Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Martina McBride, "I'm Gonna Love You Through It"

Songwriters:  Ben Hayslip, Jimmy Yeary, Sonya Isaacs

I was pleasantly surprised to see Martina McBride release something as unique and unexpected as "Teenage Daughters," not to mention disappointed that it wasn't a bigger hit. (Number 17 isn't bad, but seriously... come on, country radio)  Follow-up "I'm Gonna Love You Through It" is a little more typical of what we've come to expect from Martina in recent years.  It's another power ballad, likely to be touted as 'powerful' and 'uplifing.'  This time it's about cancer.

A disease that claims so many lives is definitely something worth writing and singing about.  But cancer songs have at times been known to toe the line between genuine poignancy and just plain schmaltz.  "I'm Gonna Love You Through It" carries a genuinely sweet sentiment in that it focuses primarily on the emotional support provided by a man whose wife is diagnosed with breast cancer.

But what I don't like about the song is the handling of the recorded product.  The song begins with soft piano and cello notes, crescendos to a full-blown string section, and then predictably ends with Martina belting it out for all it's worth.  It's a fact:  Martina has done this kind of thing a lot, and it gets old after a while.  Just try listening to this song right after listening to "Anyway."  The two are nearly indistinguishable.

"I'm Gonna Love You Through It" is a good song, but it would be more enjoyable if the studio recording managed to distinguish itself on a greater level from all the other Martina power ballads that have come before it.  At any rate, when Martina's first new album under Republic Nashville is finally released this fall, I'll be hoping to hear a little more edgy "Teenage Daughters"-esque material.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)