Monday, September 6, 2010

Sara Evans, "A Little Bit Stronger"

Poor Sara.  One day she's as high-profile and popular as a country girl can possibly get.  The next day she's virtually tossed out (along with LeAnn Rimes, Jo Dee Messina, Gretchen Wilson...) in favor of Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift.  Her "new" album has been sitting on a shelf at RCA Nashville for the past year after the first single tanked on country radio.  Now she's back for another stab at the charts, likely hoping that she can finally get RCA to release the dang album. (This single will also appear on the upcoming soundtrack to the film Country Strong)

Instead of belting out the song McBride-style, Sara delivers a performance that is soft and low-key, but still entirely believable.  Her voice sounds just as beautiful as ever, and it has been sorely missed on country radio.  The percussion in the chorus is a slight distraction, but Sara is a strong enough vocalist to avoid being drowned out.

The song itself is a beauty.  It was written by Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum fame, who provides backup vocals on this track.  The song's character is a strong and confident woman who maintains a positive outlook in the wake of a difficult breakup.  She acknowledges that she is hurting, but tells herself that every time she looks in the mirror and puts a smile on her face, she gets a little bit stronger.

It's easy to imagine why Sara would show a connection to these lyrics, seeing as she went through such a nasty divorce just a few years ago.  One this track, Sara reminds us why she was one of the most consistently entertaining female vocalists of the early 2000s.  She is a more-than-capable singer, and this is an excellent song.  If Sara is ever to reclaim her radio stardom, this song gives her a strong chance of achieving it.

Welcome back, Sara.  You've been missed.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)

To hear this song, click "Cool New Music."