Sara Evans – “Feels Just Like a Love Song”
Songwriters: Nathan Chapman, Sara Evans, Chris Lindsey and Aimee Mayo.
The redundant “love song about a relationship feeling like a love song” concept has received recent creative treatments from Jason Michael Carroll, whose likable “Livin’ Our Love Song” owed much of its charm to its attention to detail, and Taylor Swift, who used a similar sonic-based metaphor in “Our Song.”
After a long radio drought, Sara Evans’ “Feels Just Like a Love Song” joins that list with the requisite love song imagery: The sun is shining, the laughter is flowing and the stars are twinkling, along with some other feel-good images I wouldn’t normally associate with a fairytale romance. (Sun-lit hardwood floors? Feathered beds? Perhaps Martha Stewart is an anonymous fifth songwriter.)
To Evans’ credit, after the personal drama she publicly battled over the past three years, she pulls off the premise with an authentic performance that finds the singer shouting her relationship bliss from the rooftops. Unfortunately, Evans has to shout pretty loud to be heard over the overwrought production choices made in the song, the first single off her sixth studio album due later this year.
Despite starting with a catchy Swift–like beat (the teen queen’s producer Nathan Chapman lends his services here), the tune quickly delves into a mishmash of beats fit for a Top 40 dance floor number. Whereas the more restrained verses showcase the 2006 CMA Female Vocalist of the Year’s singing chops, the cacophonous and confusing chorus drowns her in a sea of backup singers and instruments. For a voice best complimented by fiddle, steel and acoustic guitars, the noise only highlights the uncomfortable symptoms of auto-tuning evident on some of Evans’ notes.
At one point in the bridge, the production and backup singers drown her out to the point the lyrics are nearly inaudible, although the generic, disjointed lyrics that are distinguishable don’t offer much of a reward: “The way we talk, the way you smile/You kiss my lips it drives me wild/I never knew until I felt your touch/That I could need someone so much.”
“Feels Just Like a Love Song” is a long way from the Evans’ traditional roots, and undermines her penchant for choosing interesting, twangy songs that regularly capture rural coming-of-age young women and the struggles they face. In the hands of a borderline talented pop tartlet, Evans’ latest effort would be remixed to include the rapper du jour and pumped through dance club speakers across the country. Evans is too good for a song meant to drown out a singer’s weaknesses.
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