Album of the Month (February 2017): Reba McEntire, ‘Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope’
New music from Reba McEntire is an exciting prospect -- so much so, in fact, that The Boot's readers have named her forthcoming new album, Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, as The Boot's February 2017 Album of the Month.
McEntire first revealed her plans for Sing It Now -- a gospel album -- in mid-December; the country icon announced the news in a Facebook Live session, from the set of her then-forthcoming "Back to God" music video. That same day, McEntire shared one of the tracks from Sing It Now: "Softly and Tenderly," a collaboration with Kelly Clarkson and Trisha Yearwood; the song is Track No. 10 on the first disc of Sing It Now, but it's not an official single.
Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope, is a double disc of 10 traditional hymns and 10 contemporary faith-filled tracks (as well as one hidden track). As its first single, McEntire released "Back to God," one of the contemporary tunes; the song was co-written by Randy Houser and Dallas Davidson, and Houser included his own version of the tune on his debut album, Anything Goes, released in 2008. McEntire released the music video for "Back to God" on Jan. 25.
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“Sing It Now was the perfect title for this album," McEntire explains, "because the message and melody throughout the song connects the dots between the traditional hymns I grew up on and new music that has been uplifting for me in challenging times."
Other songs on Sing It Now include “Jesus Loves Me,” the first song that McEntire ever sang in public, “Oh Happy Day” and “From the Inside Out.” McEntire, Rascal Flatts‘ Jay DeMarcus and band leader / musical director Doug Sisemore co-produced the record together in DeMarcus’ home studio. In addition to Davidson and Houser, Jessi Alexander, Sarah Buxton, Steve Moakler, Dave Barnes, Lucie Silvas, Jeremy Spillman, Chris DuBois, Ashley Gorley, Michael Dulaney, Jason Sellers and Neil Thrasher, to name a few, helped pen tunes for the project, and “I Got the Lord on My Side,” the sixth track on the record’s contemporary disc, was written by McEntire and her mother, Jackie McEntire.
“Music conjures up great memories and goes hand and hand with us McEntires,” McEntire shares. “Mama, Susie and Alice even came into the studio with me to record “I’ll Fly Away,” all of us gathered around an old hymnal straight from the Chockie church.”
Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope will be released on Feb. 3, via Nash Icon Records (McEntire’s label home) and Capitol Christian Music Group; the project is available for pre-order on iTunes or as part of special merch bundles on Reba.com. To celebrate the disc's release, McEntire will perform her first-ever concerts at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, on Feb. 15.
McEntire's Sing It Now earned 52.59 percent of votes in The Boot's February 2017 Album of the Month poll, beating out new releases from LeAnn Rimes, newcomer Brett Young, Alison Krauss, Little Big Town and more.
Reba McEntire, Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope Track Listing:
1. “Jesus Loves Me” (written by William Batchelder Bradbury; arrangement by Reba McEntire)
2. “Oh, How I Love Jesus” (written by Frederick Whitfield; arrangement by Jay DeMarcus, Tim Akers)
3. “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder” (written by James Milton Black; arrangement by Reba McEntire, Catherine Marx, Doug Sisemore)
4. “Oh Happy Day” (written by Edward Francis Rimbault; arrangement by Jay DeMarcus, Tim Akers)
5. “Amazing Grace” (written by John Newton; arrangement by Reba McEntire, Doug Sisemore)
6. “I’ll Fly Away” (written by Albert E. Brumley; arrangement by Reba McEntire, Doug Sisemore)
7. “In the Garden / Wonderful Peace (Medley)” (featuring the Isaacs) (“In the Garden” written by Austin C. Miles, “Wonderful Peace” written by Warren D. Cornell; medley arrangement by Jay DeMarcus, Tim Akers)
8. “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot / Swing Down Chariot (Medley)” (written by Wallace Willis; arrangement by Reba McEntire, Doug Sisemore)
9. “How Great Thou Art” (written by Stuart K. Hine; arrangement by Doug Sisemore)
10. “Softly and Tenderly (feat. Kelly Clarkson and Trisha Yearwood)” (written by Will Lamartine Thompson; arrangement by Doug Sisemore)
1. “Sing It Now” (written by Michael Farren, Joseph Habedank, Tony Wood)
2. “Angels Singin’” (written by Jessi Alexander, Sarah Buxton, Steve Moakler)
3. “God and My Girlfriends” (written by Patricia Conroy, Lisa Hentrich, Marcia Ramirez)
4. “Hallelujah, Amen” (written by Dave Barnes, Lucie Silvas, Jeremy Spillman)
5. “There Is a God” (written by Chris DuBois, Ashley Gorley)
6. “I Got the Lord on My Side” (written by Reba McEntire, Jackie McEntire)
7. “Back to God” (written by Dallas Davidson, Randy Houser)
8. “Angel on My Shoulder” (written by Leigh Reynolds, Amber White, Philip White)
9. “From the Inside Out” (written by Amy Fletcher)
10. “Say a Prayer” (written by Michael Dulaney, Jason Sellers, Neil Thrasher)
11. HIDDEN TRACK (physical copies only): “Jesus Loves Me (Reprise)” (written by William Batchelder Bradbury; arrangement by Reba McEntire)
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