Martina Continues to 'Shine' on

Shine – Martina McBride
For two decades four-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year and multi-platinum-selling artist Martina McBride has carved out her niche as a woman people can relate to. That trend continues with this new release. “I’m so excited about this music and this time in my life,” she says. “Creatively I have a renewed energy, and I feel like this album reflects that.”

The Kansan’s 10th studio album features “Ride,” a dynamic and upbeat showcase of McBride’s signature no-holds-barred vocals. “Sunny Side Up” (written by McBride and the Warren Bros.) and “I Just Call You Mine” both include a lyric or line with reference to “Shine,” making it the ideal album title. “What’s exciting to me is that I still feel like my career is growing,” McBride, 42, says. And her professional life will boom as long as she belts out songs such as “You’re Not Leaving Me,” “Wrong Baby Wrong Baby Wrong” and “Lies,” the finale on this 11-track CD. A

Carolina – Eric Church
Having grown up in Granite Falls, N.C., Eric Church makes music as straightforward as he is. It looks the listener in the eye and speaks plainly about the human condition, like the work of greats Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, John Prine and Steve Earle, and it is finding a handful of torchbearers in the new century. “Honesty is my No. 1 responsibility,” Church says. “If you listen to this, you’ll find out who I am.”

With this sophomore project, Church, 31, is poised to build on the chart success he’s enjoyed over the last few years with hits such as “How ‘Bout You,” and “Guys Like Me.” He shines on Carolina with tunes like “Ain’t Killed Me Yet” and “Smoke a Little Smoke.” The title track is a salute to Church’s native state. “I was 13 when I started writing,” he says. “It was before I learned to play guitar. I had a lot in me that I wanted to get out, and I started writing lyrics and singing.” Thank goodness for that! B+

Greatest Hits – Glen Campbell
Glen Campbell has sold more than 40 million albums around the world, with 27 of those reaching Billboard’s Top 10. Along with five Grammy Awards, Campbell also has been named Male Vocalist of the Year by both the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. This new release from his longtime label, Capitol Records, showcases 16 of the Delight, Ark., native’s best tracks.

This greatest hits collection gathers Campbell’s hit songs in one contemporary package of remixed edits. The album features 14 proven hits, including five No. 1s and 12 Top 10 tracks, plus 2 new cover tracks. “Gentle on My Mind” and “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” each have received multiple Grammys. Campbell, 72, begins this album with “Rhinestone Cowboy” and ends with new songs “Times Like These” and “These Days.” You’ll also find his first chart-topper “I Wanna Live,” which went to No. 1 in 1968. B

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