After the Dance (River North, 1999)
Reviewed by Brian Wahlert
For several years Ronna Reeves has been one of country's most underrated artists. But now with a new record label and CD, she should finally taste success. Musically, this disc is her most varied, as the songs run the gamut from the lush pop ballad, "Next Train Out," to the uptempo "Not Yet But I'm Gettin' There," complete with dobro, steel, and fiddle. Reeves stretches out vocally more than ever, especially on the self-written "One Way Ticket," which recalls Faith Hill's "Wild One" with its theme and sheer energy. "But this girl's different /She's gotta go her own way," Reeves shouts, and the listener can't help rooting for the song's protagonist. Then comes the title cut, a country ballad with a gorgeous melody and cautious lyrics about new love, which Reeves sings with the perfect combination of longing, hope, and hesitation. It's difficult to understand why Reeves hasn't had any hit singles yet, but country radio should find neglecting this excellent release nearly impossible.