Hope it's ok to start this thread. But Carrie confirmed in recent interviews that she started writing already for the new album. So excited for the new era and new label!!!
I liked the "concept" idea for ST, but I am not that big a fan of concept albums. There is too much potencial for people to be left out if they don't particularly connect with the concept.
I want Carrie to go full frontal on great songs sung amazingly with a broad appeal. I think she needs to focus more on finding the best possible songs and not focus so much on "writing". I love when she writes, and I love some of the songs she writes. But I feel it is too much of a ploy used to gain stats and recognition. Not that she herself is hungry for it. But all those who praise Miranda and Taylor think that writing is what a woman should be doing in order to be authentic. I must still remind everybody that the greatest voices and recording artists that have ever been know did "NOT" write their own material!!
The day that Miranda or Taylor start singing as well as Carrie Underwood is the day people should start comparing TALENT! Until then, I think Carrie should do what she is best at. Write, yes, but do not allow it to be the vehicle that you use to determine the best material for an album........
Carrie has probably written 4 songs that I would say belong in an exceptional category. And of those none were her biggest hits!
I am excited for this next chapter in Carrie's career. It's great to hear she has already started writing for it. Hope UMG does every in their power to promote the heck of it! :-)
Sooo excited! Can't wait til possible song titles start rolling through!!! Hope it's 13 tracks again too!
Maybe just maybe Oklahoma Wind will somehow fit perfectly on this album and Carrie will believe there is no choice but to include it lol
I'm so excited as well. Carrie has so many subjects In her songs and sometimes the subjects of songs is not what you expected like SITW for example. Its fun discussing the possibilities. I cant wait till everything starts and we get co writes.
Carrie does say that she's not committed to choosing her own songs over others, but will evaluate songs according to how she thinks they will fit the album - but I think she's proud of her songwriting, and I think the emphasis on that aspect of her work comes from Carrie herself. She often refers to herself as a songwriter, and these days, nearly always refers to the preparation of a new album by saying that she's "writing" for it. Particularly in the early album eras, she often attended songwriter commemorative events, and said she learnt a lot from working with songwriters. I think she enjoyed taking part in the CMA songwriters' event - and chose to use the same format for her contribution to the Country radio seminar - an unusual step, which I think confirms the importance she attaches to it.
On a quick count, I think that she's cut 30 of her own songs (27 on main studio albums, 2 new tracks on her career retrospective, and 1 offered on a store bonus promotion). I would call that a high proportion - certainly higher than most leading women of the previous Mainstream era. What strikes me is the variety of themes and musical styles that she covers in her own songs - and they mostly reflect ideas that show a particular side of her personality.
Understandably, when she wants to express a personal, or autobiographical, element, she uses a co-write - and although these aren't usually the songs she's best known for, I find some of them among her most successful. IAICA - her first known venture into co-writing - certainly holds its place among the strong songs on SW - and I'd give special credit to CD, which uses mountain inspired music to back a thankful and encouraging anthem for daydream believers. TGYTIA is also relatively under-rated - but I find it one of the deepest songs on her last album (anyone who wants vulnerability and authenticity should give that song a listen!)
In fact some of her typically rather under-rated songs are ones that I find bear more credit than they sometimes receive. NETY never remotely became a fan favourite - but I find it one of the most sincere and needed songs she's yet recorded. This, I feel, was something she particularly wanted to say - and that is what a songwriter should give rein to.
OWT is sometimes seen as a mis-step - but if you hear it as a parody of the mainly male obsession with good-time songs - which was certainly how I interpreted it - it fits neatly into the contemporary issues of the genre, and the "stick it to the man" line even gives a hint of Red Dirt attitude.
Q is an interesting co-write - others have sat down with Martin and Shellback - but haven't come out with insistent inserts of Country touches - picket fences and porch swings, backed up by steel guitar - and even the "girl leaves boy" theme hints at New Wave assertiveness
Some of Carrie's co-writes seem specifically developed to suit styles that she's particularly well-suited to. This includes the "power vocals" that some fans particularly love (but I feel can be over-used, to the extent of risking stereotyping). Probably this aspect - which I think will always feature strongly in her work - is best used today when it's varied with other elements. An excellent example is SITW, where the steady, traditionally phrased narration passages contrast effectively with the soaring release in the choruses. RR illustrates the use of the characteristically strong vocals that she is celebrated for on the present album - but this song is also written to show homage to traditional Western elements. The blend broadens its interest, but, overall, I think care needs to be used in steering too close to stylistically familiar ground.
As well as power vocals, songs that Carrie ties in to performance areas that particularly suit her include Country Rock. CGASG was a particularly good example (that, again, didn't get a great deal of attention) - but I'd also mention UI (a song that provokes division - but which is a very good concert number, that Carrie presumably saw as a crowd ice breaker)
Although she - in my view, regrettably - makes less use of it - Nashville neo-traditionalism is also an area that Carrie can excel at. WAW is the best example of a co-write that really brings out that side of her repertoire.
Two of the most interesting stylistic developments on Storyteller were also co-writes. SB is in my view, one of the most important songs she's yet recorded - it shows a strongly philosophical outlook, with sympathy for people's struggles - and tackling it shows a growing maturity in songwriting. Given the musical elements she included - not least taking up her own guitar again - and this song is an example of what I'd want to see more of.
The same applies to C - again, a mature and well developed concept, mixing a dreamy, swaying lilt, with outbursts of frustration. The lyrical transition from the drink meaning of chaser, to the man's behaviour - and particularly the metaphor of hunting only to discard the trophy, makes for a cleverly written song.
Finally, I'd mention a couple of what I consider the best-ever Carrie co-writes - GG, and TBC . Everyone will have their favourites - but these are examples of what I consider her best writing to date - they've been discussed pretty fully in the past - but if she can build on that foundation, the new album should be worth waiting for.
Last edited by Farawayhills; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:50 PM.
I agree, hoping for some ballads.
^I listen to Sirius Velvet and often hear Relapse, Clock Don't Stop, Wine after Whiskey, Forever Changed, and other soft Carrie ballads. So good on the radio.
The idea, sentiments behind "Nobody Ever Told You" was good, but I thought most of the lyrics need some extra work to elevate them from cheesy/amateurish category to clever.
"Mirror mirror on the wall, acting like it knows it all" was great, but very-typical lines like "You shine like a diamond, glitter like gold", "Shine your light, show the world", "Don't be shy, don't be scared, you don't have to hide under there" all got to go....
However..... I do think NETY was not very believable coming from Carrie, or most celebrities, tbh. They are always all glammed up behind makeup etc.
THIS. Thank you, you perfectly explained what I've always thought about NETY. If I were the one to explain I'd probably just ramble on lol.
Like you said, the sentiments/ideas behind the song are good, but the lines used were cliched.
An example of Carrie lyric that I find clever:
"His lips are dripping honey
But he'll sting you like a bee"
I think the 2nd verse of NETY is really well-written.
^Honestly, have you guys ever actually looked at the lyrics in a typical Taylor song? They are also filled with cheesy cliques and sentiments that have been done before, so many times, and much better. Yet she is lauded as some songwriter prodigy. It is so annoying.
Sure, you can nitpick a few lines here or there in a Carrie song as too sentimental or clique. I can agree with that- ie Mama's Song. But you have to do the same critical analysis when you review lyrics of other artists too. They all have some lines like that. Every writer is guilty. Except someone like Bob Dylan.
Tee, That is one of the reasons why I never cared for Taylor's music, granted she is not a great singer, but her music is so juvenile....... I think I have liked a total of 5 songs from Taylor....
But have to admit I loved Better Man and thankfully Little Big Town sang it, cause it sounded great from them...
There's no doubt Taylor uses simple phrases as well. But why it works better for her songs is because her songs (pre-1989) typically have the conversational and confessional approach. If you think about it, most people don't write flowery, rhyming, clever lines in their diary or talk like that with their best friends. People pour out their honest, vulnerable feelings using simple, everyday language. And that's what Taylor's focus is - to be easily relatable like a best friend. Her songs will be much less effective if they are filled with metaphors, complicated message etc.
Also, her songs tend to have you focus on it as a whole personal story, not some inspirational message etc etc, so there is less emphasis on individual lines, more emphasis on how all these lines work together to tell the story. Same applies to Adele, where in her case, her voice also does the work in selling the story in her songs.
In Carrie's case, many of her songs are more of inspirational messages and mini fictional storybooks. They appear more like a collection of thoughts that need to be cleverly weaved together to form a song, hence there is more focus on the individual lines - how clever the ideas are, how intriguing the metaphors are, choice of words etc.
Simple, cliched words worked well for WINKIAW, TGYTIAM for the same reason I mentioned for Taylor and Adele. These songs focus more on her personal story, her relatability and the sincerity in her voice sells them even more.
Also, I don't like all Taylor's songs anyway and I have always been vocal with my criticisms of some of her songs in her various threads. Songs like Mine, Bad Blood and the horrendous Today Was A Fairytale have cringeworthy lyrics. And she always falls back lazily on her 2am phrase. There's plenty more to say about her songwriting as well, but there's no point going into them in detail here. Our focus here is Carrie and her music.
^She has been off since Christmas. Said she has barely dipped her toe into writing but will begin in earnest during or after the playoffs. Now that she's not touring she can take as much time as she needs, but I'm sure she has an obligation of some sort for UMG this year. Look forward to seeing new "stuff" on this thread.
It's possible that the talk of time off was a cover for what was going on behind the scenes, The announcement of her label move was sudden - but the move itself was likely to have involved considerable planning and negotiation