Reba McEntire

Video Gold, Vol. II

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With the Nashville Network and CMT helping to sell records just like MTV and VH1, Reba McEntire began making music videos in 1986. She was already a star in country music by that time, but her initial videos took her to a new level, and from then on she made them regularly, not only to promote new singles but also to familiarize herself with working in front of the camera, experience that served her well in later TV projects. This second volume of two collections of her videos contains 18 selections. They are presented in chronological order, but the two DVDs run concurrently rather than sequentially, the first volume also selecting 18 videos that date from 1986 to 2005. That will frustrate anyone who would prefer the earlier ones, for instance, or who just wants to watch all the videos in order. On this one, as on the first volume, the viewer can watch McEntire mature from a purveyor primarily of lovelorn and cheating songs to a benevolent figure bestowing her grace on others. The videos range from straight performance clips like "I Know How He Feels," "It's Your Call," and "Till You Love Me" (the last shot at a concert, but not actually sung live) to acting stints with other performers. David Keith is the romantic foil in "What Am I Gonna Do About You," while Vince Gill, naturally, turns up on his duet with McEntire, "The Heart Won't Lie," in which she plays a Navy recruit and he her superior. "Take It Back" is done as a comic courtroom production number reminiscent of Billy Joel's "Keeping the Faith" (and with the same director, Jon Small), and for "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia," McEntire puts on old-woman makeup as director Jack Cole alters the story of the song as told in the lyrics in an attempt to have it make more sense (it still doesn't). Those aware of McEntire's rodeo background who might wonder if she was ever going to get on a horse in one of her videos are satisfied, briefly, in "You Lie," although the real rodeo video is "I'm Gonna Take That Mountain." By then, as is true in most of the later clips, McEntire is content to sing the songs and mug engagingly for the camera as the action takes place around her. By the time of the two-part "Somebody" and "Love Needs a Holiday," which closes the disc, she is a sort of singing angel, walking through the scenes largely invisible to the actors. The music, mostly in a contemporary country/adult contemporary mode, holds up well, and the viewer can enjoy the procession of images just to watch the variations in McEntire's raven locks, from the early tight perm to the big hair look of the '80s to a short phase to the free-and-easy style of the 2000s.

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