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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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I have been a fan of Martina McBride for many years. She has one of the most powerful and emotive voices in any sort of music and she puts on an amazing show. Her albums are almost all at least very good with many tending towards the pop edge of country but still remaining country. This album is much more pop soul than country and probably just stays within country because of a couple of songs. The backing is more pop soul than country. There are some fairly weak songs in my opinion such a broken Umbrella and Whatcha Gonna Do but as I said that is my opinion. The track One Night is very good. Those with teenage daughters will no doubt identify with "Teenage daughters" and it is not bad. The highlight by far is "I'm Gonna Love You Through It". It is powerful, very moving and brilliantly sung. It is about loving someone through serious illness and being there for them. This song shows how good she can be and so often is. However, as I said it is far far ahead of everything else on this album. Nothing I would say is poor because with Martina's voice it is always worth a listen. Perhaps this is an attempt to widen her fan base.......which is understandable....but I am not sure it works. It is worth a listen but for me a disaapointment when compared to previous albums. She can do much better than this. Not bad but not good. Average.
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VINE VOICEon 20 October 2011
First, skip to 'I'm Gonna Love You Through It' a stunningly beautiful song about an individual family facing cancer and the effect on their family - then listen to the rest. On the strength of that song alone - I can't help but praise this album. The track was written Jimmy Yeary of Shenandoah and 2 other songwriters Ben Hayslip & Sonya Isaacs.

I learnt many years ago that certain artists, like Faith Hill and Martina require some audio investment (so, listen carefully and several times over). They are quality vocalists and with each listen you will pick up nuances and elements you had initially failed to process.

Martina, in my opinion should be recording traditional George-Strait-hardcore-country but she has consistently recording albums with too much pop-country and I do not think its necessarily down to her alone. The record companies are still (lesser so in the past few years) terrified to release music that is 'too country'.

So, is this album any good. Strip away the filler and you have some truly great music. Teenage Daughters is fantastic. A reviewer recently described it negatively referring to McBride's "whiny, exaggerated" singing. That is totally missing the point. It is her phrasing and style of delivery that makes the song work so well. She is a small lady but she can sure belt out a song!

Marry me is a throw-away, stunningly boring duet with a singer called Pat Monahan who has a voice that is as country as a banker in a pin striped suit at a rodeo.

Broken Umbrella is an upbeat, mostly irritating song about someone who is in love and nothing else matters. Other than Taylor Swift, I can't think of a country artist who would ever want to be associated with this pop-nonsense.

'When You Love A Sinner' is classic McBride. Written by kasey Musgraves, a fantastic young country singer-songwriter who, in my opinion is as good as Miranda Lambert. It's almost getting towards being 'Independence Day' quality, although not quite. It's a grower.

'Watcha Gonna Do' showcases Martina's vocal power beautifully and she also co-wrote several tracks including the touching 'Long Distance Lullaby' which you can't help but assume is a reference to her life as a touring artist with young daughters.

This is a good album but it is not even close to 'Wild Angels' her best ever album from the mid 90's.
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on 9 January 2012
THIS IS NOT ONE FOR THE COUNTRY PURISTS. MARTINA PROVES HERE THAT SHE IS A CAPABLE SINGER IN THE POP OR COUNTRY GENRE. SHE FIRST ENTERED THE POP CHARTS IN THIS COUNTRY IN THE MID 1990`s, SINCE THEN SHE HAS BECOME ONE OF THE BIGGEST SELLING FEMALE ARTISTS WORLDWIDE.

THIS COLLECTION IS A COMBINATION OF POP, SOUL AND COUNTRY. SHE HANDLES THEM ALL WELL. "I`M GONNA LOVE YOU THROUGH IT", IS THE TRACK THAT IS RECEIVING MOST OF THE PUBLICITY, BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THE LYRICS. ORIGINALLY JUST ELEVEN TRACKS, HENCE THE TITLE, ANOTHER FOUR WERE ADDED, PLUS BEING AN ENHANCED CD, YOU CAN WATCH HER AS WELL. YOU WILL ENJOY THIS I AM SURE, I KNOW I DID.
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on 28 October 2011
The same can be said of Martina McBride's eleventh studio album as can be said of its title - it's okay, it's fine, but it's lacking a little in inspiration.

First off, the title. Much has been made of the fact that "Eleven" is Martina's first album with Republic Nashville (after ending her long-time association with RCA), heralding something of a fresh start and new sound. So why then call the album "Eleven", immediately reminding the the listener of the ten other records with the previous label? It does seem a bit daft. It's not that important, but I do think it's indicative of some of the other choices that have been made here.

Namely, the songs. It's hard to put my finger on what's missing, but a number of the songs just aren't very strong. "One Night", the album opener, is upbeat and undeniably catchy, but seems like a watered-down version of the lead single "Ride" from Martina's previous album. In fact, in places it's more than reminiscent, and seems to borrow both the harmonic structure and melody. Similarly, "I'm Gonna Love You Through It", while worthy in its message and sentiment, is Martina McBride-by-numbers, seemingly written as a 'Martina McBride song' rather than a good song for its own sake. "Marry Me" and "Broken Umbrella", meanwhile, are just uninspired - the musical arrangements are bland, to say the least.

It's not all doom and gloom though - the other half of the album is pretty good. "Summer of Love" and "Always Be This Way" sound like good single material, while "Whatcha Gonna Do", "Long Distance Lullaby" and "When You Love a Sinner" add some needed quality to the second half of the record.

My overriding feeling is that not all of the songs on "Eleven" would have made it on to a Martina album in the past, and this is a strange state of affairs when you consider that Martina herself is sharing the songwriting credits on over half the record. Or maybe that lack of objectivity is the very reason. Either way, I do wonder if the creative team could have taken a little longer to assemble their material. Most of the songs are perfectly fine, and I will enjoy listening to them, but it's hard to believe that it's absolutely the best material that could have been picked. Perhaps this is why the album has charted lower than any other of Martina's since 1997 (though still at no. 4!)

If you're Martina fan, then you should still buy this record, and even think about tracking down the 'deluxe' version, which can be purchased from at least one online retailer in the U.K. (two of the four 'deluxe' tracks, "Ask The Boy" and "I Give It To You", are worth having.) However, if you're just casually interested, it might be worth trying another album first. Martina's previous record, "Shine", is a better and more cohesive offering, and its singles were rightly more successful.

I do like this album - it's mostly good. But I think it could have benefitted from a bit more thought. Just like that title.....
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on 27 October 2011
Martina made lots of changes this year,from a new label,management and a new producer.It was a wise decision,especially joining forces with the great Byron Gallimore (Faith Hill, Sugarland).
Every song on Eleven sounds completely different and stripped back of over production.From the simply stunning power anthem I'm Gonna Love You Through It,to the duet Marry Me with Pat Monahan from the band Train, to the edgy single Teenage Daughters, Martina has developed a new sound without neglecting her old fan base.
Other standouts include the beautiful Summer Of Love and Long Distance Lullaby.There's the full of energy uptempo One Night, and Broken Umbrella which includes horns that actually work well with the song.
Martina co-wrote the majority of the songs which is also another change for her.Eleven proves that Martina is still a force to be reckoned with in country music and could also teach her younger peers a thing or two.
Highly recommended!

Prime Cuts: One Night, I'm Gonna Love You Through It, Summer Of Love, Long Distance Lullaby.
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on 27 October 2011
Though this album would win no prizes in a 'most country album of the year' competition, it's still an OK, if some what mixed, collection. There are moments where I'm strongly reminded of Sugarland ("Broken Umbrella", "Always Be This Way") - whether that's a good thing or bad thing I'll leave to you to decide!

Parts of the first half of album have pretty much washed over me, nice but not particularly memorable, but there are a number of songs towards the end that rate with the best Ms McBride has ever recorded. The first single, "Teenage Daughters", sounded nothing special when I first heard it but its definitely grown on me. And then there are "When You Love a Sinner" and "Long Distance Lullaby" that close off the collection. Both come in under three minutes but say more that most of the rest of the album lumped together - excellent stuff!

There's a limited edition available in the US which features 4 additional tracks, one of which, "Closing Time", must be the best track Martina's recorded in years ..... how on earth didn't it make the finally cut for the 'proper' album!! Well worth tracking down on-line for a listen!
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on 4 December 2011
Heard track 3 on ~Dancing with the Stars and immediately fell in love, after I stopped crying of course!!! Its amazing and I was not disappointed with CD. I have sent it to my daughter as track 11 says all I have never been able to. Something for everyone young and old, just perfect easy listening and singing in the car!!!! Downloaded onto computer so can listen anytime I am supposed to be studying!!!! Well it helpsx Namaste
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on 20 September 2012
I didn't think this was as good as Martina's previous albums. There was one particular song that I wanted and was spot on for me. All in all I'm very happy with this purely for one song alone.
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on 22 May 2013
I love this album, it is easy to listen to and very upbeat.
I particularly like "Marry Me". Excellent download as always from Amazon
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on 1 January 2013
As always this is first class country music sung and performed by one of country music's
top class country music singer's.
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