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Country - Released August 30, 2019 | Born To Fly Records

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Country - Released March 10, 2014 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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A reunion with producer Mark Bright, who produced her 2005 album Real Fine Place, may suggest Sara Evans is returning to the country on her 2014 record Slow Me Down, but a better indication of the sound of this album is in its artwork. The glamour shot showcasing Evans' long legs in all their glory is hardly down-home and neither is Slow Me Down. The singer may collaborate with songwriter of the hour Shane McNally on the exceptional "You Never Know," but a better indication of her frame of mind is how Isaac Slade from the Fray is brought in for a duet on "Can't Stop Loving You" and Gavin DeGraw pops up for "Not Over You," a song the AAA crooner co-wrote with pop hitmaker Ryan Tedder. All this suggests how thoroughly pop Slow Me Down is. Forget country-pop -- this is an adult contemporary pop album through and through, all slick surfaces and insistent melodrama, the kind of music made for the crossover diva Evans now is. Evans elegantly matches the oversized arrangements, matching each crescendo and hushed moment, while the songs are cannily constructed pieces of pop, sounding stronger with each play. Certainly, fans hoping that Evans will return to country music will be disappointed, but Slow Me Down is something that is rare in 2014: an unapologetic, big-scale adult pop album, constructed with grace and care. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Country - Released August 17, 2007 | RCA Records Label Nashville

Sara Evans wasted no time getting back to what she does best in the music game after her divorce. While it's true that this is a compilation released just a week after the messy event was final, this set arrived and four of its 14 cuts are new tracks. There are some real problems with assembling a collection like this: for starters it contains not a single cut from her excellent debut, Three Chords and the Truth, issued in 1997. Greatest Hits is essentially every big single, but ignores some of the also-rans in favor of new songs. That's fine and its accurate, but it feels incomplete. The new cuts are part of the problem: the album opens with "As If," an anthemic but generic love song written with Hillary Lindsey and John Shanks, who produced all the new cuts (and you can be sure at least two of them will end up on her next studio effort). The cut is full of big, compressed guitars and muted, programmed-sounding drums -- despite the fact that Evans has one of the best bands in the business. Her own amazing voice is covered over by the production, and the lyrics coming out at this particular time are sure to invite speculation -- but perhaps that's part of the game plan. Nashville's publicity game is as savvy as L.A.'s or New York's, no matter what they show on the surface. The bottom line is the track doesn't cut it. It might even be a hit because Evans fans are notoriously faithful (and they should be, for she hasn't let them down yet, but this effort is still substandard for such a fine writer). The other new cuts, which make up the last three on the disc, are also co-written with Shanks, along with either Aimee Mayo, Lindsey, and Matt Evans (right, her brother). "I Love You with All My Heart" is another big love song, but it fares far better than "As If." It contains drama and is dynamic despite its rather hopelessly compressed acoustic and electric guitar sound (that makes everything sound thin). It's almost as if Shanks is going for a contemporary country version of Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, with a million guitars, big fiddles, layered pianos, drums, and a flat-sounding bassline that just keeps time. Whatever it is, it doesn't work. Evans, who is a truly gifted singer and an excellent judge of her own production, must have had a hard year to let this guy touch her music. But the melody redeems the track, and its feel in large part is more emotive and less contrived than its predecessor. "Pray for You" is an honest-to-goodness country song, and this feels like Evans at her strongest. It's a story-song, full of memory, longing, and reflection. The melody is quite beautiful, and Evans allows her voice to let the song guide it rather than shoving the song through the band's racket. The closer, "Some Things Never Change," is another country-rock tune with reedy fiddles (that didn't have to be), but Evans' lyric turns on a dime and allows the narrative to tell itself. She offers a portrait of everyday life that feels desirable, even enough to be yearned for. The instrumentation is still gummed up, but there is a more organic, less slick presentation here; in fact, the piano actually sounds like one, and the singer is allowed the range of her voice to get above the accompaniment. Hopefully this is where she's heading on her next record and hopefully she finds someone else to produce or do it herself. As for the "Greatest Hits" part of this, the title track from No Place That Far is here, as are the first four cuts from Born to Fly, "Suds in the Bucket" from Restless, and three from Real Fine Place (the title cut, "Cheatin'," and of course, "You'll Always Be My Baby"). It's a mixed bag: you get some great songs all together, and some new ones. Unfortunately, only half of them approach the true worth of Evans' artistry. ~ Thom Jurek
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Country - Released October 3, 2005 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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Country - Released October 9, 2000 | RCA Records Label Nashville

After the commercial and critical success Sara Evans rightfully garnered for 1998's No Place That Far and the extensive tour she undertook to support it, Born to Fly emphasizes the more contemporary sounds on the recording, while placing some of the rootsy bluegrass back in the mix. She does this with the confidence and authority of a seasoned veteran who is in control of her work. Sitting in the producer's chair for the first time with Paul Worley, Evans co-wrote six of the set's 11 tracks. The studio players assembled on this date are impressive: Ricky Skaggs,Jerry Douglas, Randy Scruggs, Dan Dugmore, Bruce Hornsby, Biff Watson, Aubrey Haynie, Jonathan Yudkin, and Glenn Worf, to name a few. The standout cuts are the playful title track and first single, "Born to Fly," with its fiddles, Dobros, and mandolins; the nostalgic ballad "I Learned That from You," with its whinnying pedal steel; and covers of Edwin McCain's "I Could Not Ask for More" and the closer, a reading of Hornsby's gently choogling back-porch love song "Every Little Kiss." Evans moved to the top of the charts again with this one, and was able to go four deep for singles, solidifying her place at the beginning of the 21st century. ~ Thom Jurek
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Country - Released August 7, 2003 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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Country - Released September 26, 1997 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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Country - Released October 26, 1998 | RCA Records Label Nashville

On the follow-up to her surprise 1997 debut hit, Three Chords and the Truth, singer and songwriter Sara Evans shocked many of the fans who embraced it with No Place That Far. Where Dwight Yoakam producer and guitarist Pete Anderson helped Evans shape a modern version of hardcore country traditionalism on the first disc, RCA brought in producers Buddy Cannon and Norro Wilson to protect their investment and take her to the next level by adding plenty of sheen and shine -- and a slew of celebrity guests for good measure. It worked: No Place That Far firmly established Evans as a bona fide superstar, a down-home singer with the pipes of a diva. Almost immediately, she entered the pantheon reserved for singers like Martina McBride (who appears here) and Trisha Yearwood (who she basically replaced) in the spotlight. Evans co-wrote five of the set's 11 tunes including the title track, which was a smash out of the box. It's not that slick pop completely replaced the torch and twang in Evans' voice and songs; it's more like it was integrated gradually, eventually replacing it. There are still a number of cuts here that show off Evans' roots sound: the opener, "The Great Unknown," co-written with Phil Barnhart and James House; "These Days," written with the great Matraca Berg; and the closer, "There's Only One," penned with Leslie Satcher. But the title track, written with Tony Martin and Tom Shapiro, could have been released in 2007 -- it bore the adult pop mark of the new contemporary country sound. With backing vocals by heavy hitters like Vince Gill and McBride, it was destined for the Top Five. The soaring emotional euphoria in the refrain (which seemingly underscores the definition of transcendent love) was impossible to resist. Another notable cut is Jamie O'Hara's country pub rock shuffle "The Crying Game." (It sounds like it was written by Hank DeVito and produced like it was a track on an early Rosanne Cash or Rodney Crowell record.) It was a place where Evans' voice was left pretty much untreated and allowed to display its natural range and emotional depth. "Fool, I'm a Woman," with its sprightly mandolins, ringing electric guitars, and crackling snare drum, is another of those crossover tunes that landed as a single. In all, the album scored three, and placed Evans in the multi-platinum category at the top of the charts, where every effort since has landed. ~ Thom Jurek
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Country - Released March 7, 2011 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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Ambient/New Age - Released November 17, 2014 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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Country - Released August 23, 2019 | Born To Fly Records

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Country - Released August 16, 2019 | Born To Fly Records

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Country - Released November 3, 2009 | RCA Records Label Nashville

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Country - Released August 13, 2009 | RCA Records Label Nashville