This Day in Music: Carrie Underwood

Carnival Ride

That name causes my shoulders to hunch slightly forward, my nose to crinkle, eyes avoiding contact, and probably a sigh to escape under my breath. Honestly, I don’t think I have anything against Carrie Underwood. I don’t think I have anything against American Idol. And still I find myself cringing when talking about her music.

The thing is that I do see us creating these “idols” which gazillions of teenagers (especially girls) fan over. (I think I have a problem with ‘Reality Shows’ in general in that sense.) With Carrie Underwood there seemed this great wholesome good winner with beautiful blond hair, Southern charm, and a powerhouse of a voice that made your hair stand up. We have this single that drops of truly weighty subject matter yet has an incredibly hopeful chorus of Jesus taking the wheel. I don’t have a problem with that. My problem is that the next big single that explodes on the air is about slashing tires, carving initials in seats, and vandalizing a boy’s 4×4! I mean I get that she only co-wrote 1 song of that CD and she was doing the Idol dance then but the idea that no one thought that those 2 songs in particular were just stark contrasts to one another floors me. And then for someone to think that those 2 would make for great singles next to one another. I think it’s more of the culture we live in where this is considered normal. The thing that scares me more is that there wasn’t even a second glance by listeners that I heard either. I just don’t get it.

Perhaps its all the sticks piled on top of one another that create this big ugly mess to me, or perhaps I’m simply overreacting. But girls see this and carry the 2 together as if they go alongside one another! It makes for meaningful dialog to have with young teenagers that I don’t know if parents are engaging enough to do.

With Carnival Ride dropping today as a full-fledged country CD and her co-writing ‘several’ of the songs on that CD, I hope there’s some consistency here. In one direction or the other. Since she’s labeled as the ‘wholesome good girl’ of the industry I hope she sways back towards Jesus taking the wheel. We’ll see.


6 Responses to “This Day in Music: Carrie Underwood”

  1. October 24, 2007 at 12:35 am

    Her performance on Good Morning America today was great! What don’t you like about her music?

  2. October 24, 2007 at 9:35 am

    Oh no, like I said, I don’t think I have anything intrinsically against her. Her voice is ridiculous how much comes out of that little girl! I have a problem with the mixed messages from “Jesus, take the wheel” and “Before he cheats.” Which, again, isn’t so much to do with her since she didn’t write a song off that CD. With her hand more in the writing process and probably more say so in the content this time around, I hope we hear more of what Carrie Underwood has to say and not 3rd party managers/marketers/producers.

  3. 3 eyeforart
    October 24, 2007 at 11:31 am

    Oh this is just so fun! What a guy. Conner, (can I call you that on here?) you have a great point. Split personality with these two singles. But, to be honest, I relate to both songs and understand them coming from the same person. I even appreciate the truth of it. I have more moments in life that look a lot like “Before He Cheats” than I do the other. The idea sold in the song “Jesus, Take the Wheel” does occur in my life, only less frequently (and how I love the connection with my Savior). I actually worry for those judge so harshly against a little reality. Besides that, you have to understand that EVERY BAND understands their audience and knows what to give them. Real or just perceived.

    A Wallace

  4. October 24, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    HEY GIRL! You can totally call me “Conner” on here! HAHAHA.

    Yeah, I totally agree that bands and artist cater to their audience and I think everyone can relate to the emotional explosion of “Before He Cheats” (it’s why it did so good!) That’s probably also why I it stikes me so as well. I don’t mind songs that explore pain/heartache/disgust, it’s the song almost glorifying the destruction of her ex’s truck 🙂 which if I wasn’t so close to high school girls eating this record up, I probably wouldn’t be quite so put off by it. They hear that and it seems like that’s acceptable behavior in response to your boyfriend cheating on you. Especially when media attach “wholesome” and “good” around this artist. (Which I’m sure she is.) They lump all these things together and go, “Huh, ok I can act like that.”
    Again, I hope that this next CD tells a more consistent story than the previous one.

  5. May 12, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Hey! Great post. Carrie Underwood definitely has some great hair. Check out my site for an archive of her hair!

  6. May 21, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I believe we have an answer on her direction.

    But that performance was AMAZING!

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