Slow Me Down
The powerful adult-contemporary pop single “Slow Me Down” teased listeners for months preceding the release of Sara Evans’ 2014 blockbuster album Slow Me Down. Here, the vocalist from Boonville, Mo., reunites with producer Mark Bright. She sings duets with Gavin DeGraw (on “Not Over You,” a song he’d cowritten with Ryan Tedder), The Fray's Isaac Slade (for the big pop sound of “Can’t Stop Loving You”), and Vince Gill (on “Better Off,” one of the album’s closer brushes with country). Electric guitars and synths guide the adventurous track “You Never Know," written by Shane McAnally (Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert). Even when she’s saying goodbye on “Put My Heart Down,” Evans does so with a celebratory sense. From start to finish—with “Gotta Have You” and “Revival,” where her country twang is given more room to roam—Evans sings every song as a potential exuberant hit, seeing herself as the link between her country music roots and the adult-contemporary pop direction where her instrumentation has taken her.