On Eleven (which is Martina’s eleventh album and released on 10/11/11 (11/11/11 is a non-release day Friday) Martina sings songs like those “mini move songs,” like the albums second single “I’m Gonna Love You Through It” and the gorgeous “When You Love A Sinner.” The rest of the songs on the primarily deal with matters of the heart, from the romantic remake of Train’s “Marry Me” (which is smartly turned into a duet with Pat Monahan, Train’s lead-singer and songwriter) to the Beatles-like “Broken Umbrella” to spirited ballad “You Can Get Your Lovin’ Right Here,” one of six songs Martina co-wrote on the album. There’s even some more ‘organic’ sounding songs like Top 20 lead single “Teenage Daughters” and “Long Distance Lullaby” mixed in with what may be the most “pop” sounding song of her career outside benchmark single “I Love You.” That song is album opener “One Night,” a song co-written with Claude Kelly and Tommy Lee James, both no strangers to pop chart success as Kelly has written hit songs for/with Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J and many, many more while James has co-written songs for people like Aussie pop star Delta Goodrem, The Pussycat Dolls, and 98 Degrees along with writing “Bleed Red” and hit songs for Gary Allan, Trisha Yearwood, Tim McGraw and Reba among others.
While the eleven songs on the album (notice the Eleven theme?) contain songs from various part of the country music landscape, one never gets the sense that Martina McBride would ever consider leaving the genre, even if she really could record a full-on Celine Dion-style pop standards album and this allows Martina to showcase her penchant for great songs and, now, we’re seeing that she has something to say too. In the end what we have is a strong debut album for Republic Records Nashville, a record which should help her get more radio success and build upon her already Hall of Fame-worthy career.