Martina McBride – “Ride”
Songwriters: Michael Davey, Andrew Dorff and Chris Robbins.
After nearly a two year hiatus, Martina McBride is back with a new single off of her album Martina McbRIDE, slated for release in March 2009. Despite the success of serious songs such as “Independence Day” and “A Broken Wing,” McBride has spent the past few years traveling down the safe route with songs about babies, angels, and other inoffensive, Up With People subjects. It’s to the point now that these nearly interchangeable songs seem like mere vehicles for McBride to get to the chorus—any chorus—and sing the hell out of it.
“Ride” sees McBride (thankfully) toning down this tendency to slip into a Celine Dion meets Tammy Wynette style of overdramatic belting at every opportunity, and instead finds the singer using her velvety soprano to far greater effect by just plain singing. Without the vocal histrionics, McBride allows the passion in her voice to come to the forefront of the song without beating the listener over the head with her immense talent like it’s Country Night on American Idol.
Lyrically, “Ride” ishardly poetry–unless we’re talking about the Dadaist kind: “Life is a roller coaster ride/Time turns the wheel and love collides.” What? The chorus then strings together a bunch of clichés about touching the sky, shining while you have the chance to shine, and laughing even when you want to cry.
“Ride,” though catchy, is a little low on cogency–not to mention originality. And it essentially resolves into the same kind of positive “message song” that has defined so much of McBride’s recent work.
It’s difficult not to hope that McBride will eventually take an occasional trip back to the era of “Independence Day,” or “Wrong Again,” where the subject matter was powerful and the vocals were stunningly gorgeous, but never oversung. “Ride” seems to be a step in that direction vocally, but the song itself is more of the same new confection.
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