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Thread: The 10 Best Carrie Underwood Songs, Ranked

  1. #1
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    The 10 Best Carrie Underwood Songs, Ranked

    The 10 Best Carrie Underwood Songs, Ranked

    What do you think of when you hear the name Carrie Underwood? American Idol? Country music icon? Golden pipes? Great songwriter? All of the above, probably.

    Few country singers have been as immediately identifiable as Underwood in the past 12 years. She’s spawned a million copycats all vying for even just a fifth of her trademark range and tone. And she’s brought the revenge song back in country music so well that her name becomes an adjective in writing rooms.

    She’s basically the all-American girl (to borrow from her song) mixed with the powerful protagonist in a woman scored tale rolled into one.

    Underwood transformed good songs into country classics, so narrowing it down to her top 10 isn’t easy. When chart-topping songs like “Cowboy Casanova,” “Good Girl,” “Heartbeat” and “Church Bells” don’t make the list, you know it’s stiff competition. And that doesn’t even include collaborations like “Something Bad” with Miranda Lambert and “Remind Me” with Brad Paisley. Let’s take a look at the 10 best Carrie Underwood songs, ranked.

    10. “Jesus, Take The Wheel”

    The single that started it all for Underwood, this song penned by Brett James, Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson established Underwood as America’s “girl next door.” (Of course, a song later on that record that also makes the list quickly showed another side of the star). A crossover hit, the song earned two Grammys and all but assured the success of her debut album Some Hearts.

    9. “Two Black Cadillacs”

    Carrie has killed a fair number of no-good, dirty rotten, cheatin’ scoundrels in her songs. But in “Two Black Cadillacs,” which she co-wrote with Hillary Lindsey and Josh Kear, Underwood takes the drama to soaring heights. Though the song peaked at No. 2, it may be Underwood’s most tactful song about, well, killing someone.

    8. “See You Again”

    Literally the song right after “Two Black Cadillacs” on her album Blown Away, “See You Again” is a tribute to missing loved ones. It’s a gorgeously catchy pop ballad, but the music video really adds a whole new layer to the song. It features loved ones reuniting, in particular wives and children running to their husbands and dads when they get back from serving overseas.

    7. “Wine After Whiskey”

    There’s no shortage of songs comparing alcohol to love, but Carrie Underwood’s “Wine After Whiskey” is easily one of the best modern interpretations of the classic metaphor. Another song with Underwood as a writer, this gorgeous ballad never got the “radio single” treatment, but it kind of adds to the allure of this hidden gem.

    6. “Undo It”

    A boot-stomping rocker, “Undo It” is undeniable in its catchiness. It’s fitting the video features the singer rocking a stadium, because it’s very much a stadium rocker. But what really puts it over the top is the how it marries such a huge beat with such a powerful message. Underwood’s fanbase is largely female and there’s a great chance most people have felt this way before. It’s really one of the best examples of Underwood marrying attitude with arrangement to create a fan favorite.

    5. “Temporary Home”

    Carrie also has a great knack for finding inspiring songs. “Temporary Home” is a great example of weaving different narratives into a common thread of hopefulness and perseverance. It’s one of the songs that probably means the most to fans thanks to its tear-jerker ending. It’s another one of her many No. 1 singles and earned a Grammy nomination for vocal performance.

    4. “The Girl You Think I Am”

    Another song that hasn’t gotten the single treatment, “The Girl You Think I Am” feels like one of the first truly autobiographical songs for her. She wrote it with Linsey and David Hodges, and it’s a gorgeous first-person account of trying to live up to the person someone else sees you as.

    3. “Mama’s Song”

    Probably one of Underwood’s premiere wedding songs, Underwood co-wrote the song and released it around the time she married husband Mike Fisher. It’s a both kind of a love letter and an assurance, and it definitely rings true for Underwood in her personal life.

    2. “Before He Cheats”

    Here it is, the unrivaled karaoke song of drunk girls everywhere. “Before He Cheats” is a legendary song by plenty of standards. It’s Underwood’s top-selling song (five times platinum), her best-performing radio single and a two-time Grammy award-winner. But it didn’t top this list. Take that!

    1. “Blown Away”

    “Blown Away” did nearly everything “Before He Cheats” did, but with an intriguing and distinct new sound that defined one of Underwood’s most successful and critically lauded albums. It helped establish Underwood as a truly global talent that is well on her way to hall of fame status.
    hjj, Farawayhills, ethelu and 3 others like this.

  • #2
    Insane Carrie Fan liz278's Avatar
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    It really is interesting to see how different people rank her songs.

    I have seen quite a few of these lately, wonder if everyone is like us impatient for new music
    Farawayhills and rainbow1 like this.

  • #3
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    People are never likely to agree on "best" songs (especially when even those picked are also ranked against each other) - but I'd just like to comment on a couple of Jeremy Burchard's picks that I do like.

    "Undo It" (which he ranks at sixth). I think this song is often relatively under-estimated, being accepted mainly because it's a good concert rouser. That aspect is certainly true - but I also think it's more cleverly constructed than that. I like the way it ties together the three musical influences that Carrie often references in her songs - the twangy introduction, steady phrasing and Country instrumentation; the arena Rock feel of the heavily punctuated beat and vocal delivery; and the Pop feel of the repetitive chorus emphasis and use of wordless syllables. It's interesting that this reflects Carrie's fairly unusual combination of co-writers, best known in different genres: Luke Laird (Country), Marti Frederiksen (Rock) and Kara Dio Guardi (Pop). That may be an over-simpification, since writers often branch outside their main field - but I think the combination may have been a well-planned choice. (Interestingly, Jeremy seems to think the combination worked, since he also picked "Mama's Song", from the same four writers, also included on "Play On" - an album which, overall I don't consider Carrie's strongest). Jeremy ranks "Mama's Song" higher, at three - but I would say that "Undo It" fits more comfortably into Carrie's wheelhouse. "Mama's Song" is charming, and personal - and both songs could be considered fairly limited in lyrical scope - but I think, in overall terms "Undo It" fits the style in which Carrie seems most comfortable. Her vocal, her stage presentation, and her audience empathy all seem to me to be on top form here, and the excitement generated is obvious. And I think Jeremy is right in seeing this as a "message" song - it expresses a feeling that many of us can identify with, and turns regret into an anthem of survival

    The other song I'd like to mention is "The Girl You Think I Am", which Jeremy ranks at four. This may seem relatively high, for a song which seems to have been one of the least widely noticed on "Storyteller" - but I'm glad he made it a top pick. However successful Carrie's been as a Country Rock singer, I think softer, more reflective songs, and more personal themes, have been among the areas many of us hoped she'd explore more. This song, for me, expresses vulnerability, and the clash between expectations and reality, probably more tangibly than any of her tracks since "Don't Forger To Remember Me" (which she didn't write, but was one of the expressive standouts on her first major album). Here, she is a writer - and the growth in lyrical variety since "Undo It" is certainly noticeable. I would rank "The Girl You Think I Am" alongside "Smoke Break" as one the most interesting of her recent writes. Another thing I particularly liked was the musical line that begins around 2.18 - which is reminiscent of the trend towards more Progressive Roots music, which is a minority movement in the format, but definitely making noticeable headway. It's not really typical of Mark Bright's work with Carrie, and probably reflects her wish for the three producers to aim for a more cohesive overall sound. It's a trend that I think Carrie is wise to keep up with, as part of her range of styles.
    Last edited by Farawayhills; 12-11-2017 at 07:30 PM.

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    Insane Carrie Fan Gator's Avatar
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    I just have to share this in regards to "The Girl You Think I Am". I was doing my hair, listening to Storyteller yesterday. My husband walks through the bathroom, and as he exits, he's singing "the girl you think I am" line. It was so funny to hear him sing that line, but he just loves the song; perhaps, because we have 2 daughters, and he can also relate as the 'dad' in the song. ;-)

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    Insane Carrie Fan simonplay's Avatar
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    Thats a terrible list!! Lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gator View Post
    I just have to share this in regards to "The Girl You Think I Am". I was doing my hair, listening to Storyteller yesterday. My husband walks through the bathroom, and as he exits, he's singing "the girl you think I am" line. It was so funny to hear him sing that line, but he just loves the song; perhaps, because we have 2 daughters, and he can also relate as the 'dad' in the song. ;-)
    I always thought that TGYTIA could have been a big hit. Fathers and daughters would both love it.

  • #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonplay View Post
    Thats a terrible list!! Lol
    100% agree , totally laughable to me
    UI is atrocious & MS? lol
    brenda218 likes this.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  • #8
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Lol - well , I did say people are seldom likely to agree on lists!

    I don't agree with everything there, but I think it's interesting. Wide Open Country isn't primarily a Nashville-centric site. For example, you can see it's pick of the year's albums here:
    The 25 Best Albums of 2017

    Carrie's career has tended to be very Industry-focused - and Texas sites, and the Roots perspective on Country Music generally, have often been one of the hardest fields for Carrie to win strong approval from. In that context, reading their closing comment on "Blown Away" was something that I found particularly welcome:
    "an intriguing and distinct new sound that defined one of Underwood’s most successful and critically lauded albums. It helped establish Underwood as a truly global talent that is well on her way to hall of fame status."
    rainbow1, brenda218 and ethelu like this.

  • #9
    Junior Carrie Follower brenda218's Avatar
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    I agree on most, really loved ITYS, and SWISLY.
    Farawayhills likes this.


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