For My Broken Heart

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October 11, 1991 at 04:00 AM EDT

Even before the plane crash last March that took the lives of her tour manager and seven members of her band, Reba McEntire had established herself as country’s new queen of heartbreak, mainly through her woman-to-woman songs of romantic disillusionment. On her new album, For My Broken Heart, she explores all measure of suffering. In ”Bobby,” for example, a tune McEntire cowrote with Don Schlitz, she presents the story of a loving spouse’s mercy killing and the estranged son who finally understands. She also goes out on a limb to resurrect Vicki Lawrence’s 1973 campy white-trash hit, ”The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” making the hackneyed tale of backwoods lust and murder chilling and believable. McEntire still hits her stride with the more traditional songs of emotional turmoil, above all combining a spectacular vocal performance with a terrific song on ”Buying Her Roses,” a wife’s head- spinning discovery of her husband’s other woman. A-

For My Broken Heart

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For My Broken Heart

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