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1 rating: 3.0
An album by Martina McBride

Personnel includes: Martina McBride (vocals, tambourine); Clint Black (vocals, electric guitar); Biff Watson, Billy Joe Walker, Jr. (acoustic & electric guitars); Paul Worley (acoustic & 12-string guitars); Dann Huff (gut string guitar, 6 & … see full wiki

Tags: Music, Country
1 review about Evolution

My Lithe Angel Has Regained Her Soul

  • Apr 11, 2007
Pros: Soulful, beautiful, and inspired voice.

Cons: Clint Black duet

The Bottom Line: All things considered I love this CD, and I am glad I bought it without really knowing what I was getting myself into.

Original Release Date: August 26, 1997
Genre: Contemporary Country
Label: RCA Records
Number of Discs: (1)

After the uninspired, soulless, and oft times flat Wild Angels (1995) Martina McBride the lithe country siren with the very large and engaging voice followed up with her 1997 release Platinum selling release Evolution, an offering that brought the artist back to the forefront of country music where she clearly belongs. Evolution, in this reviewer’s opinion, is the complete opposite of Wild Angels. Fresh, soulful, beautiful, and inspired, Evolution is Martina at her best. Her voice rings out loud, clear, and full of emotion as she belts out one lyrically tight song after another.

While I found one, perhaps two cuts from the Wild Angels that held my interest for more than half a minute, I was hard pressed to find one song on Evolution that I did not enjoy. Even the first cut I’m Little But I’m Loud sung by Martina at the age of seven, showcased her enormous talent and the unbelievable range of her voice. Evolution is a masterpiece of lyric, music arrangement, voice, and song!

And arguably Evolution is an appropriate title for this 14-track release; it's clear that Martina McBride has grown, evolved if you will, between Wild Angels and this marvelous follow-up. What makes Evolution such a joy to listen to is the purity and power of McBride's very strong yet emotive voice, which is arguable the best in country-pop.

Martina’s range is dynamic, transitioning smoothly from tracks like the rocking Keeping My Distance (track No.6) to the gospel-inspired A Broken Wing prove. And there is an air of strong-willed independence in McBride's songs, with clear feminist overtones, which helps set Evolution from other female artist in this genre, with the exception of perhaps Trisha Yearwood.

Track No. 3 Be That Way is a fun to listen to; a slow, head shaking little song about stubborn men and stubborn woman that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Real life? You be the judge.

Track No. 4 Broken Wing is a sad but uplifting, moving, well-written song that I am sure far too many women can relate to. Martina’s voice is at its best here as she seems to reaches deep within herself and pour pure emotion into every note of the song.

Track No. 5 Wrong Again is song writing done well. With lyric’s embedded in the oft times folly-ridden human heart, the song is at once a soft, respectful, and quite ballad that in the opening seconds feature just the voice of Martina sung in hushed vibrant tones riding the strings of a lone guitar!

Track No. 7 Still Holding On, features a duet with Clink Black that to me is the only low point in this CD. While the song itself is a nice balled and Clink Black’s voice is fine in its own right, when paired with Martina’s, the chemistry is not there. On the other hand, Vince Gill and Martina McBride; now there is a duet made in music heaven.

Track 8 Whatever you Say was a smash hit release from this album. I heard the song (and saw the video) first on GAC. This is another track that highlights the dynamic range and striking depth of Martina’s voice. From sultry and inviting, to high and glass shattering, when this woman is on, she is on!

The next track I Won’t Close My Eyes is a celebration of a woman’s pride as she struggles to come to grips with the possible infidelity of her partner. Her refusal to not become the victim, but by the same token, not write the relationship off, is laudable. Here are a first verse and chorus from the song:

Partial Lyrics, I Won’t Close My Eyes, Copyright, 1997 by Martina McBride

I don’t wanna think
That you could be runnin’ around
After all the love
That I have shown you
I won’t knock on your door
I won’t call to see if you’re home
But I won’t close my eyes

Track No. 11 Some Say I’m Running is a tear-inducing ballad that you want to close your eyes and listen to over and over again in order to get the full measure of the song. Hauntingly beautiful, this is what country music does best; stir our emotions, because it speaks so well to our hearts, so well to our souls. The ballad begins with the soft and serene voice of Martina joined by the dignified beauty that is the piano in perfect harmony with each other. Music done well has the power to transport the soul to place it would not otherwise go. This song has that effect on my soul, as I am sure it will be yours.

The last track on Evolution Valentine is a duet with piano-man Jim Brickman (which was also release on his Picture This CD) that has become a favorite during Valentines Day as well as at wedding. I learned the song and have recorded it in my own voice and sent it to my wife on Valentine’s Day every year; she loved it.

Welcome back Martina, we missed you!

Track Listing:

1. I’m Little But I’m Loud
2. Happy Girl
3. Be That Way
4. A Broken Wing
5. Wrong Again
6. Keeping My Distance
7. Still Holding On (featuring Clink Black)
8. Whatever You Say
9. I Won’t Close My Eye
10. I Don’t Want to See You Again
11. Some Say I’m Running
12. Here in My Heart
13. One Day You Will
14. Valentine (featuring Jim Brickman)


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Label: RCA Records (USA)
Artist: Martina McBride
Release Date: August 26, 1997

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