsuccessful stint at Mercury, Reba signed on with MCA and, under producer Jimmy Bowen, recorded this breakthrough album. Released in 1986, just as Nashville was waking up to the fact that it had an additional upscale audience, WHOEVER'S IN NEW ENGLAND showcased Reba's strong country roots on the rollicking "Can't Stop Now" and the weepy "You Can Take the

Overview

After an unsuccessful stint at Mercury, Reba signed on with MCA and, under producer Jimmy Bowen, recorded this breakthrough album. Released in 1986, just as Nashville was waking up to the fact that it had an additional upscale audience, WHOEVER'S IN NEW ENGLAND showcased Reba's strong country roots on the rollicking "Can't Stop Now" and the weepy "You Can Take the Wings off Me." But the head-turner for Reba fans was the title track, a transcendent tearjerker that gave her free reign to show how emotional a singer she could be. Add on the rocking feminist anthem "Little Rock" and the beautifully barren "Don't Touch Me There" and you have an album that not only established McEntire as queen of Nashville divas but hinted that country music could reach far beyond its traditional boundaries with a bigger beat and more ambitious lyrics.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
In the field of country music, where most artists are not also songwriters, there is a constant search among the Nashville publishing houses for that one song that will not only catapult a singer to the top of the charts, but also define a career. After a slow build lasting nearly a decade, Reba McEntire became an established country star in the mid-'80s, winning the Female Vocalist of the Year award from the Country Music Association in 1984 and again in 1985. But she had never had even a Top Ten LP on the country charts, and her successes seemed to vie with her failures in a back-and-forth pattern. She had turned to the new traditionalist style with her 1984 album My Kind of Country, and seemed to have hit on a theme of embodying the emotional conflicts of women with "Somebody Should Leave," a song from that disc that went to number one. But Have I Got a Deal for You in 1985 missed the mark. Whoever's in New England, which followed in early 1986, was a bull's-eye. The first reason was, of course, the title song, written by Kendal Franceschi and Quentin Powers, and sung by McEntire with the clenched emotion that the lyrics required. Against a stately ballad setting, the singer embodies the character of a Southern wife whose husband is, it seems to her, taking more business trips to Boston than he really needs to. Her surprising response is to tell him she thinks he's cheating on her, but that "when whoever's in New England's through with you," she will be waiting for him. The singer's sense of martyrdom is both unbearable and irresistible, and Franceschi and Powers achieve the added effect of casting the story in a South vs. North context. A mere 121 years since the end of the Civil War, that's a subtext that remained compelling to Southerners. "Whoever's in New England," which quickly soared to number one on the country singles charts (and later won McEntire her first Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance), was reason enough for the album named after it to be considered a triumph. But producers McEntire and Jimmy Bowen surrounded it with other material of a similar ilk, female-oriented ballads like "You Can Take the Wings Off Me," "I'll Believe It When I Feel It," "I've Seen Better Days," "If You Only Knew," and "Don't Touch Me There" that explored women's emotional turmoil as they tried to navigate the troubled seas of romance. In "If You Only Knew," for example, a single woman counseled a married one that, however rocky things might get, having a husband was infinitely better than being alone as she was. And in "You Can Take the Wings Off Me," a woman submitted to seduction rather than continue to be a chaste angel, but not without a somewhat solemn and mournful feeling about it. (Either of these songs could have been a chart hit on its own if released as a single.) McEntire and Bowen threw in some up-tempo material for contrast, beginning with the frisky honky tonk number "I Can't Stop Now"; leading off the LP's side two with the cheery cheating song "Little Rock" (another number-one hit); and providing the requisite Western swing romp with "One Thin Dime." But it was the big ballads that were at the heart of Whoever's in New England, and they sold Reba McEntire to her female country constituency once and for all. The singer who'd never had a Top Ten album before went straight to number one with this one.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/1990
Label:
Mca Special Products
UPC:
0076743130427
catalogNumber:
31304
Rank:
53455

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Reba McEntire   Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals
Johnny Gimble   Fiddle
Pake McEntire   Background Vocals
Karen Staley   Background Vocals
Matt Betton   Drums
Bob Bullock   Overdubs
Chip Hardy   Overdubs
John Hobbs   Piano
David Hungate   Bass
Weldon Myrick   Steel Guitar
Reggie Young   Electric Guitar
Leigh Reynolds   Acoustic Guitar
Billy Joe Walker   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar

Technical Credits

Reba McEntire   Producer
Jimmy Bowen   Producer
Mark J. Coddington   Engineer
Russ Martin   Engineer
Glenn Meadows   CD Master Tape Preparation
Ron Treat   Engineer
Simon Levy   Art Direction
Keith Odle   Engineer
Robbie Rose   Engineer
Kendal Franceschi   Composer
Quentin Powers   Composer

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Whoever's in New England 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago