Friday, June 8, 2012

Album review: Blown Away by Carrie Underwood

Well, I’m going to start this off by thanking everyone who has been reading anything I write, but especially those of you who read the last album review I did for Josh Abbott Band’s new CD, Small Town Family Dream. Up until that point, my review of Scotty McCreery’s latest single was my most looked at post, by a lot. The Josh Abbott Band review shot past that one and set a new all-time high for me in terms of hits. Both for an individual post and for the amount of hits I’ve gotten in one day. Right now it sits at 549 page views, which I find kind of amazing. So thank you for that.

As you may have seen me mention in other posts, I’ve started a Facebook page for this blog which can be found here - I’ve been starting to upload some of the pictures I’ve taken over the years and will be adding new ones all the time. As of right now, I have albums for the following artists: Toby Keith, Eric Church, Kix Brooks, country music songwriters, Ronnie Dunn, Keith Urban, Little Big Town, Bill Anderson, Sunny Sweeney, Kip Moore, Edens Edge, Jerrod Niemann, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, JaneDear Girls, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Chris Young and Jason Aldean. Many of those will have more pictures added to them over the next few weeks and then there’ll be new ones made for other artists. So go check it out if you haven’t already and let me know what you think.

Now that that’s all said, let’s talk about Carrie Underwood’s new album, Blown Away. Or rather, I’ll write and you’ll read, if we’re being all technical about it. First I want to say that Carrie is one of those artists where I really only listen to some of their songs. I’m not sure why that is; I would consider myself to be a fan of Carrie’s, but I never seem to listen to any of her albums as a whole. Something that I expect will change with this album. I’ve listened to it quite a few times by now and I really believe that this is, by far, the best album that she’s ever done. This is not to insult any of her other albums, mind, just saying that I feel like she and her team really stepped it up with this one. Production wise, I’d go as far to say that it is pretty close to flawless. There are some cases where things sounds slightly overproduced to me, but that’s really me being nitpicky. I absolutely love all the playing throughout Blown Away. She has quite a group of musicians on this album, I’ll say that.

The first thing that struck me about Blown Away is how big it all is. This is a very big album; big in content, big in sound, big in terms of her vocal delivery and so on. This CD is already doing great things for Carrie and I imagine that it’s just going to keep doing great things for her. I predict that this is going to be her biggest album to date, in terms of success. It’s only beginning.

The other thing I want to comment on for this part of the review is how varied this album is in terms of sound. Some artists are perfectly content to stay in their respective genre, maybe stretching their boundaries a little bit but never straying too far from their genre of choice. Then there are artists who are less concerned with genre and more interested in exploring other musical paths. The latter kind of artist eventually transforms from a country artist, in this case, to simply an artist. These artists tend to be few and far between; this is the kind of thing that either works for a person or doesn’t. It takes a certain kind of artist to be able to pull it off and with this album, I feel like Carrie Underwood has pulled it off. Yes, there are songs on here that I’d classify as country and it is for that reason why I have no issues with her being considered a country artist. There’s always going to be some country in Carrie; I’d be stunned if she ever broke away from it completely. But there’s definitely multiple genres being represented here and somehow it all works. I’d consider this to be a very cohesive collection of songs.

So in summary, it you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to country and are looking for a straight up country album, this is probably not it. But I would definitely recommend checking it out with an open mind and seeing what you think. I’d venture to say that there’d be at least a couple that you’d like. It’s a very interesting album and for me, it was absolutely worth the money. This is the short version of the review. If you want to know what I thought of each song individually, keep on reading after the cut.