Martina McBride: "Waking Up Laughing"
Producer: Martina McBride
Release Date: April 3
The first album of original material that McBride has solo produced (she also handled "Timeless," her collection of country classics), "Waking Up Laughing" is another strong outing for one of country's most consistent stars. "Anyway," which marks McBride's first turn as a songwriter, is already a top five country airplay single, and there's plenty more to back it up. "How I Feel," another McBride co-write, is a driving description of what a loved one means to the singer, and "Love Land" tells the ultimately rewarding story of a couple whose marriage begins with an unplanned pregnancy. Not every song is uplifting, however. "If I Had Your Name" is a demonstrative tale of love gone wrong ("If I had your name, I'd be changing it by now"), while "Tryin' to Find a Reason" walks through the process of an inevitable breakup. --Ken Tucker