Reba’s ‘Going Out Like That’ puts her back on the map! [Single Review]

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There's a reason Reba has charted hits in four decades. She's not only one of the finest storytellers in country music history, but she sets trends along the way. While her brand-new single (and her first offering since 2010's All The Woman I Am disc) "Going Out Like That" succumbs to the female trends of breakups and rock-pop production, but itt contains all the necessary sass and fiery grit. Penned by hit-makers Ben Hayslip (Brantly Gilbert's "Small Town Throwdown"), Rhett Akins (Chase Rice's "Ready Set Roll") and Jason Sellers (Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson's "Don't You Wanna Stay"), the uptempo was originally written from the perspective of a man. After a few obvious lyrical tweaks, Reba dishes out her own arena-sized kiss-off.

Sure, it's not as lyrically captivating as many of her most notable classics ("Whoever's In New England," "She Thinks His Name Was John," "The Greatest Man I Never Knew"), but it possesses that charming Reba of the early to mid-90s. It sits well in her sweet spot: somewhere between 1994's "Why Haven't I Heard From You" and "The Fear of Being Alone" (1996). In the modern era, it's almost a given that a female needs to have a self-reliant, boy-basher to shift the industry in their favor. For a pioneer like Reba, "Going Out Like That" is a clear disservice to her skill set and follows a similarly-structured formula as her last No. 1 single, 2010's catchy "Turn on the Radio." Even on the bridge, an electronic texture is doubled over her pristine voice. It's an unncessary element that even cross-over powerhouse Carrie Underwood hasn't succumbed to, yet.

But in the face of dwindling bro-country and female voices, Reba makes a bold statement—again solidifying her placement as country's queen. It's an enjoyably infectious foray into contemporary rock-tinged pop-country, but the overwhelming concern now is: will her comeback album, on Big Machine's Nash Icon, offer up the kind of depth and blistering quality for which she's known?

Grade: B+

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