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Thread: Smoke Break Review: Country Weekly--- Carrie Scores An "A" Grade! :)

  1. #1
    Carrie Fans Legend teesharky's Avatar
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    Smoke Break Review: Country Weekly--- Carrie Scores An "A" Grade! :)

    Now this is what I am talking about! Not sure if Carrie ever got an A Grade review before???



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    Quote Originally Posted by teesharky View Post
    Now this is what I am talking about! Not sure if Carrie ever got an A Grade review before???


    She got Grade A from Country Universe. She has been getting stellar reviews on this era.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan txacar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jbrown View Post
    She got Grade A from Country Universe. She has been getting stellar reviews on this era.
    Great review. Thanks for sharing.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Country Universe virtually "stans" for Carrie, so, while welcome, that's not unexpected. More significant in terms of new support was probably Wide Open Country (a Texas site, favouring a more Dixie Chicks brand of Country Music), which called "Smoke Break" a breath of fresh air.

    Both of those, though are blogs, which reflect particular viewpoints - the one that Tee found is from Country Weekly - a major print magazine, with a wide non-internet circulation. That makes its review especially significant. (I agree with Tee - it's too good to bury in one thread!)


    These are the key sentences that struck me:

    "Surprisingly, Carrie pairs this tricky concept with possibly the most straightforward country-rock arrangement we've ever heard from her - a distinct zag, when many of her contemporaries are zigging toward Pop and R & B"

    "She wails the louder moments at full power, but bends the notes with finesse ...It's seemingly a new (or previously hidden) side to Carrie's artistry and it suits her remarkably well"

    "Getting something that substantial on country radio at this cultural moment of the never-ending summer - that feels like a huge victory"


    I think those sentences identify the two aspects of much of Carrie's better-known (and more widely perceived) work which have tended to be the most polarizing among some Country Music listeners outside Carrie's personal fan following - her musical arrangements, and her tendency to stress power delivery over expressive mood singing. Although I have heard earlier steps from Carrie to deal with both aspects (not least on her last album), if the new one is more widely noticed as moving in that stylistic direction, I think it will be very well received.

    (It is probably also worth pointing out that I think there is some distinct difference between the album track and the sound she's going for in live performance - not sweeping, since the recorded sound is still feeding back into the performance - but noticeable, especially in the balance between her vocal and the backing music, and in the reduced twang from her stage band - but this probably has benefits in pleasing fans used to her live performance style. It is the recorded album sound that will have most critical impact, but, between what we've heard so far of the recorded sound, and the live performances, it's possible that Carrie will be able to get a balance that gives her the best of both worlds.)

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    Obsessed Carrie Fan terilyn's Avatar
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    Faraway do you write a blog in England about country music? If not I think you should it would be a great success. I would subscribe.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    It's very nice of you to say so - but, no, I don't have a blog. (I did have a website once, which I think may still be on-line, though I haven't added to it in a very long time, and no longer have access to the server).
    Despite often feeling at variance with some of the prevailing opinions, I guess this site is my adopted home, lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farawayhills View Post
    It's very nice of you to say so - but, no, I don't have a blog. (I did have a website once, which I think may still be on-line, though I haven't added to it in a very long time, and no longer have access to the server).
    Despite often feeling at variance with some of the prevailing opinions, I guess this site is my adopted home, lol
    Well, we are certainly glad you choose to share your opinions on music with us! I am always amazed at your knowledge of the varying styles of country music. You seem to truly be a self-taught scholar on the subject. I am definitely one of those people that simply listens to a song or artist and just go with my gut on whether I like or not, but I don't know how to listen closely enough to pick out different instruments or influences from other sectors. All I can do is determine whether something sounds pop, rock, country, or R&B to me, but I am honestly not educated enough on the different instruments and production techniques to pick out genre influences with any certainty. I feel like Carrie has had some "R&B" influence on songs in the past like "You Won't Find This" and even "Good in Goodbye". But that is just to my untrained ears. She has obviously had a lot of pop/contemporary influence, especially on Some Hearts and on some album tracks in CR/PO. Those are generally the songs I feel don't suit a country artist - songs like Play On, Wheel of the World, Who Are You, Change, Twisted, Unapologize, etc. Of course, we all know Some Hearts was half pop so they could attempt to push her in that directions, which didn't work, obviously, lol. She has certainly done some pop songs I adore - like I'll Stand By You and Sometimes You Leave, because I do like pop music, but I don't feel they have a place in her catalog as a country artist. ISBY was fine since it was a one-off on Idol for charity, much like KUS, TAPFU, and EEA were done for special projects. I'm not dissing Carrie here, though, so I hope no one takes it that way. I think there are a lot of country artists that have toed that pop/contemporary line for years like Rascal Flatts, Lady A, Keith Urban, Sara Evans, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, etc, etc. I generally don't have too much issue with country artists having pop influence until they try to pull a Taylor and use it as a stepping stone to be a pop artist. I may not like the pop influenced music, but I don't get too upset about it. I hate Sam Hunt's album, for example. So, I'm a little nervous about hearing the Zach Crowell produced tracks. Relapse is one of the titles that interests me, but I hope Carrie does country "R&B" her own way and it doesn't sound like Sam. Heartbeat is probably one of the least interesting titles on the new album to me. I for one, am happier to see Carrie overall going in the more country direction and making music for the sake of making music and not worrying about coming out on top on radio and sales charts (her own sentiment from her interview in London).

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    Carrie Fans Maniac kewlie78189's Avatar
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    freaking right! so awesome~


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