^^^ I'm fine with both, of course anything Carrie does live she kills....... I just remember the first time walking to work and listening to the song on the CD, for the first time, it was mind numbing just her voice transcending into those high notes....
One part of Carrie's preference for these songs is her natural singing voice. She has a big voice and its easier for her to just open up and blow and have the notes and tones be clear and on pitch. Standard female country songs are quite natural for her cause they are open and full and she does not have to "sneak up on them" (You're Lookin' At Country/Stand By Your Man/Sanantonio Rose). Softer subtler songs are not as easy and where she starts to wobble just a bit if she has to do them in a big venue or for a large group. I think her voice just responds better to the bigger straight forward material and she knows it.
Also, the reality is, if she sang an album like Weight of These Wings there would be a huge amount of Carries very unique ability that would be completely left out! Ability that very few have! So yes, her albums have a much wider berth when it comes to ability. And sometimes Carrie sings material that is in fact just very hard to sing along to, and I think it is more complicated than some critics know or care to give her credit for. I appreciate that. I would love what ever she does. I loved I Told You So as one of her top ten recordings on record and all it is is her voice clean and simply. But there would be a huge amount of talent put on hold if she sang an entire album of that........
I think she is getting it right. I just think people know what Carrie does. And some like her brand of country music and some don't. If she switched styles completely it would probably stir up a lot of temporary success for her. But would she be singing what she wants? Ultimately, she will always go back to what she likes and I think it is what she is doing now.
Sidenote; I still think ST was a concept and not necessarily the type of album that she would or should replicate. I believe the next album will be much closer to the Pop/Country style she loves the most Blown Away/I Know You Won't/Something In The Water...!
Critics don't dislike Carrie's albums because of big production. They liked them less because Carrie's songs either weren't personal enough or they had rather weak generic lyrics. In earlier albums especially, those criticisms aren't exactly unwarranted.... I mean, just listen to Undo It, Mama's Song etc. Catchy tune with generic lyrics is more of a pop-song style, rather than country. Combined that with overproduction thanks to Mark, they just don't sit as well with some critics I guess.
As a writer, she's definitely grown heaps since then. Chaser, for example, has clever lyrics and unique composition/production.
I like Jay Joyce actually. He brought so much freshness (much needed!) to the production on Storyteller. Mark Bright surprised me with WINKIAW, did well with Church Bells too, but other than that, not impressed with his other tracks. Mexico is too damn loud!
Really hope Carrie keep experimenting with new sounds/producers. I am never a fan of sticking with the same sound/style for too long like Martina for example. Career death!
I need some more production like Lessons Learned, Starts With Goodbye, Whenever You Remember, That's Where It Is, etc.... just bring Dan Huff back.
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It just goes to show that everybody wants something different from Carrie because, personally, I think ditching Huff was one of her best decisions.
I'd be happy with Jay Joyce for new and organic sounds; busbee for poppier Carrie; and Mark Bright and bring back Dan Huff for classic Carrie. I could do without Zac Crowell on the next album. Something for (almost) everyone.
^^I'm on the fence with Zac. I think the production for Heartbeat might not be groundbreaking but it sounds great in my opinion. You can definitely hear the similarities between it and Sam Hunt's work but Heartbeat has clear country instrumentation in it. Relapse I don't see as successful. I wouldn't mind her picking someone else but it is hard me to judge when he only did two songs for her. Mark has a whole catalog to judge and Joyce has half this album.
I just looked at the credits for the album and the only Jay Joyce track I wasn't over the moon about was Renegade Runaway. Dirty Laundry, CCA, and Chaser were standouts for me from a production standpoint and I do love Smoke Break. From Mark, Church Bells and TGYTIA were my two favorites. The only song I wasn't a fan of was CDS but that might be because of the lyrics more than the production.
"You won't find this" reminds me of one of the questions suggested by Carrie's career path - why didn't she try to get international exposure earlier?
(I know that that is one of those "what if.." questions that some might see as idle or pointless - but, as an overseas fan, it interests me).
Cathy Dennis, who co-wrote that song, is one of the most successful Pop composers that this country has produced in the modern era. She's won Grammys and Novello awards, and some of her songs, like "Toxic", "Can't Get You Out of My Head", and "I Kissed A Girl" have been very big international hits. ("Toxic" even got played on some AMA reporting stations in the US - though don't ask me why!). She's been closely associated with Simon Fuller's 19 management, and wrote the main title music for American Idol.
It seems that it would have been relatively easy for Fuller to set up a writing session and a major release - if not with this song, then with something else, tailored for a world wide launch. Perhaps Cathy's frequent identification with Dance music was seen as an obstacle - but this song shows that she can work with mainly Country songwriters (Tom Shapiro), and give sympathetic treatment to contemporary Country (This song makes better use of Country imagery than much of the material on radio, with its central theme of getting away from a place, but not from regret; the noticeable use of twang in the intro and instrumental passages; and Carrie's vocal which alternates between a Country narration style and more Pop-influenced choruses - all elements that have re-appeared in much of her album work over the years).
I suspect that much of the reason may lie in Fuller's apparent belief that a Country career is inherently separate from, and not easily reconciled with, international exposure. The more Alternative and Roots leaning acts don't tend to see this dichotomy, and often tour and promote here from the start (Kacey Musgraves and Margo Price, for example, built up reviews and audiences here very quickly) - but they usually draw more from off-format influences in Rock and Folk, rather than Pop, and are easily absorbed by an audience looking for a mixture of authenticity and progression. On the more Mainstream wing, conventional wisdom seems to be that you either promote to straight Pop, or largely leave the international market alone. Given Carrie's known preference for identifying as Country and not promoting directly to Pop, Fuller probably opted for the latter course and concentrated on Carrie's home market.
As it was, he invited Carrie to England (her helicopter ride to his home in Sussex), but views of the rolling Downs seem to have been about her only early introduction to the country. Neither of the first two albums even got a release here until later. Ann Edelblute though is clearly closer to Carrie, and probably in a better position to weigh up all the possibilities - and I'm pleased that she has her own HQ outfit.
I hope she has another DYTAM.. I like how simple and raw it is.. it's chill, it's feel good, it's easy to listen too.. IWALY
is another one.. very beautifully sang with a non overpowering production
I hope that she does another album very similar to Blown Away. I loved the cover art paired with the "dark" foreboding theme in Bliwn Away and Two Black Cadillacs, and then how it the theme lightened up with See You Again, Do You Think About Me, Forever Changed, etc.
it was a roller coaster ride!
^ It was a Carnival Ride ;-)