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Thread: Women in Country Music

  1. #161
    Carrie Guru rainbow1's Avatar
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    Good for her!!

  • #162
    Junior Carrie Follower Momin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farawayhills View Post
    I feel that, on the whole, Carrie prefers subjects that she can sing "in character", as a storyteller, standing back a little from a personal involvement in the song. She is identified with a number of well known, assertive "fight back" songs, that could be thought of as "empowerment" songs - but these do tend to have a strong element of fictional storytelling built into them.
    Carrie's most personal songs tend to be the faith-based ones, which she feels deeply about - and some of her songs which include an element of "worldly" issues (such as "Temporary Home" or "Change") tend to stem from, or be linked to, that perspective.

    Carrie has had a couple of videos, which I feel go further than the actual lyrics of her songs in putting forward a "female empowerment" theme. One was for her early co-write, "All American Girl". The song itself is, I think, open to the criticism that it doesn't go further than a rather stereotyped view of sex roles, with the baby/girl/woman fulfilling the traditional role of captivating men with her non-threatening feminine charms - but in the video, Carrie "rescues" the theme for modern women by showing herself fulfilling a rapid succession of socially active roles.
    The second example was the recent "Smoke Break", where truck driving Carrie shows what she thinks of the tired, self-absorbed man crossing in front of her; walks alone through the desert with her guitar to fulfill her performance date at a small dive bar; and meets in passing a number of women playing iconic Country Music roles such as horse wrangler, rig driver, welder.

    Carrie has spoken out about the lack of opportunities for women in the music business - but I also think there are limitations on how far she's likely to go in incorporating feminist issues into her actual work. One is her preference for less personal "storytelling" songs. Another is the way her albums have tended to be built around a number of songs expected to be radio hits - an approach which allows the individual songs to be varied, but limits the extent to which the album is likely to have an identifiable theme or concept. Connected with that is the fact that Carrie's career is very closely tied into the Music Row machine (without which she's implied, more than once, she would not have persevered with a music career at all). There is also a feature of her song writing, which I find a little surprising - with the one strong exception of Hillary Lindsey, Carrie is not noted for writing with other women. "Play On" seems to be her only album where she wrote with women other than Hillary, and I think "Unapologize" is her only album cut so far which she wrote with two women. This may seem a point of little overall consequence for her hits - but it does rather set Carrie apart from being regarded as a "women's issues" writer.

    It may be of interest that Amanda Shires made a visual statement at the recent CMAs, by wearing a shirt with the message "Mama wants to change that Nashville Sound". (I posted a red carpet picture in the CMA thread). She was both criticized and praised for this - and she elaborates on her reasons for making the statement in this article - which I feel sums up what many feel about the situation for women in the contemporary industry. (Clearly, though, it is easier for an artist to make this sort of statement if her career is not deeply embedded in the system itself)
    https://thebluegrasssituation.com/re...-on-the-carpet
    I think Carrie's brand of female empowerment is more implied rather than spelled out.

    Sure, we have the murder songs and the scorned woman songs. But songs like 'Heartbeat' and 'Like I'll Never Love You Again' express softer sides of love and tenderness; 'Wine After Whiskey' and 'Just a Dream' the pain of losing someone; 'Cupid's Got a Shotgun' and 'Leave Love Alone' as being lovestruck; 'Jesus, Take the Wheel' and 'Something in the Water' a more faith-based, religious side; 'Crazy Dreams' and 'Nobody Ever Told You' the ones where she is encouraging others to realize their true selves; and 'Good Girl' (in terms of the video) celebrating all the different personas a woman can take on. And I think, in what I'm trying to say, GG's video is where Carrie's sense of empowerment lies: it's the celebration of womanhood in general. And not "empowerment" songs that say "yes, you can do this, we can be anything, nobody can stop me". In fact, on her last album, she added 'What I Never Knew I Always Wanted' and 'The Girl You Think I Am' to the celebration as well, being a wife and mother now. And other songs like 'Forever Changed', though about another character, charts a woman's life from her youth to getting old.

    In a sense (and many may not like what I say), she is similar to Taylor Swift because she doesn't spell out empowerment either but merely implies by just expressing different emotions as a woman. That it's alright for women to express themselves too, however they want. They can be jaded, hurt, ecstatic, hopeless, loving, rude, generous and what not.

  • #163
    Junior Carrie Follower Momin's Avatar
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    rainbow1 likes this.

  • #164
    Carrie Guru Claire2004's Avatar
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    rainbow1 and DizzyDollyDee like this.


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