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Thread: Carrie Underwood's Comeback- What It Means for Salad Gate & New Females

  1. #1
    Carrie Fans Legend teesharky's Avatar
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    Carrie Underwood's Comeback- What It Means for Salad Gate & New Females

    Carrie Underwood's Comeback?What It Means For Salad Gate, New Females

    Carrie Underwood’s Comeback—What It Means For Salad Gate & New Females


    Posted on 06/11/2015 at 3:40 PM
    Jason Scott

    Related To: Exclusive
    The Popdust Files: exclusives, music

    A bright red tomato was the winner in a sea of soggy lettuce. Carrie Underwood, ever one of country music’s richest storytellers, pierced the blackness of last night’s CMT Music Awards with a searing rendition of her current Top 5 radio single (on course to become yet another mountain topper) called Little Toy Guns. And despite radio consultant Keith Hill‘s cutting comments two weeks ago regarding female placement on the airwaves—“If you want to make ratings in Country radio, take females out,” he infamously lambasted in an issue of Country Aircheck—Underwood walked away with three buckles, including the night’s top honor, Video of the Year for the gospel-soaked blockbuster Something in the Water. As a song that reaches as far back into country’s vibrant history as the days of The Carter Family (known for their tightly-constructed harmonies and luscious musicianship and whose impact has influenced gospel, country, bluegrass, pop and rock), it marks a shift in the mainstream. She co-wrote the song with fellow taste-makers Chris DeStefano and Brett James, with long-standing producer Mark Bright at the helm, and ultimately demonstrated how a religiously-constructed song can be a dominate force in the overall country conversation, surpassing the unhealthy (and destructive) barrage of binge drinking and party mishaps. Underwood’s equally relentless vocal stands tall, too, as her best work of her career and injects terrestrial radio with a necessary sucker punch to the genitals, in a manner of speaking.


    Last night’s two and a half hour showcase of bro-syrup and funky, throwback grooves framed together a disheartening snapshot of what is a viable art in 2015. While Jake Owen did his best to tackle Real Life—and coming off his criminally mistreated, Top 15-plateauing What We Ain’t Got, this new three minute pizza slice is seriously under-baked—Kenny Chesney toasted (again) to American Kids; Sam Hunt hosted a boisterous House Party (while also snagging Breakthrough Video for his debut #1 romp Leave the Night On); Keith Urban sizzled to the rhythm of his new John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16 release; and Florida Georgia Line smirked as they stormed the stage to accept yet another win (for Duo Video, going to their faux emotional Dirt). With only a few moments buoying the blundering proceedings inches above VMAs territory—Reba, Zac Brown Band and Eric Church were saving graces—the show severely manhandled it’s rising singers. A slew of promising newcomers—including Maddie & Tae, Kelsea Ballerini, Frankie Ballard and A Thousand Horses—were relegated to 30-second slots as the show headed into each commercial. As a result, it could be rather easy to mislabel the current crop of music-makers as downright disastrous.


    Then, Carrie Underwood, the only current female radio staple in attendance, took the stage and wiped the floor with the men. Stepping into a dazzling floor length gown (with just enough sex appeal for a glowing mother), the Oklahoma native ripped Little Toy Guns to shreds, leaving discarded bullet cartridges smoking across the stage (figuratively, of course) and a crowd in awe of the glory they just beheld. If you consider Underwood’s brand of modern country too saccharine or not on par with Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton, that’s fine, but to not bestow her with any credit whatsoever would be a disservice to not only her but the genre she holds so dear. There’s simply no mistaking the sheer gutsiness and ferocity of that voice, and fortunately for us, she struck a creative trigger with her last full player, 2012′s gripping Blown Away. Not only did it spark a forceful, gritty energy within her vocal chords, but she also dished out two of her finest recordings, the title track and the southern gothic-inspired, R&B-flaked Two Black Cadilllacs. After a year-long hiatus from churning out hits, it was clear Underwood’s new-found sense of dynamics, confidence and pulsating creative drive revved up even more with Something in the Water and the electric rocker Little Toy Guns. As the closing performance of the CMT Awards, the pyrotechnic-laced Guns was a resounding affirmation that she’s back and better than ever. Additionally, it speaks to the much larger issue of females in country and the need to have even more like her on that stage. After two (out of three) adorable trips to accept her accolades—she also swiped Female Video for Water and Collaborative Video, for Somethin’ Bad with Lambert—her nearly pitch-perfect portrayal of the brutal nature of words vibrated across the arena and into the TV screens at home. In only three minutes, she commanded the stage and reminded us all what it means to represent the format in a way that is striking and passionate. There’s no shame in fusing rock and pop elements into tradition (as she has done since the beginning of her career in 2005), but it’s the way it’s done that matters. Blown Away, Two Black Cadillacs, Something in the Water, Little Toy Guns, Just a Dream, Wasted: these are all tracks that well serve the format in their massive scale of themes and lay a rock-solid foundation heading into the future. Underwood does so effortlessly, but there’s never a moment when she forgets what country is and has always been about: stories. Forget what you think you know about country music in 2015 and really listen to what she is saying in her work.

    Country Radio—You Say ‘Tomato,’ I Say ‘Play More Women’

    Underwood’s star power was a focal point throughout the evening, too. Earlier on, the opening monologue—pieced together by sports broadcaster Erin Andrews and Hollywood star Brittany Snow—tipped its hat to Underwood (including a Girl Crush-reinvention into Carrie Crush, with an assist by the Belmont Bellas). It was clear right then that one of Nashville’s most alluring tomatoes was going to be unstoppable against her side-lined lettuce comrades. Sure, two of the genre’s formidable male opponents Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean lit up the stage with their latest hits, but the intensity didn’t quite slice through the way they had hoped. With no performances allotted to Kacey Musgraves, Lambert, Little Big Town or even the outlier Brandy Clark, the show plodded along drearily. The Alan Jackson and Steven Tyler skit was a chunk of comedic gold but even it couldn’t overtake the overall bro-tone of a musical extravaganza that has shifted through hosts as hard as you do rummaging through the bin looking for fresh lettuce at the local grocer. The befuddling cameos of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Arnold, David Spade (as Joe Dirt introducing Urban’s performance) and Justin Bieber did little to break up the night, only heightening Music City’s fascination with celebrity and not with country itself.


    For her part, Underwood has blazed a trail of triumphant proportions, opening up opportunities for aspiring female truth tellers and vocalists to be heard—the path would be far narrower without her involvement. With the boldness that comes in her work, fresh singer-songwriters and musicians could be inspired to take bigger risks and shoot from their pens, hitting the heart and moving the genre forward into exciting territory. Despite proclamations from Hill and other radio programmers, females are the steak and eggs of the format and give listeners something healthy and life-affirming into which to partake. The statistics are clear: females do want to hear other females. Underwood has spoken quite candidly about the gender disparity in the past year, but actions (like her CMT Awards clean sweep and show-stopping closer) speak far louder than words. Country music is more than prepared to support and champion female talent, led by Underwood and her authoritative voice.


    It should be noted here that while the show is fan-voted, the Underwood domination implicates a greater trend that country music listeners are itching for more females from which to choose. It’s a delicate balance, of course, given the singer’s loyal nation of followers known as Care Bears and their attack on polls, but it’s a far more refreshing result than the politically-motivated ACMs and CMAs. While even those shows have seen some surprising results (such as Musgraves’ dethroning of Florida Georgia Line for Best New Artist in 2013), we still have miles to go before we sleep. But the fans have spoken. For the sake of country’s future: please, radio, get it together. We want tomatoes.


    [PHOTO CREDIT: Jason Merritt/Getty]
    Stay tuned for Carrie Underwood updates. Be sure to follow @Popdust and @JasonTheScott on Twitter!

  • #2
    Ultimate Carrie Fan txacar's Avatar
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    I just finished reading this over at Popdust. Outstanding piece by Jason. Thanks for posting, Tee. Hope everyone will take the time to read it.

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    Carrie Fans Maniac kewlie78189's Avatar
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    this is wonderfully written!!
    teesharky and ethelu like this.

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    If listeners actually do want to hear other females then they need to request them too instead of just requesting females with the last name of Lambert or Underwood.

    The older female acts like Reba probably gets more request than any of the younger female artist do.

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    Obsessed Carrie Fan terilyn's Avatar
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    Great article. Enjoyed every word. Wish it went out to more publications.
    bluetb4, rainbow1 and ethelu like this.

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    Insane Carrie Fan liz278's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB172 View Post
    If listeners actually do want to hear other females then they need to request them too instead of just requesting females with the last name of Lambert or Underwood.

    The older female acts like Reba probably gets more request than any of the younger female artist do.
    I agree. The fact is I'm just lazy. I want to hear women on the radio but it the name isn't Underwood, I am not going to spend the time to request. I admit that I don't do what I need to do to make it happen :-(
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  • #7
    Ultimate Carrie Fan txacar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liz278 View Post
    I agree. The fact is I'm just lazy. I want to hear women on the radio but it the name isn't Underwood, I am not going to spend the time to request. I admit that I don't do what I need to do to make it happen :-(
    Do you request men?? If not, then you are up on the game. At least you request one female. I have never, ever requested a male artist on radio. When Carrie is off the charts (between albums) I request Danielle Bradbery, Katie Armiger, Lauren Alaina, etc., as well as Faith, Martina, and a few others. They never play them so I don't even listen to country radio now. When Carrie has a song out I request only her -- never her competition, male or female.

  • #8
    Insane Carrie Fan liz278's Avatar
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    ^^No I only take the time to request Carrie.
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    Quote Originally Posted by liz278 View Post
    I agree. The fact is I'm just lazy. I want to hear women on the radio but it the name isn't Underwood, I am not going to spend the time to request. I admit that I don't do what I need to do to make it happen :-(
    Which is what 99% of people do because they don't really have any interest in hearing other female artists other than whoever maybe their favorite one.

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    sco
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB172 View Post
    Which is what 99% of people do because they don't really have any interest in hearing other female artists other than whoever maybe their favorite one.
    I don't really think that's a fair assessment. I'd be willing to bet 99% of radio listeners never request anything and they can't request what they don't know exists. I don't think that means they have no interest in hearing other female artists. Program directors play songs by new male artists without a groundswell of requests. Why won't they do the same for women?
    liz278, Smokyiiis, bluetb4 and 4 others like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sco View Post
    I don't really think that's a fair assessment. I'd be willing to bet 99% of radio listeners never request anything and they can't request what they don't know exists. I don't think that means they have no interest in hearing other female artists. Program directors play songs by new male artists without a groundswell of requests. Why won't they do the same for women?
    We will have to 100% agree to disagree in fact I think that 90+% of wanting to see other females have success from people on this site is fake, IMO a very, very, very large majority of fans of female artists give very little if any support to other female artists which isn't nearly the same case when it comes to the fans of whatever male artists supporting other male artists.
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    sco
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB172 View Post
    I think that 90+% of wanting to see other females have success from people on this site is fake.
    Even if that's true you have to admit the people on this fan site, myself included, are not exactly your average radio listener or fan. As to your other point about fans of female artists supporting other females, while I don't entirely agree I think you do have something of a point. Unfortunately in the current climate, with the de facto quota system for female artists, I think there is a fear at least for the super fans that supporting another female artist will detract from their favorite. It's sad but that fear may be justified. I would never have believed that until this whole thing broke. Learning that there actually is a deliberate quotas system in place for female artists is just infuriating and depressing. However, I still maintain that for the casual female radio listener they will support what they like and if they are exposed to more women on the radio, especially given the talent out there, they will like what they hear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sco View Post
    Even if that's true you have to admit the people on this fan site, myself included, are not exactly your average radio listener or fan. As to your other point about fans of female artists supporting other females, while I don't entirely agree I think you do have something of a point. Unfortunately in the current climate, with the de facto quota system for female artists, I think there is a fear at least for the super fans that supporting another female artist will detract from their favorite. It's sad but that fear may be justified. I would never have believed that until this whole thing broke. Learning that there actually is a deliberate quotas system in place for female artists is just infuriating and depressing. However, I still maintain that for the casual female radio listener they will support what they like and if they are exposed to more women on the radio, especially given the talent out there, they will like what they hear.
    "I think there is a fear at least for the super fans that supporting another female artist will detract from their favorite."

    That is as true as the sun is going to come up tomorrow morning which is a huge problem when it comes to making the "Big Two" a "Big Three" and if that doesn't change and IMO it never will it's going to very, very tough for any new female to even reach say that Brantley Gilbert level.

    Kramer and Pickler got played on the radio but couldn't make what was at the time a the "Big Three" into a "Big Four" and they both already had a built in fan base based on the TV exposure they both already had, you can take any of the newer female artist give them more radio play than anyone in the business and if they don't get support from the fans of the other female artist getting all that play isn't going to be much help and if the super fans don't want to support other females out of fear of their favorite getting hurt because of it I have zero issue with that but I don't want to hear any of those people b!tch & complain that other females don't have success if they are not going to show support to them.
    Last edited by JB172; 06-12-2015 at 01:26 PM.
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    Insane Carrie Fan carrieguy2's Avatar
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    Awesome Review!

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    If all the females fan bases actually supported other females artists as much as all the female fan bases nitpick and criticize everything that other female artists do there might actually be more than just two of them who are relevant.


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