20: For My Broken Heart (Reba McEntire)

Album: For My Broken Heart
Artist: Reba McEntire
Year: 1991

1. For My Broken Heart
2. Is There Life Out There
3. Bobby
4. He’s in Dallas
5. All Dressed Up
6. The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia
7. Buying Her Roses
8. The Greatest Man I Never Knew
9. I Wouldn’t Go That Far
10. If I Had Only Known

Reba was 36 years old when this album was released, making it her eighteenth album. She has slowed down considerably. Through 1999, at age 44, she had released twenty-four albums, but she’s released only four since, deciding that acting poorly in her shitty sitcom was more rewarding. Or something.

The first two songs were the two big hits, and they’re good, but pretty generic. Bobby is a painful song about how euthanasia can affect family and is one of my favorite songs. Continuing with crushing emotions, All Dressed Up is about a lady with Alzheimer’s in a nursing home who continually stares out the front window waiting for family that’s never coming. I’ve had similar clients in my career, so I connect with it, but the song has a subtle touch that makes it accessible to all.

Reba’s cover of Vicki Lawrence’s The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia definitely does it justice. The Greatest Man I Never Knew is another somber tune about a girl who grows up with a father who is home but not present. The rest of the songs are pretty much about broken relationships and are all solid. If I Had Only Known is probably my favorite of them and with its slow tempo makes for a good end to Reba’s best album.

For those noticing that all ten songs on the album are all about heartache and death, it’s not coincidence. This was the first album she released after her band was killed in a plane crash (a plane she would have been on had she not been suffering from bronchitis).  She only wrote one of the songs on this album (Bobby), but admitted the song selection reflected her emotional state at the time and her hopes that it would be a healing project.

3 thoughts on “20: For My Broken Heart (Reba McEntire)”

  1. I haven’t listened to that CD in a long time, but my favorite on it is The Greatest Man I Never Knew. Will have to revisit it again.

  2. Her acting is adequate and her sitcom was certainly better than the average sitcom (low standards, of course). I guess I have some bias because I know someone who was on it, but it gets so, so much worse than that, although her daughter’s boyfriend was absolutely brutal.

    Also, if you can be successful doing both, I’m sure acting in a sitcom you don’t write is a hell of a lot easier than writing songs and touring. Sure, it’s not her calling, but after 24 albums she had to feel some sort of satisfaction with the whole music thing.

    1. Yeah, it’s no According to Jim, and it’s inoffensive, but I don’t think I’ve made it through an entire episode. And yeah, totally agree on the last part and I don’t blame her one bit. I liked her in Tremors.

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