Sunday, November 11, 2007

Carnival Ride - Carrie Underwood

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Carrie Underwood was once described to me as the proof that even reality shows could introduce us to talent. That would nicely avoid the fact that Underwood, on her second album, only contributes co-writing on three songs. But then again, Underwood isn't pop, she's country. Except pop is exactly what she is, even if she had no real desire to be a pop star.

Second album time is either more of the same in an attempt to consolidate your strengths or the time when the more adventurous might strike out in a fresh direction to prove they're not one-trick ponies (and I'm not saying either route is necessarily incorrect). Underwood has taken the former route but luckily for her she (or those who make the music) has come up with a collection which is better as a whole than her massive debut.

It's telling perhaps that the best moments are the more upbeat songs such as Flat On The Floor and Last Name. That's not to say that her voice cannot carry the slower, torch, songs because it certainly can, but they fail to convince in the long-run. It almost seems as if the producers have similar misgivings given how many of the seemingly more mellow moments suddenly crank up a gear half way through.

It's not likely to give her the worldwide crossover as a Shania Twain as it's a little bit too country for some tastes, but it is a good album which should offer plenty to any country aficionado's out there.

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