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Thread: Album Review - Taste of Country

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Smokyiiis's Avatar
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    Album Review - Taste of Country

    Carrie Underwood wasn't kidding when she said her new Cry Pretty album would be packed with a new kind of drama. A central theme leads the 11 songs fans haven't heard yet. Then there's that song about guns ...Perhaps unexpectedly, much of Cry Pretty finds Underwood and her co-writers celebrating, lamenting or describing lost love. In fact, five of the first seven songs put the "Cry Pretty" singer at the end of a relationship by choice (or maybe not?). Her sixth studio album is dominated by real lyrical depth — the kind that will endear fans for a lifetime or upset a few people. Or maybe both.


    Taste of Country was on hand as the 35-year-old previewed the new album in Nashville on Monday (Aug. 21). It was an emotional night for her, and several times she fought back tears talking about her journey. Here are our first impressions of all 12 songs from Cry Pretty ("The Champion" — her duet with Ludacris — is included as song No. 13, a bonus track).1. “Cry Pretty” — The current radio single. It's almost a Top 10 hit, so there's probably not much more to say about it.
    2. “Ghosts on the Stereo” — Think "Record Year" by Eric Church. The song finds Underwood getting over heartbreak with some of her favorite country legends. Technically it's a ballad, but she brings great energy to this radio-friendly arrangement.
    3. “Low” — If Chris Stapleton influenced Underwood's writing and recording at all, it's evident on during this soft, acoustic heartbreaker. "Low" is simply brilliant — even a Song of the Year candidate, should she choose to release it to radio. By holding back vocally, she allows the brilliant metaphors room to breathe.
    4. “Backsliding” — This is another "can't get over you" kind of song that finds the protagonist backsliding into bad habits. We're four songs in and there's been no real uptempo song.
    5. “Southbound” — There it is! "Southbound" is an easy beach song with plenty of smiles, margaritas and chatter. Without a doubt it's the most playful song on this album.
    6. “That Song That We Used to Make Love To” — Underwood wasn't joking when she said she took bold chances on Cry Pretty, and from a production standpoint, we hear it during this song. An usual piano-like plinking carries the arrangement. Lyrically the mid-tempo track finds her again thinking about an old relationship. "I probably shouldn't say it, but I just wanna play it," she sings during "That Song That We Used to Make Love To."
    7. “Drinking Alone” — This is a great song in any era of country music. "Drinking Alone" showcases Underwood's more mature understanding of soul and blues. The backing vocalists act as her subconscious during this jilted lovers union. "You got me thinking we should be drinking alone, together," Underwood sings. Where does that lead? We can only imagine.
    8. “The Bullet” — "The Bullet" is going to steal headlines, and since it's not available to be heard in its entirety, we'll be careful about how we describe it. The song details a mother burying her son, using a refrain about how a bullet keeps moving long after it has hit the target, ripping holes in the hearts of everyone the deceased knew and loved. It's a statement to be sure, but without the benefit of a second listen or the song lyrics on paper, we'll stop short of calling it anti-gun.
    9. “Spinning Bottles” — This is the second of two straight box-of-tissue songs. "Spinning Bottles" is somewhat open for interpretation, but we heard a wife singing about her tortured, alcoholic husband. The song brings great empathy to substance abuse. It's a brilliant vocal performance that truly stretches her capabilities.
    10. “Love Wins”
    — "Love Wins" also makes a statement, albeit a much more agreeable one. Courageous lyrics and a positive message make this the kind of song fans will only realize they love later. Honestly, it gets kind of lost after "The Bullet" and "Spinning Bottles."
    11. “End Up With You” — A straight-forward love song.
    12. “Kingdom” — When Underwood released her track listing on Sunday, we had this pegged as a religious song, but it's not really. Her "Kingdom" is the home she's built with husband Mike Fisher. Anyone looking for a reference to her November 2017 fall can stretch to find it here — the opening verse refers to a creaky board on the front porch. A big chorus helps wrap Cry Pretty with a heartwarming, everything-is-gonna-be-OK smile. "It's our life, it's our heart, it's our home, this is our kingdom," she sings.
    13. “The Champion” (Feat. Ludacris) — "The Champion" is a bonus track. Like "Cry Pretty," you've likely heard this song.
    Conclusion: A single listen is woefully insufficient for a critical review, but it's impossible to ignore the changes Underwood has made between albums. There's less theater and more first-person heart on her new album. In some ways Storyteller felt like an extension of Blown Away, but Cry Pretty truly begins a new chapter. This is a bold and demanding album that isn't afraid to offend or make you uncomfortable.


    We Just Heard Carrie Underwood's New 'Cry Pretty' Album

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    not gonna lie I teared up just reading te part about The Bullet.This song is gonna need a full box of tissues.

    Kingdom sounds so sweet, maybe she'll replace WINK on tour with it with all new pics of the family of 4.

    all these description just keep making me more and more eager to hear this cd.
    ethelu, rainbow1, mbh and 3 others like this.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Obsessed Carrie Fan Jane-Alex's Avatar
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    Wow! I am now even more excited after reading this.
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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Smokyiiis's Avatar
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    Her sixth studio album is dominated by real lyrical depth — the kind that will endear fans for a lifetime or upset a few people. Or maybe both.

    This absolutely makes me glow

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    Insane Carrie Fan Suellen's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this review; can’t wait until September 14th so we can finally hear the songs too.
    oldyfan and Smokyiiis like this.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Smokyiiis's Avatar
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    Sounds like SPINNING BOTTLES is gonna be like the ultimate vocal masterpiece while sobbing into tissues. I bet it's the I KNOW YOU WON'T song of the CRY PRETTY album.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan simonplay's Avatar
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    Yes to Low for Song of the Year!!

    Southbound is One Way Ticket 2.0, this time it better be a single next summer!!

    Spinning Bottles "brilliant vocal performance" yes!!

    Still can't wait to hear Kingdom!! "It's our life, it's our heart, it's our home, this is our kingdom," love this kind of songs!!

    Also looks like no one is crazy for "End up with you"...
    ethelu, Smokyiiis and rainbow1 like this.

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    This is going to be a masterpiece. If there aren't album of the year wins, based on these reactions, then I don't know?

    Honestly, I can't begin to explain how excited I am! I love sad songs and slow songs so much, and we're getting quite a few here. I can't wait.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Smokyiiis's Avatar
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    So wondering when we will get the snippets to go with each of these tracks???????????????????????????? PLEASE, CRY PRETTY, PLEASE
    rainbow1, simonplay and oldyfan like this.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan simonplay's Avatar
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    ^ yes I need the snippets 3 minutes each song of snippets is ok! Lol

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan txacar's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this, Smoky. Love being able to refer back to the description of each track. Hope she releases single #2 this weekend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonplay View Post
    Yes to Low for Song of the Year!!

    Southbound is One Way Ticket 2.0, this time it better be a single next summer!!

    Spinning Bottles "brilliant vocal performance" yes!!

    Still can't wait to hear Kingdom!! "It's our life, it's our heart, it's our home, this is our kingdom," love this kind of songs!!

    Also looks like no one is crazy for "End up with you"...
    I'm sure EUWY is a perfectly fine love song. Perhaps on a prior Carrie album it would stand out more, but it sounds like there are so many brilliant songs on this album it just gets lost in the shuffle.
    oldyfan and rainbow1 like this.
    "Thank you for that ‘Captain Obvious’ sense of humor because you know what, we not only hit the high notes, you forgot to mention we generally hit the ‘right’ notes as well."
    -Kelly Clarkson to Scott Borchetta about American Idol artists
    Thanks so much Danielle!

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    Quote Originally Posted by maddkat View Post
    not gonna lie I teared up just reading te part about The Bullet.This song is gonna need a full box of tissues.

    Kingdom sounds so sweet, maybe she'll replace WINK on tour with it with all new pics of the family of 4.

    all these description just keep making me more and more eager to hear this cd.
    I really hope she replaces WINK with Kingdom as well. Granted, I haven't heard the instrumentation of Kingdom yet, but I don't love how contemporary the music is on WINK. So I, for one, am excited for a do-over on a song for her family, lol.
    rainbow1 and oldyfan like this.
    "Thank you for that ‘Captain Obvious’ sense of humor because you know what, we not only hit the high notes, you forgot to mention we generally hit the ‘right’ notes as well."
    -Kelly Clarkson to Scott Borchetta about American Idol artists
    Thanks so much Danielle!

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    I am so excited to hear TB and LW, but honestly after all the reviews, I think I am MOST excited to hear Low, Spinning Bottles, and That Song We Used to Make Love To. I'm also really excited that songs that are co-written by Carrie are getting a lot of the attention this time around. Except for TB, it seems like the songs they are all talking about were written by her. She deserves some recognition as a songwriter. Carrie deserves a SOTY award as a writer.
    "Thank you for that ‘Captain Obvious’ sense of humor because you know what, we not only hit the high notes, you forgot to mention we generally hit the ‘right’ notes as well."
    -Kelly Clarkson to Scott Borchetta about American Idol artists
    Thanks so much Danielle!

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    Carrie Guru rainbow1's Avatar
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    Thanks Smoky!!! I will refer back many times!! CAn't pick one i'd rather hear....I want to hear them all!!!!
    oldyfan, Smokyiiis, mbh and 2 others like this.

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    OMG I guess we never had those kind of reviews. I understand Carrie had to be the kind of "need to please everyone" and I'm happy now she can record an album like this. With the combo ticket-cd I hope she will have a big 1st selling week to create even more buzz.
    txacar, ethelu, oldyfan and 3 others like this.

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    Insane Carrie Fan lizcarlo's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for posting. Love hearing the details.
    oldyfan, Hil, mbh and 2 others like this.

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    Low and Spinning Bottles sound right up my alley. Heck all the others do too lol. I am curious why there wasn’t much excitement about Love Wins considering it is mentioned on the CD sticker with Cry Pretty. Seems weird lol.
    mbh, Smokyiiis, txacar and 2 others like this.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FanSince04 View Post
    Low and Spinning Bottles sound right up my alley. Heck all the others do too lol. I am curious why there wasn’t much excitement about Love Wins considering it is mentioned on the CD sticker with Cry Pretty. Seems weird lol.
    He says that the message is agreeable and positive, and the lyrics courageous - but also says that it gets rather lost, coming on the album after The Bullet and Spinning Bottles - and people may only discover how much they love it later (presumably, after hearing it in isolation, or after repeat listens).

    i would guess that people who have singled it out for praise are basing that mainly on the theme and the lyrics - while Dukes may be referring there to its sonic impression - perhaps appearing rather swamped, in terms of its music or the style of its delivery, after the two preceding songs.

    We can't tell until we hear the album.

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    Huge Carrie Follower FanSince04's Avatar
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    Definitely could be what he meant. Radio single would be great isolation! It may be exactly what they plan to do, but I’m banking on the third or fourth single being “Low” or “Spinning Bottles”.
    oldyfan likes this.


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