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Carnival Ride

Carrie Underwood

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iTunes Review

This album is Mastered for iTunes. Most country hopefuls vying for commercial crossover tend to start twangy and then ease into pop. But with Carrie Underwood’s 2007 sophomore album, the fourth season American Idol winner did just the opposite. “Flat on the Floor” opens Carnival Ride with front-porch banjos, scratchy fiddles, and watery pedal steel as Underwood soulfully belts out an empowering tune loaded with melodies catchier than cactus needles. Blending country balladry with subtle R&B trimmings, “So Small” is the first single that Underwood cowrote. Loaded with a dramatic string section in the chorus, this one comes close to the emotional urgency of “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” The similarly sentimental “All-American Girl” abounds with a soaring chorus and lyrics unraveling small-town imagery that may be somewhat autobiographical—she had a hand in writing this one too. She toughens things up with “Last Name,” a new traditional country-rocker with distorted guitars, sultry melodies, and roadhouse-friendly lyrics that'll hit home with Gretchen Wilson fans. Underwood also turns Randy Travis’ “I Told You So” into her own power ballad.

Customer Reviews

Carrie's crazy 'carnival ride' continues

Carrie Underwood’s sophomore effort, ‘Carnival Ride,’ is the greatest country album of all time. Yes, that may seem like hyperbole, but it is the truth. Coming off of her six-time platinum debut ‘Some Hearts,’ Underwood brings her game to a whole new level by getting in touch with her “gritty Oklahoman” roots and connecting with audiences on emotional wavelengths few artists ever reach. Everything about ‘Ride’ is meticulously calculated and orchestrated to perfection, from the track order to the ratio of up-tempo songs to ballads (not to mention Underwood has writing credits on four of the album’s tracks). Underwood kicks off the record with an all-out country anthem in “Flat on the Floor.” “Floor,” which was penned by Ashley Monroe and Brett James, displays an unmistakable mark of prowess obtained in Underwood’s transition from an up-and-coming country/pop artist to a full-blown country vixen. Other fast paced offerings on ‘Ride’ include the unofficial sequel to “Before He Cheats” in “Last Name” and the bread and butter “All-American Girl,” in which Underwood’s strength as a storyteller is documented. The most pop-friendly track comes in the form of “Twisted,” which is the only song that could truly fit on both ‘Ride’ and ‘Some Hearts.’ Underwood channels Martina McBride and Kelly Clarkson on the edgy “Get Out of This Town,” and shows her humorous side on “The More Boys I Meet.” Although the up-tempo tracks on ‘Ride’ are outstanding and country through and through, the ballads are the pinnacle of the album, as they display Underwood’s vocal maturity. In “Just a Dream,” Underwood tells the tale of a military widow’s woes, her pain embedded in the fabric of the song. This vocal performance is the second-best on ‘Ride,’ as she is able to captivate the audience and comes off as very believable. Although not the best overall song on the album, “I Know You Won’t” is Underwood’s best vocal performance, as she nails notes that most artists can only dream of hitting. Other standouts on ‘Ride’ include the album’s first single, “So Small,” which has already reached #5 on Billboard’s U.S. Hot Country Songs chart, and the spunky, funky “Crazy Dreams.” Underwood also covers the Randy Travis classic “I Told You So” and pours her heart into Cathy Dennis’ and Tom Shapiro’s “You Won’t Find This.” ‘Ride’ closes with the greatest recording Underwood has ever done next to “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” as her personal favorite “Wheel of the World” delivers a message of hope and the lyrics are relatable to many (“God put us here on this carnival ride / We close our eyes never knowing / Where it will take us next”). Rest assured, the 24-year-old Carrie Underwood is about to tear up the charts once more with the instant masterpiece that is ‘Carnival Ride,’ and the songstress has already achieved unimaginable success some artists twice her age could only dream of. As if winning two Grammy awards, two CMA awards, eight Billboard awards, five ACM awards, four CMT awards, two People’s Choice awards, a GMA award, an American Music award, a Teen Choice Award, an ICM award, a Music Row award, and an NARP award do not give her enough credibility, ‘Carnival Ride’ will certainly erase any and all remaining doubt that she is an established country star. All signs point to Carrie’s crazy carnival ride continuing for years to come.

No sophomore slump here!!!

Carrie Underwood follows up her 6x platinum debut album, Some Hearts, with Carnival Ride. This entire album is her best work yet. She co-wrote four of the songs on her sophomore album: “All American Girl,” “So Small,” “Crazy Dreams,” and “Last Name.” This album reflects her country roots, rather than the pop star she has become. However, “Last Name” could be the next hit to crossover onto the pop charts for Carrie, as it reminds me of “Before He Cheats.” The song tells the story of an innocent girl who goes out and drinks a little too much, hooks up with a guy and doesn’t remember his last name. Just as she denied vandalizing any cars with “BHC,” she denies ever drinking enough to black out! While every song on this album is Carrie at her best, my personal favorites are: “Flat On the Floor” “Just a Dream” “I Know You Won’t” “Last Name” “Twisted” I strongly encourage you to buy the entire album. You will not be disappointed!

Another Hit!

Many artists can fall into the sophomore slump. Not true for Carrie Underwood. Vocally, this album is as good as, if not better than, her debut, Some Hearts. Her voice soars on “I Know You Won’t” and “So Small”. She keeps her personality and grit in “Last Name” and “The More Boys I Meet”. “Just A Dream” and “You Won’t Find This” are songs that will stay with you as Carrie is able to bring these songs to life with haunting realism. “Get Out of This Town”, “All-American Girl”, and “Flat on the Floor” will have you tapping your foot and getting you moving. The album rounds out with the powerful “Twisted” and “Wheel of the World” that reminds us that we’re all part of the bigger picture and that you’ve got to go with the flow sometimes. Carnival Ride will be a fan-favorite for years to come and will have people lining up at the box office to get tickets to see her perform each of the songs live. Expect to hear more from these songs at the AMA’s, CMA’s and Grammy’s. And especially on the charts.

Biography

Born: March 10, 1983 in Checotah, OK

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The first country singer to win American Idol, Carrie Underwood grew up in the small town of Checotah, Oklahoma, and began singing with her church at the tender age of three. Throughout her childhood, she also performed at functions for the Lion's Club and Old Settlers Day, eventually moving on to festival gigs in several states. Along with developing her singing, Underwood learned to play guitar and piano. She graduated from high school as her class salutatorian and majored...
Full Bio

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