Yesterday was probably the most exciting day of 2014 for me because Sara Evans' new album Slow Me Down came out and I've been waiting forever for new music from her.

The thing I love about Sara is she can nail a classic country tune with her traditional sounding vocals or she can belt out a pop tune with the best of them.  She is so versatile in what she can sing and I believe that is something I think is missing from many of today's top country artists.

Slow Me Down is her first new album in over two years and I have to say this album isn't quite what I expected.  Since she is my absolute favorite, I also want to say that I'm extremely proud of myself.  I had the opportunity to listen to this album in its entirety online before it hit stores and I didn't.  That took a lot of self discipline on my part!

Slow Me Down -- I really like this song!  It kind of reminds me of a pop hit, although which one I'm not sure.  I think the music is perfect, there's a harshness to it almost and it just fits with the song.

Not Over You (Featuring Gavin DeGraw) -- This is a cover of Gavin's song and I think it's really cool that he joined her on this track.  I think it speaks to the confidence he had in her to sing this tune.  I'm not familiar with much of his music but I really think they did a beautiful job on this song.

**Sidenote -- I think she needs to consider more duets because I can think of so many artists with voices that would pair beautifully with hers!**

Put My Heart Down -- I'm having trouble with this song.  I think it will grow on me eventually but I feel like it doesn't show what Sara is truly capable of, not just in terms of the song, but also her vocals.

Can't Stop Loving You (Duet With Isaac Slade of The Fray) -- My sister is big into The Fray and they're one of the few pop bands that I really like.  I think Isaac has a really unique voice and when paired up with Sara, well they sound really awesome!

You Never Know -- I totally dig the electronica/techno feel to this tune!  Again, it kind of reminds me of an '80's pop tune (and I know Sara likes a lot of that music.)  She showed off her writing skills with this one along with Shane McAnally and Josh Osborne.  I call this one a definite winner.

If I Run -- This is another tune Sara co-wrote and one that I really like.  It's meaning is very simple and lyrically and musically speaking it's just a beautiful song about taking a chance on love.

Sweet Spot -- The whistling in the beginning of this song makes me think of Andy Griffith.  I like the song, it's catchy and fun but it's another one that's going to take a while to grow on me.  It's a love song so I can totally see this being one of those songs girls sing to their husbands or boyfriends.

Good Love Is Hard To Find -- This is definitely one of my favorite songs on the album. It's mellow and the music doesn't overpower her awesome vocals.  It's a beautiful tune about finding the perfect love and holding on to it.  Another definite winner!

Better Off (Featuring Vince Gill) -- Hands down, Better Off is my favorite song on the album. It's a very traditional country song about a man wanting out of a relationship.  Her vocals are AMAZING and Vince Gill only adds to the beauty.  She claims this is the countriest song she's ever recorded and, while I can think of a few others that come close, I have to agree.  I honestly think these two could be a modern day George Jones and Tammy Wynette or Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn if they wanted to.

Gotta Have You -- Another awesome song on the album.  It's a love song that is very well written and again, I think it showcases her vocals in an incredible way.  It's catchy and fun.

Revival -- When I heard the first words of this song I thought this was the closest tune to mainstream (poppy) country on the album. In many ways it is, but this one showcases her faith and love for God but not in an over the top way.  It's upbeat and once I learn all the words, I think it will be a fun one to sing along with.  Truthfully, I can see people out on the beach or wherever singing along with this tune.  It's the perfect song to end the album with.

So here's the deal -- we know Sara is my favorite artist for many reasons.  Yes, I recommend adding this album to your collection but know that I am a bit biased because I think she's awesome.

As a huge fan, I'm going to be just a bit critical now.  My biggest disappointment in this album is that it's full of love songs, songs about good love, bad love, not being able to find love, losing love.  Love, love, love!  I'm not saying that's a bad thing but I would be lying if I said I didn't want some of her past themes to sneak back in to her latest project. Born To Fly is one of my favorite tunes (hello, I almost had it tattooed on my wrist!) and I thought As If was one of her spunkiest songs ever.  I think Slow Me Down is lacking those elements.

Don't get me wrong, this album was well worth the wait and I can tell you I will wear my CD out for sure but I think Born To Fly -- the message, her performance, the video, just everything about that song -- is what endeared her to the country audience and country radio.  Times have definitely changed and maybe I need to update myself, but as a fan I'd like to see more of that kind of music from her on future projects.