Sara Evans - Restless
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Restless (RCA, 2003)

Sara Evans

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

Sara Evans has come along way from her critically acclaimed 1997 ultra-traditional country debut album, "Three Chords and the Truth." Her last album, "Born to Fly," yielded some big pop-country hits, and this, her fourth, sees her continuing to mine the same commercial country vein while experimenting with some new sounds as co-producer.

"Otis Redding" has a great midtempo groove and includes a bongo and Evans' sister Hillary's intentionally low-fidelity background vocals. The title track, about a woman with difficulty setting down roots, starts with an Irish tin whistle.

But beyond the sonic creativity, what really makes this album a success is great singing and songwriting. "Backseat of a Greyhound Bus," for instance, is a classic country story song that starts with the line, "She wore a dress with cherries on it, goin' somewhere where she'd be wanted." Evans' sweet vocal and the sympathetic lyric turn what could be a story of despair into something else - maybe not triumph exactly, but at least comfort.

Although Evans' lack of success with traditional country music was disappointing, a commercial artist has to make albums that people will buy. And this is definitely one worth buying.

CDs by Sara Evans

Copy That, 2020 At Christmas, 2014 Slow Me Down, 2014 Stronger, 2011 Greatest Hits, 2007 Real Fine Place, 2005

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