By LINDSEY BROWN
The talented country music superstar Carrie Underwood dropped her seventh studio album “Cry Pretty” on Friday, Sep. 14. It is currently the number one album on iTunes. Underwood has had an eventful year with announcing a pregnancy, suffering injuries and releasing an album, all while juggling motherhood and touring. It is no wonder the album is so emotionally charged considering that Underwood just revealed to People Magazine that she has suffered three miscarriages in the past two years. Underwood co-wrote seven of the thirteen tracks on the album, and each track is more emotional than the next.
The album’s title track, which was co-written by Underwood, was released back in April. This single became her 27th top ten on the Billboard Hot Country. This powerful, raw and personal track reveals the struggles of revealing emotions in front of people. Underwood’s vocal talents and emotion show through the lyrics. A guitar solo towards the end of the powerful ballad adds to the emotion in the song. It is a classic Underwood track, pairing strong vocals, a little bit of blues, rock, and country in one single song.
The next track pays testament to country music, though it has a very modern sound. “Ghosts on the Stereo” is about going through a break-up and the therapy of country music classics. Underwood sings, “having a ball with Hank, Haggard, and Jones” revealing the ghosts on the stereo are the fathers of country music. It portrays a similar story to Eric Church’s “Record Year.”
“Low,” the third track, starts off with the sound of a record needle scratching and an acoustic guitar introducing Underwood’s voice. In this song, Underwood compares her feelings to ideas and objects that are missing vital parts. “Like a diamond ring without a stone” is what it feels like to be without her love. Another emotional track co-written by Underwood, this one will make you cry.
The fourth track is titled, “Backsliding” and it is easy to guess what it is about. This track also has a modern sound and adds to the ever-changing sounds that are coming into country music. The story in the song is about a couple that keeps breaking up and getting back together. They keep trying to move on, but they still keep coming back to each other.
The album takes an upbeat turn with the fifth track, “Southbound.” The song begins with guitar strums that are obviously country. This classic upbeat country summer song, co-written by Underwood, will make you want to sip a margarita while sitting by the pool. The guitar solo in this song is different than the other tracks because it is very country. It balances out the emotional songs before it and puts a smile on your face.
The sixth track, “That Song That We Used To Make Love To” starts off with Underwood’s strong vocals. It’s quite a difference from the track before it and has a bluesy sound to it. This track is about a song that brings back memories shared with an ex and will give any listener the feels.
“Drinking Alone” is the seventh track, and it is a modernized version of a classic country song. It is not unlike George Strait’s “Let’s Fall to Pieces Together.” It is about a woman wanting to drink with a stranger because they are both going through something. Underwood sings “Misery loves company” and makes it clear that nothing more will come of their camaraderie.
“The Bullet” is the next track, and this emotional song is relevant to issues of gun violence today. This song focuses on the bullet and the effects of death, not the hate or the gun. The lyrics exude power with, “Mommas ain’t supposed to bury their sons.” Simple guitar notes compliment the strong lyrics. This song will bring a tear to your eye, no matter where you stand in the gun control debate.
The ninth track “Spinning Bottles” is about the struggles of alcoholism, and the effects it has on a couple. This song touches on the uncertainty in what will happen to the crumbling relationship of the couple, with the husband gone and not heard from for days. The woman is a mess at home worrying, while the man is getting drunk in a hotel room. Underwood’s powerful voice tells this sad story accompanied by a simple orchestra.
“Love Wins” is the other single Underwood released before the album came out. This song has a powerful message about the problems with the world today, and how love conquers all. With the lyrics, “I believe we’re made to be here for each other” this song will bring people together. Underwood co-wrote this powerful track as well, and it seems there was no shortage of creativity from this artist with this album. Power surges through not only the lyrics but also the music that swells with every strong focal point.
The eleventh track “End Up With You” is about a couple wanting to spend every minute together. Underwood sings about not caring what they do together as long as she is with the one she loves. With the background vocals and the upbeat tone, this song is a true version of pop country.
The last track of the album, “Kingdom,” ends it on a good note, co-written by Underwood; it seems she wrote this one about her personal life. This beautiful song is about the ups and downs of life, and building a family. The song even touches on her faith, which is something Underwood is very open about. It is another classic Carrie Underwood song that brings God into a love story. It is something that is never left out of any of her albums. This is my favorite track on the album. Underwood saved the best for last with this honest song.
The bonus track “The Champion” which dropped back in January features rapper Ludacris. This inspiring collaboration mixes country and rap together. While it is something new from Underwood, the message in the song is done very well.
This album is another great success for Underwood in the midst of all the difficulties she has spoken about publicly to the media.