There is a brightness to “Slow Me Down,” Sara Evans’s seventh album, out Tuesday, that (funnily enough) makes this a stronger outing then her 2011 set, “Stronger.”
While there are a few standard contemporary country tracks included in the mix — including a serviceable cover of Gavin DeGraw’s “Not Over You,” featuring DeGraw on harmony vocals — the tracks that stand out have a fresh appeal.
“Sweet Spot” hits just that, thanks to an earwormy whistled hook, a jaunty acoustic guitar riff, a clap-happy backing track, and Evans’s jubilant singing about the rush of the moment when you realize you’re falling in love. Come the summer months this should be all over the radio.
The title track, laced with a lovely string arrangement, finds Evans’s voice fluttering up the scale expectantly as the narrator hopes for a longtime love to right the departing — and derailing — train. “If I Run,” tackles the tale of a gunshy romantic with relatable specificity and features a sparkling piano line to boot.
Vince Gill turns up to work his angelic harmony magic on “Better Off,” and sweet closer “Gotta Have You” features some of this Missouri native’s loveliest vocalizing to date.
ESSENTIAL “Sweet Spot”
Sara Evans plays Royale on Wednesday.