C2C headliner Reba McEntire has released her first gospel album in a career that now extends to 27 studio albums. The double album of contemporary and classic gospel songs was preceded by the album’s first single ‘Back To God’ that was originally recorded by Randy Houser back in 2008. Reba’s decision to focus on her faith was inspired by the split from her ex-husband Narvel Blackstock in 2015.
The album includes standards such as ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’. ‘How Great Thou Art’ and ‘Softly and Tenderly’, which also features Kelly Clarkson and Trisha Yearwood. It contains an equal mix of old and new songs and Reba recently explained to Billboard Magazine the thinking behind the album:
“When we went in to record, we were just going to do a regular album,” she said of her first-ever gospel album. “I wanted to do a mix of some old and some new. But, when we presented it to the labels — Nash Icon and Capitol Christian — they both said ‘We can’t pitch any of these out. There’s none that we don’t like.’ I asked them what they wanted to do, and they said ‘Let’s make it a double album. Have one CD be all the old songs, and the other one be all new songs.’ So, they had me go back in and record five more songs. That’s how we ended up at two discs, and the two bonus tracks.” Getting to record more songs was a career first for the singer, though one she readily welcomed. “That was a good problem to have. I’ve never had a situation like that before, so I was delighted.”
Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus and Doug Sisemore shared production duties and we expect big thinks for this project, bearing in mind the success that Hilary Scott & Family and Joey & Rory had with similarly themed albums.
A special mention must go to the title track ‘Sing It Now’, which has all the trademark Reba touches and will no doubt resonate hugely with her massive fan base. As a ballad it stands up with anything that Reba has offered to date and we would be surprised if she didn’t perform it to her UK fans at this year’s C2C festival.