Carrie Underwood – Carnival Ride (2007)

American Idol sweetheart Carrie Underwood took some flak initially from country purists. Her debut Some Hearts, they said, was saddled with too many pop-clichés to really be a good country record.

Underwood settles into a more twangy mode for most of Carnival Ride, her second album. I’m not sure if this was a deliberate response to her naysayers, but whatever – it works. Her lyrics are sharper, the music better; Underwood has even penned some of her own tunes, as she has four co-songwriting credits. This isn’t Merle Haggard/rickety porch/backwoods country music, mind you; there are still plenty of pop moments. But the stronger emphasis on country instrumental and “traditional” songwriting really, really suits her well. This is best exemplified on “I Know You Won’t,” a great fusion of pop ballad and country torch burner. Man, the gal has a voice.

Underwood still hasn’t been around long enough to build up a rapport to challenge any legends in her genre, but Carnival Ride is a good start. If she keeps this up, she’ll be one of those legends soon enough.

-Jason Panella


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: