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Sara Evans

Copy That – 2020 (Born to Fly)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Sara Evans

Nine songs in, Sara Evans finally unleashes a country song that she wanted to cover. And it's one of the most copied songs at that - Hank's "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." The cut is a decided left turn from the rest of "Copy That," songs that Evans adored "plain and simple." Overcovered though it may be, Evans' version resonates. Let's face it, her vocals remain a powerful thing of beauty, power and emotion. And it helps that she is backed by traditional country instrumentation of banjo and fiddle plus the spot on supporting harmonies of Old Crow Medicine Show.

"She's Got You" was the smartest choice by Evans among the 13 songs. The Patsy Cline hit penned by Hank Cochran, yet again, showcases Evans' vocals. Evans delivers it nice and slow with the requisite sadness and a lovely organ and guitar interlude in the countrypolitan-based mix. Evans' vocals have always been her calling card, and this song only serves to underscore that.

But aside from these two gems, Evans delves deeply by and large into pop songs. That's obvious with her take on the lead-off song. The Bee Gees' "If I Can't Have You," not the type of song that one would think would be in Evans' wheelhouse. It's just too syrupy, and Evans doesn't do anything to upend that notion. Evans converts The Pretenders' "Don't Get Me Wrong" into danceable pop with a discoey guitar. Chrissy Hynde would not approve.

Covering the kings of froth - Chicago's "Hard to Say I'm Sorry" - emphasizes that as well, although Evans' vocals exceed the original. Evans might do justice to this and others (the pop gems "Come on Eileen" and "My Sharona"), but labelling this compelling music would be a stretch. Now if she choose country songs that spoke to her...