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Martina McBride: Wild Angels

[cover art]

Backing vocals on the cut "Cry on the Shoulder of the Road" by Levon Helm.

Martina McBride's third and best album couldn't have come at a better time. Not only does it place her on the short list of women making the most significant and interesting records coming out of Nashville these days, the Kansas-bred McBride has just been inducted as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry, making her the 73rd member of this most exclusive of country clubs.

The recording and release of Wild Angels comes hot on the heels of the late '94 birth of McBride's daughter and her song selection and delivery brim with a confidence and spirituality that were hinted at on her previous hits like "My Baby Loves Me" and her controversial "Independence Day." The title track, that opens the new album with the lines "Between the perfect world and the bottom line/Keeping love alive in these troubled times/It's a miracle in itself," is another declaration of independence, but it's not one that is politically charged or confrontational. McBride's strength and freedom comes from the revelation that having a supporting and loving soul-mate is a source of empowerment. The message comes through loud and clear on "You've Been Driving All the Time" and "All the Things We've Never Done," the latter a devastating tribute to a marriage that's succeeded, despite the lack of frills, because of unconditional love.

McBride, not a songwriter herself, clearly relates more strongly to the material on Wild Angels than to that on her earlier albums. And her vocals, showing as much gutsy poignancy as any contemporary country singer, are as utterly convincing on Delbert McClinton's upbeat "Two More Bottles of Wine," about drowning the sorrows and hurt of a failed relationship, as they are on the gorgeous Bonnie Raitt-esque ballad, "Cry on the Shoulder of the Road." Backing vocals on "Shoulder" are provided by Levon Helm, whose former outfit The Band is cited (along with Creedence) as bands that have influenced her in creating an album that has more than a little live and spontaneous feel.

Whether the songs are about enduring the hardships or celebrating the pleasures, McBride's message is strong and hopeful. It's better to break down on the highway and cry on the shoulder of the road than to endure a miserable relationship; better to celebrate the small triumphs than bemoan all the things never done. In doing so, McBride and her music affirm the journey and accept the speed bumps along the way.
--David Sokol, CD Review Magazine January 1996


  1. Wild Angels
  2. Safe in the Arms of Love
  3. Phones are Ringing All over Town
  4. A Great Disguise
  5. Swinging Doors
  6. All the Things We'we Never Done
  7. Two More Bottles of Wine
  8. Cry on the Shoulder of the Road
  9. You've Been Driving All the Time
  10. Born to Give My Love to You
  11. Beyond the Blue


(only members of the Band listed)
  • Levon Helm, vocal

Martina McBride - Wild Angels - 1995 - BMG/RCA 7863 66509 4

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