About the Album:
Credits: Carrie Underwood, Ashley Gorley, Chris DeStefano, Hillary Lindsey, Josh Kear, Luke Laird
nothing to do with the songs on this album or the writing, I really feel like I
should say that I am not overly fond of this album… cover art. After three
prior fun, artistic, and “classy” shoots, this one is just… too un-cool. It
could have been great in an edgy kind of way but it fails. Something is just off about it – the posing or something. With that ridiculous prattling out of the way (forgive me!), we will be moving on with me just saying: Carrie is baaaaack! The
country crooner who made a splash after winning an early season of American
Idol has got talent. Not only does she usually share writing credits on most of
the songs (as she does here along with renowned songwriter Hillary Lindsey) but this girl has got some vocal pipes! Seriously, her voice is one
of the best the country scene has ever known. This, her fourth studio album is
lovely… but I am not sure I can honestly say it is her best yet. There is something
different about it and in that, it is perhaps lacking something I cannot quite
put my finger on.
songs are focused on overcoming adversity (things or the people in our life
that may belittle us). The titular track is one such song, and let me tell you,
it is fierce – the second track off the album, it tells a story of abuse and
mixes literal weather twister metaphors with life’s heartbreaks. Interestingly,
despite telling a sad story, it is probably one of the best performances –
Carrie sounds phenomenal on the song and I love the music backing those vocals.
Then there is the sweeter, less edgy “Nobody Ever Told You,” a song in the
tradition of Britt Nicole’s “Gold” and many other songs of late, the trend
seems to be writing a song about girls realizing their beauty is more than just
make-up and pretty things (“shine like a diamond / glitter like gold…”) .
Wherever it is coming from, it’s a message that girls need to take to heart.
The breezy, fun-loving “One Way Ticket” opens with whistling that sets the tone
for a song that doubles as perfect summer listening (it instantly puts a smile
on your face) and then on the opposite spectrum there is “Wine after Whiskey”
which recounts a past love affair using the title as a metaphor for the “strength”
the relationship had.
the typical, true country-western songstress’ roots is “Thank God for Hometowns,” a
simple, homey piece that is full of nostalgic memories – right down to mentions
of a grade-school teacher. One of the most tender songs off the album is “Forever
Changed” which tells a sweet life story that is not perhaps Carrie’s best vocal
work but is a beautiful song nonetheless with some stunning piano music
carrying it to its crescendo. Most of the songs are unforgettable (even “See
you Again” is a touching ballad) – as we’ve come to
expect nothing less from Carrie Underwood but something about the themes of the
album seem somehow darker and less impressive than her work on Play On or Carnival Ride. Still, it is a memorable collection. Rounding out
the tracks are “Good Girl” (possibly the best on the entire record – its
toe-tapping beats are phenomenal); “Two Black Cadillac’s” (great beats and vocals
– story of revenge on some dude who misused the women in his life); “Do you
Think about Me”; “Good in Goodbye” (a song that has grown on me – I now hear it as one of Carrie’s best, it is lovely); “Leave Love Alone”; “Cupid’s Got a Shotgun”
(this is definitely country music at its most… country – we also have a guest appearance
from Brad Paisley on the guitar); and “Who are You” closes the record out (a truly beautiful, heartfelt song!).
that there is new material in generous numbers (14 new tracks in all!) will
make any fan beyond happy. In spite of my petty complainants, the album is
five-star quality. The songs are each unique in their own way by different
methods (writing, vocals or music backing) and the album is well-rounded.
Another winner from the a-mazing Carrie Underwood. What is your favorite song?
Do you have an album by this artist that is your favorite? Any thoughts can be
typed out below – go ahead, you know you want to. *wink*
toe-tapping music video that goes with the first single off this album.
(Appropriately, there are plenty of awesome shoes featured.)