At a time when a solo female meets a bit of resistance to be heard among a profusion of hat-wearing, tight jean-donning, smooth vocal-bearing males, Sara Evans refuses to let anybody slow her down. Taking the country music world by storm, Evans is back with an album, Slow Me Down, that will certainly place her back in the ranks of today’s hottest country artists. With three duets (two of which are likely to surprise you!) and several new solo tracks to introduce, Evans reminds us why she is a chart-topping, award-winning force in the industry.
On this, Evans’ seventh studio album, the pristine artist proves that her music career remains full speed ahead. Slow Me Down kicks off with the chart-climbing title track, which talks about a relationship that has reached its breaking point. But, before one of them finally walks out the door, the other is given a last chance to hurry up and say the right thing. “Slow Me Down” is an appropriate start to this eclectic collection of tracks, as it is indicative of what is full speed ahead; and that is a compilation of potential hits, one after another.
With tracks like “Put My Heart Down,” “You Never Know,” “Sweet Spot,” “A Little Revival,” and “Gotta Have You,” Sara speeds things up, providing listeners with catchy tunes, appropriate for those times when you feel the need to belt lyrics passionately and freely. From dealing with a risky love and needing to be released from the poison or praying to a higher being to express gratitude for finding a great love, Evans takes us on a journey of adulthood, which could be attributed to the trials and tribulations she has faced in her own life.
Slow Me Down is a breath of fresh air in an industry that is ever-changing, as the sound is reminiscent of the Sara Evans you have always known and loved, but in a more mature and confident way. On tracks like “If I Run” and “Good Love Is Hard to Find,” Evans reminds us why she made such a large impact on country music from the onset of her notable career. On these slower tracks, we are blessed with Evans’ broad range, poignancy, and a glimpse into her mind, heart, and soul. These tracks are a major departure from the emotion of past songs (such as smash hit “Stronger”), but, nevertheless, have the ability to touch listeners, albeit from a different perspective.
Rounding out the album and providing it with a stamp of uniqueness are the three duets, “Not Over You (feat. Gavin DeGraw),” “Can’t Stop Loving You (feat. Isaac Slade),” and “Better Off (feat. Vince Gill).” If you dabble in other genres, it is likely you have heard DeGraw’s “Not Over You” a multitude of times. However, chances are, as a country music fan, you haven’t quite loved it as much as you will now. The original version of DeGraw’s song is flawless, but when you add in Evans’ gorgeous vocals, the song takes on brand new meaning. If it shocked you to see Gavin DeGraw’s name on a country album, it probably threw you for an even bigger loop seeing Isaac Slade’s name on Evans’ tracklist. Slade, known for his role as The Fray’s lead singer, lends his gritty vocals to “Can’t Stop Loving You.” The collaboration of the two very distinct artists results in a crossroads’esque track that has country, pop, and/or adult-contemporary potential. Lastly, Evans teamed up with the legendary Vince Gill on a ballad that can best be described as the most soul-soothing kind of ear candy. The harmonies in the choruses and at the end of the song will leave your jaw on the floor, as Evans and Gill complement one another seamlessly. These three tracks are, most certainly, highlights on the album, as they set Slow Me Down apart and grant Evans the ability to entertain the idea of crossover singles, if that is a path which she chooses to travel.
Sara Evans’ new album will take you on a journey from the past to present as you recall the artist you met years ago and will introduce you to an Evans that you have yet to meet. Slow Me Down is the first of many highly-anticipated returning female artists’ albums to be released in 2014 and the year could not have started off any “stronger” for the ladies we cherish in our beloved genre.
Let me know what you think of the album!
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Photo credit SaraEvans.com Publicity photos for Slow Me Down cover