Singer Sara Evans is one of the leading ladies of country music. Since her breakthrough in 1997 with the critically-acclaimed debut album Three Chords and the Truth, Evans has been riding high in the charts selling millions of records over the past 14 years. Earlier this year she released her latest studio album Slow Me Down, her first since 2011’s Stronger, scoring her fifth US Country Top 10 album. In time for the holidays, Evans is releasing festive collection At Christmas.
At Christmas features Evans tackling several Christmas classics alongside one original track. The final three tracks on the album – I’ll Be Home For Christmas, Go Tell It on the Mountain and O Come All Ye Faithful – were originally released in 2009 as digital EP I’ll Be Home For Christmas. At Christmas marks Evans’ first full-length holiday collection and it opens with original track At Christmas. The title track is a beat-driven up-tempo Christmas gem that sounds like an instand festive classic. We’ve already added it to our Christmas playlist amongst classics from Mariah Carey and Kelly Clarkson. The track sings about the joy of being with the family at Christmas and surrounded by the ones you love.
The sentiment of family carries through the album, especially when Evans is joined by her daughters Audrey and Olivia on The Twelve Days of Christmas. It seems that the girls have inherited their mother’s vocal talents and we look forward to what they do as they get older. The simple arrangement allows the three voices to shine and it’s a definite highlight.
Elsewhere on the album Evans does a barn-storming rendition of Chuck Berry’s Run Rudolph Run, infuses some old-school country rhythms into Winter Wonderland, and employs a gospel choir on the rousing Go Tell It On The Mountain. I’ll Be Home For Christmas features one of Evans’ best vocals on the album and her version of the holiday classic is sumptuous and beautiful.
The finest moments on the album are Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Silent Night and O Holy Night. We always knew that Sara Evans had a gorgeous voice but she sounds incredible on these tracks. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is understated and beautiful, Silent Night showcases the power and control that Evans is known for, and O Holy Night sees the singer deliver a soaring powerhouse vocal that is rich and warm.
Many Christmas albums suffer from over-production or being too cheesy but Sara Evans gets the balance absolutely spot on with At Christmas. From the beautiful arrangements to Evans’ flawless vocals, the whole affair is as classy as she is. Just when we were beginning to think that no one could top Mariah Carey’s iconic 1994 release Merry Christmas, Evans comes along with a serious contender that is a must-have this Christmas.