Review: Sara Evans, “Low”

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September 10, 2008

The few opening seconds sound like another pop-country throwaway.  Then, a wonderful surprise: acoustic instruments! Banjo-picking, bluegrass style!   Evans has a classic country voice that she rarely puts to use singing classic country, so it’s refreshing to hear her singing against a backdrop of pure country instrumentation.

Lyrically, it’s a more mature “Born to Fly”, the sound of a woman who has had a chance to live some of her dreams but also seen some fall apart along the way.  This is a song of strength, a statement of gritty determination that “You can’t keep me low.”   The spiritual overtones are inspired, rather than preachy.

Evans deserves to reclaim her status as an A-list country star with this.   In a career that’s been full of distinctive and memorable singles, this is one of the best.

Grade: A

Listen: Low

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27 Comments

Category: Single Reviews

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  1. J.R. JourneyNo Gravatar says:

    Sara’s last ‘pure country instrumentation’ single went all the way to #1 for her. And I like the sound of this one even better.

    Grade-A, indeed.

  2. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    It’s not my favorite of hers, but I like it. It’s definitely much better than the last two singles that I reviewed before this one.

  3. ZachNo Gravatar says:

    let’s hope for the best! :D

  4. Matt BNo Gravatar says:

    Anything with “pure country” instrumentation should stand out and Sara really needs to stand out right now. :)

  5. Steve F.No Gravatar says:

    This is great news! I haven’t heard this song yet, but the Kevin’s description sounds awesome.

    Sara CAN sing Bluegrass and Classic Country with the best of them. (Muleskinner Blues, In The Pines, You Take Me for Granted and her entire first album to name a few) I am really hoping this new song will set the tone for her next album, and that this is the beginning of her return to her roots, which are deeply and authentically Country with a capitol C!

    -Steve

  6. I like it. I think I like “Born to Fly” better though. It’s definitely an improvement over some of her other recent stuff. Someone about the line “you can’t keep me low” falls flat for me. The lyrics are building and I’m singing along, then that line doesn’t seem what would logically come next.

  7. Tyler HallNo Gravatar says:

    omg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. gingerNo Gravatar says:

    my son wrote this song and it is a great song i love it

  9. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Who’s your son and did he write it with anyone?

  10. Ron KNo Gravatar says:

    LOVE it. Sara is a great vocalist and perfect for the song. Let’s hear it on the radio now!!

  11. Steve F.No Gravatar says:

    Ok, I just heard the entire song. My take: Country-Pop melody, the acoustic and banjo instrumentation sounds more Keith Urban (Love Somebody) than Bluegrass to me, especially with the prominent drums.

    Sara’s vocals are first rate Country, as usual.

    An interesting mix. Not my new favorite, but I love Sara and this song may well grow on me.

    -Steve from Boston..

  12. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Steve, that’s about how I feel about it. The drums are a bit much with the rest of the instrumentation. Like you said and I said earlier, the song has the potential to grow on me, but it’ll have to come in time. I don’t think the melody quite hooks me either.

  13. Shane Stevens says:

    Hey Y’all!!! I can’t thank everyone enough for their comments on my song… I am so honored to have someone as amazing as Sara Evans singing one of my songs!!!!! if you love it….if you hate it….it’s all good…i’m proud of it either way….and i can’t begin to tell y’all how blessed i feel in this moment!!! God is sooooooooo GOOD all the time and i’m a lucky man! This has changed my life! I’m sitting on a porch in Nashville right now with my best friends….celebrating with a good bottle of wine!!! and my dad is in heaven having a party for me…cause my song is on the radio!!! so cheers to all of you!! and this ones for my daddy!!! i love you and i miss you!!

  14. Steve F.No Gravatar says:

    Congrats Shane, this IS something to be proud of! I am happy for your success.

    I’m somewhere between loving and hating this song…but far closer to loving it! Though I have reservations, I certainly do not hate it. You have crafted a lot of good elements into this song. I really like the lyrics too.

    All the best for much success for your song, Sara’s next single!

    -Steve from Boston

  15. JessicaNo Gravatar says:

    Great new song for Sara!!!! It’s awesome to hear new stuff. I’m excited for more!!

    Congrats, Shane!!!!

  16. EricaNo Gravatar says:

    This song is great! Sara sounds amazing and she’ll sound even better at the top of the charts with “Low”!!!

  17. Wayne's World says:

    Um you douchebags Sarah wrote this song for the billy graham movie coming out in october!! And it is excellent!!

  18. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Wayne’s World, any more comments like that will be deleted.

  19. ChrissyNo Gravatar says:

    OMG I SAW SARA SING THIS LIVE SEPT 11. SHE WAS AMAZING!!! I LOVE THIS SONG. I CANT GET ENOUGH OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Emily W.No Gravatar says:

    Excellent! “Low” definitely showcases Sara’s voice and has a nice bluegrass feel. Although not written by Sara (Shane Stevens), I think it is fitting for her now. Let’s request it and get it on top of the charts!

  21. LawrenceNo Gravatar says:

    “Low” Is a great song! I just saw Sara Perform it live this past weekend in Colorado, and it sounded amazing! She sounds better live than any of her albums! I will be requesting “Low” non-stop to get it to the top of the charts!

  22. JoeNo Gravatar says:

    I think radio has decided Sara Evans’ mainstream country career is over, and — hate to say it — but she has herself to blame, what with that unnecessarily, inscrutably public divorce.

    And it is too bad, because every one of those new tracks from the greatest hits album should’ve/could’ve been massive hits.

    As well, I like “Low” a lot. I guess it’s a quirk of mine, but I LOVE big blastin’ poppin’ all up-in-yer-face drums in a country song.

  23. Chris says:

    I haven’t heard “Low” on the radio yet, but I’ve heard the song on Good Morning America and really liked it. I think Sara did an excellent job on it, and am going to be requesting it as soon as I hear it.

  24. Lisa Marie says:

    How can I get the accompaniment?

  25. Ben FosterNo Gravatar says:

    Listening to this song makes me mad at country radio for not playing it. It’s probably because Sara didn’t dilute it with overblown pop-country instrumentation and wailing electic guitars. The result is a record that doesn’t stand much of a chance at becoming a radio hit, but that is far more entertaining than anything that does. If only country radio would get back to playing good songs like this.

  26. ASNo Gravatar says:

    I just listened to this song, inspired by the references to it in the “Little Bit Stronger” comments and I’m shocked this wasn’t a hit. I wonder what went wrong with this song? There’s plenty of traditional country songs that get play these days, plus Sara is an A-lister so I’m not sure what happened. Any theories?

  27. JonathanNo Gravatar says:

    Maybe it wasn’t a hit because of the soundtrack is originated from. Does anyone know the what the promotional energy was behind Billy, The Early Years? The film never really took off, either.

    I’m thinking was a lack of exposure for the film and the soundtrack that was partly to blame for this song’s poor performance at radio. Do most mainstream country fans actually know about this song?

    If she were to rerelease it now, I have no doubt it would explode at radio. I think bad timing may have also been to blame.

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