A master storyteller and a vocal range that will rival the best in the business, Carrie Underwood comes back strong with her latest album. Cry Pretty was released this past week and dare I say, this may just be Carrie’s best album yet. I found myself listening with the same kind of excitement that I listened to Kelly Clarkson’s, Meaning of Life. The songs snuck up on me and it took me a minute to realize howvgreat each track was but when it finally clicked, I couldn’t press “replay” fast enough.
After watching Carrie’s interview where she shares the fact that she’s had three miscarriages, the title track feels more intimate and heartbreaking than ever before.
Oh no, you can’t dress it up in lace or rhinestones
It don’t matter if you’re in a crowd or home all alone
Yeah, it’s all the same when you’re looking in the mirror
A picture of pain, so let it flow like a river
That’s the thing about Carrie though, she’s always been a master story-teller and she keeps the intricate tales going on this new album. She discusses heartbreak, she discusses perseverance and she dares to touch topics that not a lot of Country artists will. Take the song “The Bullet” for example, though subtly implied and wrapped in a blanket of tender vocals and heartbreaking lyricism; the song takes an anti-gun stance.
The grass grows back around the stone
And friends stop checkin’ in on the phone
The camera crews have all moved on
But the wound’s still open
The bullet keeps on goin’
Then on “Love Wins” she discusses the divide our political climate has caused within everyone.
Sirens screaming down the avenue
Just another story on the evening news, oh woah
Politics and prejudice
How the hell it’d ever come to this
When everybody’s gotta pick a side
It don’t matter if you’re wrong or right, no, and so it goes
This is not to say that Carrie has abandoned the thing that made us fall in love with her music in the first place. Her magical stories are still interwoven into each song and the journeys she takes us on are exemplary. There is no denying that Carrie paints a picture with her voice and this album is no exception. “Spinning Bottles” is a gut-wrenching tale of a couple trying to survive while dealing with the guy who is an alcoholic. “Drinking Alone” describes dealing with heartbreak by going to a bar alone and meeting a stranger.
I have replayed the entire album a few times at this point and I keep falling more and more in love with it. I have been a fan of Carrie since her American Idol win and she has yet to disappoint with an album release so maybe do yourself a favor and kick off your week on a musical high.
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