Stronger (Sara Evans album)

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Stronger
Studio album by Sara Evans
Released March 8, 2011 (2011-03-08)
Recorded 2009-2010
Genre Country
Length 39:44
Label RCA Nashville
Producer Tony Brown
Nathan Chapman
Matt Evans
Sara Evans
Marti Frederiksen
Sara Evans chronology
Greatest Hits
(2007)
Stronger
(2011)
Playlist: The Very Best of Sara Evans
(2013)
Singles from Stronger
  1. "A Little Bit Stronger"
    Released: September 27, 2010
  2. "My Heart Can't Tell You No"
    Released: June 20, 2011
  3. "Anywhere"
    Released: July 23, 2012

Stronger is the sixth album by American country recording artist Sara Evans. It was released on March 8, 2011 via RCA Records Nashville.[1]

Background[edit]

Stronger is the first studio album to be released by Evans in nearly six years.[2] During this six-year period, Evans was involved in a high profile divorce with, her now ex-husband Craig Schelske.[3] In an interview with CMT, Evans explained why she took so long to record the record saying "I cannot be creative unless my world is right. A lot of people will say, 'You know when I was going through my divorce or when I was going through rehab or when I was going through whatever ... .' You always hear artists talk about, 'Those are the best songs I've written.' Like, I'm the total opposite".[4]

In an interview with "The Boot", Evans spoke highly of the record saying "I am so excited and thrilled to finally have NEW music coming out! It took me a long time to make this record for many reasons, both personally and professionally, and now it's all about to come to fruition. This new album is full of fresh new sounds from me, and many songs that I co-wrote, but it's also the signature Sara Evans sound that I hope will make the fans want to buy this record!"[2] Also included is a song titled "Alone", and Evans has stated that she wants it released as the third single from the album, saying "There's a song called 'Alone' that is going to be the third single. It's a very country ballad, but I'm telling you, that song ... I have such high hopes that this song can really change my career".[5]

"My Heart Can't Tell You No" was originally recorded by Rod Stewart on his 1988 album, Out of Order.

Reception[edit]

Commercial[edit]

The album debuted at number six on the U.S. Billboard 200, and at number one on the U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums chart selling 55,000 copies in its first week of release.[6] As of January 2014, the album has sold 405,000 copies in the US.[7]

Critical[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[8]
Associated Press (mixed)[9]
Billboard (positive)[10]
Country Weekly 3.5/5 stars[11]
Entertainment Weekly (B)[12]
The New York Times (positive)[13]
Roughstock 3/5 stars[14]
The Washington Post (positive)[15]

Upon its release, Stronger received generally positive reviews from most music critics.[16] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 74, based on 5 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[16]

Jon Caramanica with The New York Times referred to the album as "modest" and "sharp" calling Evans an "unjustly underappreciated country singer who’s becoming more assured as she gets older".[13] Thom Jurek with Allmusic gave the release a three star rating, noting the "traditional country" sound of the album; but also calling the release "formulaic" saying "Evans' fans will eat this up as welcome return to form. However, a more critical listen will reveal this set as a concession to Nashville's ever more restrictive, formulaic studio system".[8] Matt Bjorke with Roughstock gave it a three star rating, saying it "features a strong mix of contemporary country music; Stronger is an album that Sara Evans fans have been longing to have.[14] Deborah Evans Price with Billboard gave it a favorable review, stating "Stronger, Sara Evans' first studio album in six years, is proof that some things are worth waiting for."[10]

Jessica Phillips with Country Weekly gave it a 3½ star rating, calling the track "What That Drink Cost Me" "the album’s standout ballad" and compared Evans to Trisha Yearwood and Patty Loveless.[11] Bill Friskics-Warren with The Washington Post gave it a favorable review, also comparing her voice to that of Patty Loveless.[15] Michael McCall with the Associated Press gave the release a mixed review, saying "the anthemic songs fall flat: On the fist-pumping "A Little Bit Stronger" and the spiritually inclined "Desperately," Evans sounds oddly detached and the arrangements sound overly dramatic" but called the track "Alone" "the album's most powerful ballad".[9]

Singles[edit]

"A Little Bit Stronger" was released as the album's lead-off single on September 27, 2010. It became a number one hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart[17] and her first since "A Real Fine Place to Start" in October 2005. The second single from Stronger, "My Heart Can't Tell You No", was released on June 20, 2011,[18] and managed a peak of number 21 on the Hot Country Songs chart in January 2012. "Anywhere," the album's third single, was released on July 23, 2012.[19]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Desperately"   Sara Evans, Marcus Hummon 3:13
2. "A Little Bit Stronger"   Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey, Hillary Scott 5:04
3. "My Heart Can't Tell You No"   Simon Climie, Dennis Morgan 4:33
4. "Anywhere"   Matt Evans, Jaren Johnston 4:06
5. "Alone"   Brian Henningsen, Aaron Henningsen 3:25
6. "Ticket to Ride"   S. Evans, Leslie Satcher 4:22
7. "Life Without Losing"   S. Evans, Barry Dean, Andrew Dorff, Laird 3:42
8. "What That Drink Cost Me"   S. Evans, M. Evans, Nathan Chapman 4:00
9. "Wildfire"   S. Evans, M. Evans, Kara DioGuardi, Marti Frederiksen 3:38
10. "Born to Fly" (Bluegrass version) S. Evans, Hummon, Darrell Scott 3:36
11. "Cabana Boy" (iTunes bonus track) S. Evans, M. Evans, Chapman 3:22

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
UK Country Albums Chart[20] 4
US Billboard 200 6
US Billboard Country Albums 1

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions
US Country US CAN
2010 "A Little Bit Stronger"[17] 1 34 75
2011 "My Heart Can't Tell You No"A 21 105
2012 "Anywhere" 53
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
Preceded by
Town Line by Aaron Lewis
Top Country Albums number-one album
March 26 – April 2, 2011
Succeeded by
My Kinda Party by Jason Aldean

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CMT : News : Sara Evans' New Album, Stronger, Due March 8". CMT. 2010-12-09. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  2. ^ a b Darden, Beville (2011-01-11). "Sara Evans 'Stronger' Track List Revealed - The Boot". The Boot. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  3. ^ Gerome, John (2007-09-28). "Country star Sara Evans granted divorce - USATODAY.com". Associated Press. USA Today. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  4. ^ Bonaguro, Alison (2010-10-08). "CMT : News : OFFSTAGE: Sara Evans Writes Best When the World's Right". CMT. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  5. ^ Duvall, Erin (2010-12-09). "Sara Evans to Release New, 'Stronger' Album - The Boot". The Boot. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  6. ^ Caulfield, Keith (2011-03-16). "Lupe Fiasco's 'Lasers' Lands at No. 1 on Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-03-16. 
  7. ^ "Hits Daily Double". Hits Daily Double. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Jurek, Thom. "Stronger - Sara Evans". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  9. ^ a b McCall, Michael (2011-03-08). "Sara Evans struggles on new CD 'Stronger'". Associated Press. Deseret News. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  10. ^ a b Evans Price, Deborah (2011-03-25). "Sara Evans, "Stronger"". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  11. ^ a b Phillips, Jessica (2011-03-04). "Stronger - CountryWeekly.com". Country Weekly. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  12. ^ Tucker, Ken (2011-03-02). "Stronger (2011)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  13. ^ a b Caramanica, Jon (2011-03-07). "Critics’ Choice: New CDs - Sara Evans - Stronger". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  14. ^ a b Bjorke, Matt (2011-03-08). "Sara Evans - Stronger". Roughstock. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  15. ^ a b Friskics-Warren, Bill (2011-03-08). "Album review: Sara Evans's 'Stronger'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  16. ^ a b "Stronger Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2011-03-09. 
  17. ^ a b "Country Songs". Billboard. 2011-02-27. Retrieved 2011-03-01. 
  18. ^ "Future Releases for Country Radio Stations". All Access. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  19. ^ http://www.allaccess.com/country/future-releases
  20. ^ "Archive Chart". UK Albums Chart. The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  21. ^ "Bubbling Under Hot 100 Week of January 21, 2012". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 13, 2012.