Sara Evans, 'Slow Me Down': Track-By-Track Review

91 Billboard Rating

This week, Sara Evans releases "Slow Me Down," her first new album in close to three years. The lead single and title track is climbing the charts, hitting No. 28 on Hot Country Songs. It was also selected by The 615 as one of the ten best country singles released in 2013. Is there more where that came from? Here's our complete look at the RCA release.

1. Slow Me Down – The strongest definition of the word “Power Ballad,” this track has not had one ounce of a burn factor since its’ release. Evans’ dramatic performance brings to mind a good episode of such 80s dramas as “Dallas” or “Knots Landing.” Pure ear candy.

2. Not Over You – Her cover of the Gavin DeGraw tune allows her to reach within and conjure up one of her strongest vocal performances yet, as she handles each and every line with passion. Of course, having DeGraw add his harmony doesn’t hurt one bit.

3. Put My Heart Down – Light and bouncy, this cut has the perfect springtime feel – complete with a sing-a-long chorus that will make you want to roll down the window. Ironically, the song is one saying goodbye, but the melody is free and easy. 

Sara Evans Reveals Major Collaborators for 'Slow Me Down'

4. Can’t Stop Loving You – Evans’ natural country twang is balanced by Isaac Slade’s rock bravado. The chorus stays in your head, as this should see some country consideration but maybe some pop / AC, as well. 

5. You Never Know – Just like with the title track, Evans is not afraid of material with a dramatic flair, as this cut has somewhat of a 90s pop sound to it. Mark Bright’s production keeps her vocals at the forefront – making for a stunning vocal showcase.

6. If I Run – Quite possibly Evans’ finest vocal performance on the album. She hits some notes on the chorus that are pure textbook. A definite single.

7. Sweet Spot – Sometimes, it’s not about making a deep statement. Some days, it’s simply about singing to the rafters about the joy and pleasure of being in love. Summertime, anyone?

8. Good Love Is Hard To Find – As strong of a contemporary country performance as you’re going to find – from an artist who you get the feeling has lived each lyric of the song.

9. Better Off – You might take the girl out of Boonville, Missouri, but you can’t take the Boonville out of the girl. A soaring performance that allows Evans a chance to conjure up her inner (Patty) Loveless. 

10. Gotta Have You – As strong as this album is, it’s hard to pick out a standout track. But, combine lyrics, vocals, production, and instrumentation, and this might be the breakout hit of the album. She lays it out on the line and comes up the winner for doing so.

11. Revival – We all lose our way sometimes in life, and this track is the perfect way to close the set – with a call for inspiration to lead us back to the root of why we do what we do or love who we love.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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