No character and boring songs at the beginning of the album
Unfortunately, many good tracks are country songs, i.e. Sara Evans key genre
Sara Evans is back with a new album – and the title Copy That can be interpreted quite literally: her tenth album, which has been released on 15th May 2020, solely contains cover songs. Here is my view on the selection of country and pop classics.
Sara Evans – About The Artist
Sara Evans was born on 5th February 1971 in Boonville, Missouri, which is roughly located in the middle between St. Louis and Kansas City. She is a highly awarded country music artists with a lot of success on the singles and album side and even some movie appearances. Evans is the eldest kid of seven children, two of their siblings are still part of her band today. She was already singing in young ages and even kept this up when a car struck her and she was bound to a wheelchair for months. At the age of 10 years already, her father took her to Nashville, where she recorded her first single and thereafter tried to sell it at the Fan Fair (now: CMA Fest). At the age of 20, she finally moved to Nashville. She first followed her former husband to Oregon, but then came back to Music city and started recording records. While her debut, the 1997 Three Chords and the Truth just had some success, the second one, No Place That Far, already made it to the fourth spot in the Canadian and the eleventh one in the US Country Charts. The title track headed the US Country (Singles) charts as well. Her first album to top the charts was the 2005 Real Fine Place. Apart from a 2014 Christmas album, her last six albums made it to the US Country Charts’ Top 10. Five of her songs topped the US Country Singles Charts as well.
Sara Evans – Copy That – Track by Track
The 13 songs album lasts 53 minutes.
1. If I can’t have you
The album starts with a real classic – If I can’t help you, written by the Bee Gees, originally performed by Yvonne Ellimann. Hmm, this version does not touch me at all, I love Robin Gibb and I love this song, but Sara Evans just does not add anything to it. No character, no special interpretation. Sorry.
2. Don’t get me wrong
Don’t get mewrong is a bit more racy and rhythmic than The Pretenders original. Better than the first track, definitely, but not really a version you must hear… Maybe at least if you are not a die-hard Sara Evans fan.
3. Come on Eileen
Dexy’s Midnight Runners! You at least cannot say that Sara Evans is not going for the classics. Unfortunately, I have to say that this is one of the weakest interpretations to me. A bit slower than the original version and with an orchestral arrangement – but overall, there is no reason to listen to this version of Come on Eileen compared to the original.
4. Crazy Love
Crazy Love is the first country song on the album. The track is a 1978 track originally interpreted by the country rockers Poco. I have to admit that I had to listen to the original before the view. I definitely enjoy to listen to the Sara Evans – I feel it is a song which nicely suits her voice. The interpretation is not too far away from the original again, though.
5. Whenever I Call You Friend (feat. Phillip Sweet)
A country classic – Kenny Loggins and Steve Nicks did the original, this speedy duet with Phillip Sweet was undoubtedly a wise selection as a single release. This cover is the first one which I would say has some character and which I would clearly rate to be above average.
6. It’s Too Late
Carole King is one of the very big names in music business – so I was a bit afraid after my first five songs’ experience of the album so far that we now run into It’s Too Late. Good thing: Sara Evans is just a good singer and has a lovely voice. So the version is not bad. But she cannot compensate the soul and power of Carole King.
7. Monday Morning
Fleetwood Mac now. A very country-alike interpretation of Monday Morning is the seventh track. The chorus is catching (but comparably short in this song). One of the better songs of the album so far – but if you looked at the ratings I assigned to the interpretations so far, the challenge to make that was limited, definitely.
8. All We Ever Do Is Say Goodbye
It feels a bit like the songs / the interpretations are getting better. Sara Evans’ great voice turn this song to a treat while singing, even though I cannot really say that the original is fascinating me. Nice!
9. I’m So Lonesone I Could Cry (feat. Old Crow Medicine Show)
The album is now going back in times, into the 1940’s. The Hank Williams original is so far the best track of the album to me. The interpretation might be very classic again, but Old Crow Medicine Show just add so much historic flair to the song in a positive way that you have to love it. Nice vocal collaboration with the band as well.
10. 6th Avenue Heartache
6th Avenue Heartache was quite a success for The Wallflowers in the mid-1990’s. Evans turns the rock track into country rhythm – and it just works! Really good work in a way covering songs makes sense.
11. My Sharona
The late 1970’s and the 1980’s are my favorite music time. I thus might be more critical when it comes to the covers of that period – but this one is quite cool. Very rocking, sounding like the 70’s. Again, the song is maybe quite close to the original, but Sara Evans just surprises me with that interpretation. I feel to see her headbanging in the instrumental parts. So she just did that one right.
12. She’s Got You
Back to the country classics – Patsy Cline is definitely one of the very, very big names of the genres. A nice balladesque sound. Sara Evans’ voice is a blast in some parts of the song, unfortunately not constantly. But this is definitely a cool track.
13. Hard to Say I’m Sorry
Hard to Say I’m Sorry is such a classic. Time for me to be critical again? No! That’s the best song of the album. This intense ballad is catching, relatable, makes you listen to Sara Evans and her amazing voice. Sara, please, more songs of that… Damn, it is the last track. And the reference to September (original by Earth, Wind & Fire) at the end of the song feels unnecessary.
Sara Evans – Copy That – Spotify
Here is the Spotify widget to Sara Evans’ cover song collection:
Sara Evans – Copy That – My View
I was permanently thinking of two people, especially while reviewing the first songs. The one person is my British friend Peter, who is a die-hard Sara Evans fan. How would he like these songs? Undoubtedly, Sara Evans is an amazing artist, a legend – and a great voice. But with the first half of the album, she cannot improve that status, it is just too weak. The other person I thought of was Sarah Darling, as I reviewed her You’re Still the One EP with acoustic covers just a week before. Darling proofed in her five song collection, how to cover songs in a new style and with character.
Luckily, there is the second half of the album, which is just way better. Apart from the silly September add-on to the last track, this part illustrates Sara Evans talent and gives some nice re-interpretations. This saves this album from a rating I would feel even more guilty for towards a music legend.