Sticking to the road less traveled by her country/pop counterparts, Martina McBride remains purely country with her new RCA release, "Martina." By offering an array of down-home ballads, female anthems and gospel-tinged tunes, McBride's first studio album in four years positions her to continue a reign that includes current Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music female vocalist honors.
"I never feel restricted by [country] music," she says. "And I don't necessarily have the desire to be a bigger celebrity than I already am. I love country music, and I love being known as a country music artist."
First single "This One's for the Girls" features background vocals by Faith Hill and McBride's daughters, Delaney and Emma. It is No. 7 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.
Other contributors to the album include Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill and Jamie O'Neal. "Martina" closes with a live cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."