Carrie Underwood, is, simply put,a small, very pretty, blonde lady, with lungs for days.
Her popularity worldwide is unbelievable, and in a recent article, Billboard Magazine suggested she was one of the – if not the – best selling American Idol artist ever and with her discography, talent and vocal range… it’s hard to imagine it not to be the case.
The great thing about Country music is the narrative… every song tells a story; it’s not all “boyfriend dumped me and I’m going out drinking to find another” narrative… there are deep-rooted stories – within Carrie’s discography you have two women who have killed their cheating lover (‘Two Black Cadilliacs’), an abused woman who can no longer take her husband’s torment and kills him (‘Church Bells’), the uncertainty of fame and fortune (I Ain’t In Checotah Anymore’), getting blinded drunk and marrying someone random ‘Last Night’) – you get the gist… we could be here for hours. There isn’t one narrative that runs throughout Carrie’s discography… just her beautiful voice.
Underwood’s set comprised a mixture of hits and album tracks from current album ‘Cry Pretty’ and the title track itself soared… it’s got a 10 second note in it and it could be misconstrued to be a rock song, as vocally and sonically it soars all over the show… but that’s a great factor about Country music; it can cross over to a range of different genres effortlessly and not in an attempt to make one’s self seem more edible for the non-Country music fans… tracks like ‘Something in the Water’ (which embodies ‘Amazing Grace’ throughout) has a gospel / church choir vibe to it, ‘Blown Away’, again, could be a rock song, album cut ‘End Up With You’ verges on reggae. To be able to explore any genre within a genre is something that Carrie does often and achieves successfully.
There were many highlights – album cut ‘I Know You Won’t’ torches your heart… you could see a light of goosebumps hit Wembley Arena when she sung that one… ‘Just A Dream’ – another tearjerker about a woman who has to deal with her soldier boyfriend’s death when she was planning their wedding, ‘The Bullet’ is an of-the-time track that deals with the high rise of gun crime, and show closer ‘Before He Cheats’ had the entire venue up and dancing and singing “some white trash version of Shania karaoke”.
It’s bewildering to think how much smaller Carrie’s audience is in the UK compared to that in other territories… it’s bewildering to think that ‘Before He Cheats’ isn’t a regular karaoke haunt over here; or people mourn to ‘Something in the Water’, or ‘Just A Dream’ over here… but she’s our precious little dream and we get to experience her…
Carrie Underwood continues her ‘Cry Pretty’ tour across North America. For tickets and further details, visit her official website.