Reba McEntire followed her splashy 2010 comeback Love Somebody
with Sing It Now: Songs of Faith & Hope
, an ambitious double-disc religious album released in early 2017. Divided into a disc of standards and a disc of modern Christian music, the two sides wind up complementing each other not just in aesthetic but in sensibility. All of the ten new songs are very much creatures of their time -- big, glossy productions within the praise & worship mode. In contrast, the ten standards -- while still plenty polished -- are a bit rootsier, with a rousing version of "Oh Happy Day" emphasizing its gospel-soul roots and "Amazing Grace" spare and folky. Each album is satisfying on its own, but when heard in conjunction, the range and subtle skill of McEntire impress.