Carrie Underwood: Blown Away

May 2, 2012 14 Comments

Carrie Underwood: Blown Away. Chatting up the 2012 album release from country star Carrie Underwood. Text © Rissi JC and RissiWrites.com

My Thoughts: Upfront, I just really need to say something. Although this profession really has 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.

Many of the 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.

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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.  

Playing into 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!).   

Just the fact 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?

About the Album:

Released: 2012
Writing Credits: Carrie Underwood, Ashley Gorley, Chris DeStefano, Hillary Lindsey, Josh Kear, Luke Laird
Tracks: 14
Label: Arista Nashville
Genre: Country, Rock  

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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14 Comments

  • Ella May 2, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    I am SO excited to pick up my copy at the library this week….although I did hear bits and pieces from iTunes the other day.

    The cover art does look weird. I wasn't a fan of it when I saw several weeks ago. Oh well.

    I've heard "Forever Changed" was a song Carrie wrote about her grandmother–or could have been great-grandmother. Anyway, she said it makes her so emotional she will never sing it live.

    Carrie has announced tour dates, did you know that? Alas, none by me =( But now that she has a new album out, I am predicting her winning awards again =)

  • His Little Lady May 2, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    so sad to hear that you don't really like the new carrie underwood album. i haven't heard it yet, but i absolutely adore her. she is just too perfect! and her voice is incredible!!
    xo TJ

  • Rissi May 2, 2012 at 8:13 PM

    Ella – I am going to buy the "physical" CD still because I love being able to read everything and see the lyrics (yep, I am a little strange ;D). Hope you enjoy it, girl!

    I know, right!? I just didn't love it – it could have been really classy and lovely but it kind of… fails. I think it is partly the pose or something.

    "Forever Changed" is really sweet. It is in the tradition of "Just a Dream" or "All-American Girl." I read that too (not singing it live). I think that "Blown Away" is awesome, but I am still deciding which others are faves. Despite the fact it's message is "bad," I will admit I kind of like "Two Black Cadillacs" – listening to it now (think "Cowboy Casanova").

    Tour dates: Aw! That is too bad – she may announce more yet. Ya' never know. =D

    TJ – I do like it… it just "feels" different than her prior albums. I suspect the more I listen the more I'll like it!

    Carrie is one of my favorite artists – her voice is phenomenal. The girl definitely has talent! =)

    Glad you stopped by, TJ!

  • Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com May 2, 2012 at 9:48 PM

    Sounds like one I would enjoy. Thanks for the review.

  • Rachel Hipps May 2, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    I probably won't be able to buy this album (thanks to a lack of money ;) )

    I actually liked the album cover. I would kill for legs like hers! ;P

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE her new single Good Girl!

  • Natalie May 2, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    I love Carrie's new album =) Great review!

  • Rissi May 3, 2012 at 2:54 AM

    Juju – all of Carrie's music is quite fabulous. Hope you enjoy. =)

    Rachel – aw! That is a bummer, right!?

    "Good Girl" may be the best song on the entire record! I just love it.

    Album cover: That is why the world goes 'round (so many different opinions). *smile* I don't know what it is about this cover art. Her prior albums were just… "classier." =)

    Natalie – it is a lot of fun! I am still listening to it after, like a dozen or more times going through the entire 14 tracks.

    Thank you. =)

  • Ruth May 4, 2012 at 2:19 PM

    I love this album…perhaps a bit better than her last…I think the mix of upbeat songs and ballads is a bit better balanced this time around. "Forever Changed" is just exquisite…love the backstory there.

  • Rissi May 4, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Oddly enough, I've had to re-vise my review a bit, Ruth. I've been listening to the album more and more, then last night I was really paying attention to "The Good in Goodbye" and I was like, "this is an awesome song!" It isn't going to touch you from a Christian perspective but… it was a lovely ballad. Then I realized how wonderful the closing track is… and yeah, I have kind of changed my semi-mediocre first impressions. =)

    Ella was mentioning "Forever Changed" also (it is a sweet song, isn't it?) but funny thing is, Carrie doesn't share writing credits on that one… Hillary Lindsey is a well-known, respected song-writer in the country scene though.

    Menowthinks: This is a great collection of songs.

  • Miss Lyss May 7, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Cover Art = Weird, but I do love me some Carrie!

  • Rissi May 7, 2012 at 4:52 PM

    I know, right, Lyss? The cover photo is just not… right. LOL! ;D

    Carrie is an awesome artist, and I hope she is in this business for a good long while. =)

  • Sierra May 12, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    I haven't heard any of these (well I take that back, I saw a bit of her American Idol performance of Blown Away, it looked good!) other than Good Girl…which I may or may not love :P The cover art could have been a lot better… Shoot, the dress could have been better if it wasn't strapless… I'll have to listen to the Nobody Ever Told You, as I love Britt Nicole :) Thanks for the review! Sierra
    Keep Growing Beautiful♥ (Because You Are!)
    Philippians 4:8

  • Rissi May 12, 2012 at 7:28 PM

    Other than "Good Girl," "Blown Away" is possibly Carrie's strongest track. It was really powerful despite telling a sad tale.

    "Nobody Ever Told You" is a really sweet tale about realizing our worth is more than our outward appearance. Great message. Enjoy!

    Cover shot: It could have been WAY better. Must agree.

    Glad you stopped in, Sierra. =)

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