Reba McEntire has repeatedly told the media that her next album, Stronger Than the Truth, is her most country album she has recorded, and the new single, “No U In Oklahoma,” is pure testimony to that.
Written by the queen herself, Reba, along with Ronnie Dunn and Donna McSpadden, the tune is a full-on romp through the wonderful world of western swing. It takes about five seconds for twin fiddles to kick in on this timeless jam that could have just as easily been recorded by Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, Asleep At the Wheel or even George Strait.
Riddled with clever wordplay like “There’s no ‘U’ in Oklahoma and that’s OK with me,” the arrangement also features generous amounts of chicken-pickin’ guitar, pedal steel, and tinkling piano.
In a world of drum loops, canned snaps and claps, and screaming electric guitar, “No U In Oklahoma,” sonically stands out as a nod to the traditional country that Reba cut her teeth on growing up on a ranch in Oklahoma, and is lyrically void of buzzword-laden lyrics popular in today’s country.
“You put the T for tears in Texas / S for sad in St. Louis / Our reckless travels led us / To the state of Missouri / I cried clear ‘cross Carolina / ‘Bout some bar in Tennessee / There’s no U in Oklahoma / And that’s okay with me,” she sings in the chorus.
This is hardly Reba’s first swing at…swing. Longtime fans will remember her collaboration on Vince Gill’s “Oklahoma Swing” in 1990 co-written by Vince and fellow Oklahoman Tim DuBois.
“No U in Oklahoma” is the second track featured from Stronger Than the Truth and while the two songs are quite different, they both bear a similar theme of love gone wrong. Stronger Than the Truth is scheduled to drop on April 5, just two days before the red-headed spitfire hosts the ACM Awards.