is another singer who suffered through struggles to get heard. In her case, however, she tended to release formula-heavy albums empty of much character or individuality. Always an obvious talent, she bounced between record companies, all of which tried to force her into one ill-fitting trend or another. Davis
finally enjoyed some exposure through a hit duet with her co-manager, Reba McEntire
. Their song, "Does He Love You," won several awards and gained Davis
another record contract, this time with Arista Records. Still, her 1994 album with the company had little impact. This time, she attempted to come across as a steamy chanteuse. She danced through several lame swamp-pop songs, a style that proved as unconvincing as her previous guises. However, on each of her albums, she would display her possibilities when given a chance to sing a grown-up love song. Finally, on her Some Things Are Meant to Be
, she didn't have to try to sing two-steppers or novelties or country-rock or traditional tear-jerkers. Instead, the strong-voiced singer takes on straight-ahead, middle-of-the-road, pop-country songs, and she lives up to her promise. The songs are about women in their 30s and 40s facing up to the trouble or the joy in their lives. They're about finding strength through acknowledgement, or how sometimes perseverance is the only reward we have. They're good songs, devoid of gimmickry. And Davis
brings them to life with a subtle, intelligent power. Perseverance, it seems, indeed has its rewards.