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Evolution

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Album Review

Evolution is an appropriate title; it's clear that Martina McBride has grown — evolved — between Wild Angels and this terrific follow-up. That's not to say Wild Angels wasn't wonderful in its own right — its blend of rootsy country and contemporary production was clever, and her singing and songs were spot-on — but Evolution is different and special in its own way. It is true that it's smoother than its predecessor, especially with polished duets like "Valentine" (with Jim Brickman) and "Still Holding On" (Clint Black). What makes Evolution work is the purity and power of McBride's voice — she is one of the few contemporary country singers who can pull off this kind of country-pop. And that's not all she can do, as the rocking "Keeping My Distance" or the gospel-inflected "A Broken Wing" prove. Furthermore, McBride's songs remain staunchly independent and strong-willed, with clear feminist overtones, which helps make Evolution a rarity among contemporary country albums — it's catchy and it has a heart.

Biography

Born: 29 July 1966 in Medicine Lodge, KS

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Contemporary country singer Martina McBride rose to stardom in the late '90s, starting out with a more traditionalist approach and later moving into more pop-friendly territory. She was born Martina Mariea Schiff in 1966 in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, and discovered country music through her father, who led a local band called the Schifters. By her teen years, she was singing and playing keyboards with the Schifters, and after high school she gigged around Kansas with several different bands. She married...
Full bio