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Martina McBride – Waking Up Lauging 
Album Review by Pepper Grayson CSO Staff Journalist

Waking Up Laughing is a brilliant example of maturity and confidence from a familiar name in a new way. Martina McBride is a vocal powerhouse with a perfect blend of smooth and country. At first listen you might think Waking Up Laughing is going to be solely a prayer and praise album with a country sound. Not so, this is a surprising and very welcome album full of several cuts that this critic wouldn’t be surprised to see achieve yet more crossover success for her already accomplished career.

Vocally, McBride’s tone couldn’t be more perfect. Lyrically, Waking Up Laughing delivers the diversity in storytelling, ties that bind, overcoming love lost and other life obstacles, as well as the delicacy between a man and woman that listeners love to drink up. Musically speaking, Waking Up Laughing was such an easy listen, with not one single track making me cringe and wanting to jump forward. There is nothing I wouldn’t (& haven’t) listen to again and again.

Pepper’s Brass Tacks Breakdown:

McBride opens this album up with a great first cut, “If I Had Your Name”, which serves up a feel-good sense of mountain sway. As for the lyrics, who of us hasn’t picked a winner to whom we’d love to spew: “If I had Your Name, I’d be changing it by now”? Aw, come on now, I know I’m not the only former loser magnet!!

“Cry Cry” is definitely a pick-yerself-up-by-the-bootstraps tune and has a catchy chorus I found myself humming long after the first listen through. 

“Tryin to Find a Reason” had some smooth country harmonies, courtesy of Keith Urban, and if you’re looking for a healthy example (finally!) of a breakup in a country song, then cut three won’t disappoint you! [Warning: Co-dependent folks may not like this one too much, although they could sure learn a lot and might possibly not end up as ‘domestics’ on Cops if they took heed!]

For the next few cuts I have to take my hat off to McBride for thrusting into the mainstream that which many artists hold back solely for gospel and spiritual special edition albums. “For These Times” and “Anyway” (which McBride co-wrote) are uplifting, bold examples of everyday living and doing it for the One. Musically speaking, I loved the final transitional resolve in “Anyway.” This cut is marked as my favorite and absolutely gave me that “hu-ah” to just get out there and do it!

“How I Feel” is another impressive cut McBride co-wrote and, while it’s secular on the surface, this critic believes the undercurrent here is yet another example of praise for perfect love.

Looking for heart-warming? Take a listen to the affectionate pillow talk McBride lays out in “I’ll Still Be Me” or love of a family in “House of a Thousand Dreams”. Grab your hankie before listening to “Love Land”. What starts off as a shot gun wedding Vegas style quickly fades into the heartbreak of losing an unborn child and self-blame. Don’t pull the tissues out yet, though, save those til you hear ‘daddy’s little man’. This one shows much needed perseverance through the tough trials of marriage.

Into the more upbeat, toe tapping will be abundant while listening to “Beautiful Again”, which McBride also co-wrote. It’s a refreshing illustration of overcoming adversity and not becoming cynical in the process, as is “Everybody Does”, which is an encouraging song of not being alone through heartbreak.

For the overall uplifting message, the memorable music and lyrics, as well as the prediction of public love for this album, this gal gives Waking Up Laughing five out of five “Boot Kicks”!

Click on the CD cover 
to order yours!

1. If I Had Your Name 
2. Cry Cry (Till The Sun Shines) 
3. Tryin' To Find A Reason 
4. For These Times 
5. Anyway (Album & Digital Single Version) 
6. How I Feel 
7. I'll Still Be Me 
8. Beautiful Again 
9. Everybody Does 
10. House Of A Thousand Dreams 
11. Love Land 

Related Links:
Official Website  

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