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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 17, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Accent

‘Eleven’: McBride seeks new sound

On her 11th album, “Eleven,” country star Martina McBride attempts to break free of the country mold that has dominated her career.

The cheery track “Broken Umbrella” calls on a joyous brass section and is the least country-sounding song on the album. Changes like these make the new release shine as McBride takes risks and ignores the standardized themes of the country-pop canon.

The album’s rock-flavored opener, “One Night,” features fun, upbeat guitars, bounding percussion and playful lyrics. “Always Be This Way” incorporates reggae and Auto-Tune, without a hint of slide guitars or banjos to be found, which comes as a welcome surprise in the genre.

Despite these fun toe-tappers about young romance, the rest of the album repeats McBride’s traditional, worn-out sound and is predictable as if she is cautiously testing her newfound pop style instead of diving into recreating herself as an artist.

2.5 stars out of 4.