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Thread: Carrie Underwood Takes Control

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    Carrie Underwood Takes Control

    Carrie Underwood Takes Control

    A country ingenue evolves into a confident, hands-on artist

    By Phyllis Stark
    Special to MSN Music

    Carrie Underwood says she'll never take a producer credit on her albums, but listen to her talk about the making of her latest, "Blown Away," and it's clear she had a guiding hand in everything from the songwriting on through to the recording.

    In the span of four albums and seven years, Underwood has fully evolved from a wide-eyed "American Idol" winner with little professional experience to a strong, confident artist with a clear vision for her music and her career. On "Blown Away," she's a co-writer on eight of the 14 songs, including many of the album's best tracks.

    Even before making her first album in 2005, Underwood expressed her desire to learn the craft of songwriting, so executives at her record label began pairing her with some of Nashville's top writers to see what happened.

    "I didn't really know if I would be any good at it," she admits, "but I thought, 'Why not try?' I wouldn't have been devastated if somebody had said, 'Hey, kid, maybe you should just stick with singing the songs,' but I just loved it. I ended up with several cuts on the album, and then they were pitched to be the singles. It was very reassuring and very confidence-building to me."

    To date, six of Underwood's 14 No. 1 hits have been songs she's co-authored. As a result, she says, "I feel a lot more confident in myself. ... It's kind of that process of practice makes better. I won't say 'perfect.'"

    That confidence extends to the studio as well, where the five-time Grammy-winning performer teamed up for the fourth time with producer Mark Bright. But while many of the production touches on "Blown Away" are her ideas, including the whistling on "One Way Ticket" and Brad Paisley's guitar playing on "Cupid's Got a Shotgun," Underwood says she's happy just being the singer.

    "It's definitely a team effort," she says of the recording process. But she gives Bright much of the credit for her successful career. "A producer helps make [the artist] and define their sound," she explains. But for many artists, she says, "a couple albums later all of a sudden they're co-producing. I told Mark, 'I'll never do that to you.' I know who does the hard work, and it ain't me."

    The album is impressively packed with potential future hits, and one that's already made it. Leadoff single "Good Girl" -- another song Underwood co-wrote -- is top 10 and rising on the national radio charts, and has sold more than a half-million downloads to date.

    Underwood says the album's 14 songs are unlike anything she's previously recorded. They include two deadly revenge-themed tunes that run back-to-back in the second and third slots in the album sequence. The first, "Blown Away," tells the story of a daughter who locks herself in the storm cellar during a tornado, while her abusive father lies passed out on the couch in the home above her as "every trace of whiskey memory [is] blown away."

    "There's not enough rain in Oklahoma to wash the sins out of that house," she sings in the song thematically reminiscent of Martina McBride's "Independence Day."

    On that title track, Underwood says, "Mark really stepped up to the plate. Every time he would send me a new mix of it I was like, 'No, no, bigger, more!' He'd go back to the drawing board and add more things to it ... There's so many layers in there. Musically and sonically, I just think we did a great job."

    ...

    Link to rest of article: Carrie Underwood Takes Control - MSN Music News

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    The writers deliberately left space in the track for Paisley to show off his guitar skills, and Underwood says, "I told Mark Bright, 'Just let him go. Don't give him too much direction, and just let him be Brad.'"
    Good for her (Carrie) --she is in charge. I love woman with strong will and determination.

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    Insane Carrie Fan CarrieUnderwoodismyHero's Avatar
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    I am loving all these articles lately! t4p

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    This is a great article. It's rather a long read but it's worth it. Congratulations to Carrie and her team on crafting a brilliant album. Blown Away is without a doubt Carrie's best album yet!

    It's clear that Carrie has grown and matured as an artist since her last album three years ago. She seems more confident in herself. I think her marriage has made a huge different and her time away last year helped her get her energy and enthusiasm back. I think this era is going to be more exciting and surprising. Carrie and her team are pushing her more promotion-wise this time round. I'm glad that Carrie is finally promoting outside of the US. It's an exciting time for Carrie and us, her fans. I'm definitely 'blown away'! Welcome back, Carrie! We've missed you!

    Thank you for posting, Pi314CA.
    rosie08, Pi314CA, Gator and 1 others like this.

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    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pi314CA View Post
    Carrie Underwood Takes Control

    "I didn't really know if I would be any good at it," she admits, "but I thought, 'Why not try?' I wouldn't have been devastated if somebody had said, 'Hey, kid, maybe you should just stick with singing the songs,' but I just loved it. I ended up with several cuts on the album, and then they were pitched to be the singles. It was very reassuring and very confidence-building to me."
    She is talking about BA (the album) in this part, right? Cuz the first half she's talking about the SH/CR era...But then she's jumping forward to BA.

    If so, then it would seem we have singles 3 onward picked already (sorta), and they're the co-writes

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan bigbluegrl23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carebear4eva View Post
    She is talking about BA (the album) in this part, right? Cuz the first half she's talking about the SH/CR era...But then she's jumping forward to BA.

    If so, then it would seem we have singles 3 onward picked already (sorta), and they're the co-writes
    I think she was talking about CR when three of the singles were her own co-writes, which was a big confidence booster for her as a songwriter.
    Becca
    carrieguy2, judes and rainbow1 like this.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan The Raz Man's Avatar
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    Awesome! The album is amazing! You can hear her hand it for sure!

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    Loved the article. Was reading the comments, mostly poitive. Why do people expect her to act like Mother Theresa because she is a Christian. Comparing her to the industry standard, she could wear wings, but I get sick of reading about her short skirts and cursing. Carrie cursing???? OG is apparantly considered cursing, but I know she does not in any way mean it that way. Perhaps the poster should read Eric Church's interview and then maybe she would have second thoughts. I wonder if she would feel better knowing Carrie is wearing shorts under those mini dresses. I realize strictly speaking using God's name in any way other than worship can be considered cursing, but just how sanctimonious can people be? She is one person I could let anyone watch and know they would not be offended. Wonder just how perfect the poster is....not to mention she is NOT performing on a Christian label. My rant for the day after on the Sabboth.
    liz278 likes this.

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    Carrie Fans Maniac kewlie78189's Avatar
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    she is so strong willed...love it!

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    Insane Carrie Fan carrieguy2's Avatar
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    nice interview! go Carrie!

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    Obsessed Carrie Fan Cathie Wynkoop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearball49 View Post
    Loved the article. Was reading the comments, mostly poitive. Why do people expect her to act like Mother Theresa because she is a Christian. Comparing her to the industry standard, she could wear wings, but I get sick of reading about her short skirts and cursing. Carrie cursing???? OG is apparantly considered cursing, but I know she does not in any way mean it that way. Perhaps the poster should read Eric Church's interview and then maybe she would have second thoughts. I wonder if she would feel better knowing Carrie is wearing shorts under those mini dresses. I realize strictly speaking using God's name in any way other than worship can be considered cursing, but just how sanctimonious can people be? She is one person I could let anyone watch and know they would not be offended. Wonder just how perfect the poster is....not to mention she is NOT performing on a Christian label. My rant for the day after on the Sabboth.
    I have never heard Carrie take God's name in vain EVER! It's always "Oh gosh!" Maybe crap or poop, but never God's name!

    People hear what they want to sometimes...

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    Carrie Guru rainbow1's Avatar
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    Me too, Cathie. I was scratching my head about that one!!
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    "A producer helps make [the artist] and define their sound," she explains. But for many artists, she says, "a couple albums later all of a sudden they're co-producing. I told Mark, 'I'll never do that to you.' I know who does the hard work, and it ain't me."
    I love what she said here.

    Had Carrie been some of the other big stars out there, considering how much input she has with the direction and production of this album, she could easily have asked for a "co-producer" title on some tracks. But she didn't.

    Still as grateful and humble as ever.
    Ann055 and Pi314CA like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuiZ View Post
    I love what she said here.

    Had Carrie been some of the other big stars out there, considering how much input she has with the direction and production of this album, she could easily have asked for a "co-producer" title on some tracks. But she didn't.

    Still as grateful and humble as ever.
    I'll take that as a Swift shade lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Manchs View Post
    I'll take that as a Swift shade lol
    Lmao. That will be up to individual interpretation

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    Obsessed Carrie Fan PDBowden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathie Wynkoop View Post
    I have never heard Carrie take God's name in vain EVER! It's always "Oh gosh!" Maybe crap or poop, but never God's name!

    People hear what they want to sometimes...
    That's what everybody loves about Carrie. I cry with her emotional reaction and the way she's so down to earth.

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    Huge Carrie Follower rosie08's Avatar
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    I love all the awesome write ups on Carrie!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bearball49 View Post
    Loved the article. Was reading the comments, mostly poitive. Why do people expect her to act like Mother Theresa because she is a Christian. Comparing her to the industry standard, she could wear wings, but I get sick of reading about her short skirts and cursing. Carrie cursing???? OG is apparantly considered cursing, but I know she does not in any way mean it that way. Perhaps the poster should read Eric Church's interview and then maybe she would have second thoughts. I wonder if she would feel better knowing Carrie is wearing shorts under those mini dresses. I realize strictly speaking using God's name in any way other than worship can be considered cursing, but just how sanctimonious can people be? She is one person I could let anyone watch and know they would not be offended. Wonder just how perfect the poster is....not to mention she is NOT performing on a Christian label. My rant for the day after on the Sabboth.
    I don't think that comment was directed at Carrie or saying that Carrie swore. I think what the person was trying to say was that for those in the public eye should be careful because they are role models.

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    I was really glad to see that most of the comments were positive. A lot of times the comments are just there to trash Carrie.

    But I was a little put off by the comment that Carrie needs to dress more modestly. In another interview Carrie said that she shows her legs because she does a lot of work to make them look good. But in showing her legs she doesn't show anything inappropriate and like the post above, she always wears shorts under her short dresses.

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    I fully agree and support her in the idea of refraining from requesting a "co producer" nod, when you know just how much goes into producing an album. I did mention during the SN era that I was really surprised that TS was being called "coproducer". anyone who knows what goes into literally "creating an album" from the ground up, knows that TS could not have possibly added enough to the equation to actually "deserve" a Co-Producer nod.
    Anyway just happy that Carrie understands where she stands and that keeps herself in check.
    She has a very level (and humble) head. And i appreciate her so much for that.
    Lstname89 likes this.


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