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Thread: Billboard:Carrie Underwood Strikes ‘Again’ With Leftover Movie Song

  1. #1
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    Billboard:Carrie Underwood Strikes ‘Again’ With Leftover Movie Song

    nice article about the writing of SYA

    It’s C.U. Again. With “See You Again.”Carrie Underwood’s latest single, the fourth from her album Blown Away, is unintentionally the most self-promotional vehicle of her career thus far. The title, were it written in Prince-like shorthand, employs her initials, “CU Again.” And one phrase in the chorus—“I will carry you with me”—is easily misspelled as “I will Carrie U. with me.” “I never even thought about ‘CU Again’ being ‘Carrie Underwood Again,’” co-writer David Hodges (“Because of You,” “Bring Me to Life”) says with a laugh. “‘I will carry you with me’—I think we were trying to figure out the next line for 20-30 minutes and were laughing at the idea of ‘Carrie Underwood something.’ So every time I hear that
    line, ‘I will carry you,’ I think of Carrie Underwood.”Sitting at No. 30 on Country Airplay in its fourth charted week and rising to No. 35 on Hot Country Songs, “See You Again” is carrying out a lifeline that started during the production of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” in fall 2010. Hodges, a former keyboard player with rock
    band Evanescence, journeyed to Nashville to cowrite music specifically for the film with Underwood and Hillary Lindsey (“Jesus, Take the Wheel,” “A Little Bit Stronger”).“The movie was probably three-quarters done, so it wasn’t the finished movie when we screened it,” says producer Mark Bright, who viewed it with the writers. “They still had green screens for some of the animated characters in it, and they warned us of that, but we definitely all still got the feeling, ‘Wow, it’s a pretty special movie.’”

    In their first writing session, Underwood, Lindsey and Hodges came up with “There’s a Place for Us,” a sweeping ballad they felt had a strong shot at becoming the end theme Walden Media needed. But they’d set aside several days to create, so they came back to Lindsey’s house to see what other songs might emerge from the process.“There was a sense of saying goodbye at the end of the movie,” Hodges notes. “One of the main characters leaves and goes to—I guess, in ‘Narnia’ terms—he goes to heaven, but he talks about being able to see him again sometime. There’s heavy content to it, but there’s a hopeful sense to it that gave us liberty to keep it upbeat and to always see the positive side of it.”

    That scene was top of mind when their second co-writing session started with Lindsey seated on a cajon, a wooden percussion instrument of Peruvian descent. She had a catchy, cheery four-line melody using the syllable “oh” that formed the foundation for what would become “See You Again.”“It just kind of spawned from there,” Underwood recalls. “We were like, ‘What does this feel like? Well, it doesn’t feel bad, it feels so happy.’ It feels inspired. Even if you are dealing with death or a depressing subject matter, it still
    feels like there’s something positive.”Since the song was being written for Underwood to sing, they had license to give it a much wider melody than they might have otherwise created. “I love being in the room writing with the person who would be singing the song because there’s no guesswork,” Hodges says. “Just having Carrie in the room, we start to stretch and expand ideas because she’s the one able to lead and make that stuff happen.

    “The funny thing with Carrie—and I haven’t had this with many artists I’ve worked with—it’s a little bit scary when you’re in the melody department because everything she sings sounds unbelievable. Every little line she sings, she makes it sound great because she’s such a great vocalist, when it really may not be the best line.”They wrote three songs in total that all incorporated some of the same themes about departures and spirituality. In fact, the phrase “water meets the sky” appears in both “There’s a Place for Us” and “See You Again.” Though it was written on guitar, Hodges built the demo for “See You Again” around piano. Lindsey sang the demos for all three songs before they were submitted for the film, and—as the group had expected—the producers chose “There’s a Place for Us,” which ultimately landed a Golden Globe nomination for best original song in December 2010. (Lindsey earned a second nomination that same year for “Coming Home,” from the movie “Country Strong.”) That left “See You Again” available when Underwood went to work on Blown Away, a scenario that made Bright particularly happy. “It was easily the song that spoke to me the most,” he says.They recorded “See You Again” at Reba McEntire’s
    Starstruck Studios on Music Row, using Hodges’ demo as a template. A few extra dimensions were added to the sound with the goal of framing, rather than stepping on, Underwood’s performance.

    For her part, Underwood had “demo-itis”—a fear that they could not outdo the first version of the song. The overdubbed parts were, from her perspective, a lengthy process.“Mark would send me something to listen to, and I’d be like, ‘No, no, no, take this out. Add this in. I don’t like that. What’s happening here?’” she says. “This one took a really long time. I sent it back to the kitchen many times before we actually got it right.” A number of subtleties added to the song’s emotional progression. It shifts after the bridge from a keyboard base, built around Jimmy Nichols’ acoustic piano, to a guitar foundation to “give it an edge and lift,” Bright says. Percussionist Eric Darken stacked multiple tracks of bell tones, including chimes and glockenspiel, to enhance the spiritual overtones. Charlie Judge meticulously added a series of computer-generated string lines to build a sound so effectively dense it’s easily mistaken for a real orchestral group.“Each one of those sounds is recorded individually like a real string player would do,” Bright says.Underwood wanted Lindsey and Hodges to join her on the key “oh, oh, oh” vocal lines. She and Lindsey recorded their parts at Starstruck, and Bright used Skype to communicate with Hodges as he overdubbed his voice from his studio, the Yellow House, in Los Angeles.

    With “See You Again” airing at radio, it truly is C.U. again, as Underwood revisits a now-familiar exploration of mortality. Death was central to her previous single, the vindictive “Two Black Cadillacs,” but she’s more typically cast it in a spiritual context, as she did in “Temporary Home” and “Just a Dream.”“I definitely do associate ‘See You Again’ with the afterlife,” she says. “But it can kind of be whatever you need it to be at the time

  • #2
    Ultimate Carrie Fan clh_hilary's Avatar
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    'Leftover movie song'. Ooh the shade...
    pklongbeach and The Nanook like this.

  • #3
    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    I was really not sure where this article was going at first. I did not like the assursion that it was "self-promoting". But in the end I think I understand what the writer is saying. (I hope people don't misinterpretate it to suggest she or her writers meant to include C.U.Again into the song.

    Otherwise, I really like this article. We rarely get to read something this intimate about the writing process with Carrie.
    I liked it very much. And it really reflects how much they liked the song and why it ended up on the album.

    I m thrilled it did to.

    (I also got my answer about weather "Oh oh oh....." was writen in as part of the song or weather it was added as instrumentation. IT was actually the inception for the whole song. That makes me very happy as well!!)
    robinannhunt, rainbow1 and maddkat like this.

  • #4
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    Wow, what a great article. I love the association of C U again, and Carry you with me. And the apparent high praise and respect for Carrie, the artist (singer and song writer). Oh so good. Thank you maddkat for posting this wonderful article.
    Another Carrie #1 on the way. Yaaaaaay!!!

  • #5
    Carrie Guru epicamends's Avatar
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    Not crazy about the title of the article, but it's actually very well-written, in depth and interesting.
    pklongbeach likes this.

  • #6
    Carrie Fans Maniac kewlie78189's Avatar
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    hate the title!!

  • #7
    Hil is offline
    Obsessed Carrie Fan Hil's Avatar
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    Great read, crappy title.
    jaylee50 likes this.

  • #8
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Smokyiiis's Avatar
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    Wow, I'm really impressed with the depth of this article. It's almost as if we're right there in the middle of the process with them. Great read!

  • #9
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Carrieflattsfan's Avatar
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    Great article with a terrible title.

    I love reading about the in-depth process of songwriting, and knowing how songs come about.

    It's nice to hear insight from the songwriters themselves, because it makes it seem more personal, and not just as if the song was written for a certain purpose.

  • #10
    Carrie Fans Maniac robinannhunt's Avatar
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    They should fire the title maker however the writer gave us an intimate view. Very good read.

  • #11
    Obsessed Carrie Fan Schrodinger's Avatar
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    I love how Carrie draws from other genres... former keyboardist with Evanescence... so cool. Right Nicole.?

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2


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