Martina McBride Gets “Reckless”
Fans of Martina McBride have something to celebrate this week. She releases her first album of new material in five years with “Reckless.”
“Well I didn’t realize it’d been five years to be honest, because I’ve been busy supporting the Everlasting record, and out there touring, and having so much fun, and really didn’t stop to think how long it’s been. Somebody mentioned it to me, and realized it’d been five years. So it’s time, and I was really excited to get back in the studio and make a country record. So we took our time with it.”
The album title comes from a song, but what does it say about the music on the album? “It was the title I thought of at the time. I’m terrible at naming records! We were in a crunch to name the record, and I don’t think the album comes from a reckless place, but reckless can mean many things. I do feel like this record isn’t formulaic, it’s true to me, we didn’t try to fit into a particular box, we made a record we loved, so I guess that’s reckless in a way.
Talk about the song Reckless: It has a real vulnerable lyric that has meaning. I was worried that the production would overshadow the lyric, but it’s not doing that. I’m hearing people are identifying with the lyric. We were trying to make it with a reckless feeling, with abandon.”
The video has surprised some people: “With the haircut? The video’s about stripping away layers, and when you’re in that emotional state of feeling reckless, that was one thought, you might do something crazy like you might take scissors to your hair. I wanted to get a haircut anyway.”
You have some guests on this record: “Yes we have Keith Urban on the record. It’s the second time he sang with me on a record. It was so last minute. I was listening to a song, and it just needed a great vocalist who’s recognizable, and my producer suggested Keith. I loved the idea, so I texted him, and he was so busy with American Idol and his own record, and he said ‘I have one hour this morning in LA.’ And he sent me that vocal and it was perfect for the song.”
What will you be doing around the album release? “We’ll be on the west coast. I’ll perform on the ACC Awards on May 1st. I’m also doing a Grammy tribute to Linda Ronstadt. They asked me to sing Blue Bayou, and I was like, yes I’m in, I don’t care what it is, I’ll be there.”
Carrie Underwood’s accomplishments as a singer have been well documented. She’s also had incredible success as a songwriter. With her fifth album, Carrie becomes a storyteller. She talked about making the album with Country Countdown USA:
Explain the album title Storyteller: I was having a hard time finding a thread that went through the entire album, what were the common themes? So I noticed things were either MY story, or we were literally telling stories with made-up characters. When I said Storyteller out loud, everyone said, that’s it, so that’s how we named the album.
Talk about Heartbeart: It’s never been a conscious effort to exclude love songs, I just find them like static. I hear something, it doesn’t seem genuine to me. But writing Heartbeat, I feel like was the last person to be into it while we were writing it. But there was something that seemed real and conversational and real life about it. It’s not this over-romanticized fairy tale thing, it’s like a real conversation I feel I could have with Mike. So there’s something tangible that made them OK for me to sing.
Two other very personal songs, one for your father, and the other for Isaiah: “The Girl You Think I Am” was one of the first I wrote for this album. It was my lead. I had a realization of how my father sees me, which is so much better than I really am. A dad and daughter, we all brought our own stories into that one. My dad hasn’t heard it yet, that should be interesting. My mom heard it, she was bawlin.’ What I Never Knew I Always Wanted was very personal for me. When I announced I was pregnant, that’s where writers wanted to go with me, and I had to lead on that, so I came in with things I didn’t know I wanted. That’s the only way it would get on the album.
The song covers your marriage and Isaiah, and then? “What’s next, I don’t know what’s next, and I’m sure everyone can relate to that. We’ll see, maybe I can write extra verses later on in life…to be continued.”=
Working with Jay Joyce: I had written with Jay before we worked as producer/artist, but it was a different thing, in a different studio, more unpredictable, and I’m not good with unpredictability, so it was something I needed to do. He’s so creative, and I needed that to get out of my routine. When you get too comfortable, you get in a rut He’s an interesting guy who comes up with things other people can’t come up with.
This album seems stripped back to basics: When you start an album, I have too many possibilities, so we started writing, I didn’t know what direction. I heard Chaktaw County Fair. It was so simple, but swampy and laid back and cool. That was the door opener. I was super into it. So this was our direction, then it was easier to find things and write things. It ended up being more traditional, more laid back, but still had a rock edge to it, and it all works together. The look came after the sound. I ended up being happy with how it turned oDirty Laundry: The overall tone was really cool. It’s country music, so there needs to be a cheatin’ song. The Ajax line in the beginning bothered me, maybe I can change it, but it had to be in there, it was perfect, it stood out, but in a good way. It’s different, and I appreciate the different-ness in this album.ut.
You seem to prefer telling other people’s stories. Is that true? It’s hard to put yourself out there. I feel I do it in spurts, in glimpses, I’m hard to get to know. I have more fun telling other people’s stories. There are songs that are special, like Forever Changed, that was so deep, I can’t do it live, because it’s so special to me. It’s more fun to tell other people’s stories and not make it so much about me.