Roughstock's 10 Best: Carrie Underwood Songs (From 2005-2012)
By: Matt Bjorke
There's a cliche in the music business that the cream usually rises to the top and while that's usually true, for Carrie Underwood, if it weren't for American Idol, her career as a Country Music superstar likely wouldn't have happened. But, thanks to winning American Idol's fourth season in 2005, the country singer has become one of Country Music's A-list stars.
With that in mind, we are debuting a new series on Roughstock where we look at a collection of 10 of our favorite songs from one artist chosen from a selected period of time and Carrie Underwood seemed like the perfect artist to debut this new series. We hope you enjoy this new series and invite you to comment with your own 10 Best of Carrie Underwood list!
The Ten Best Carrie Underwood Songs From 2005 to 2012
10. "Jesus Take The Wheel" (Single Track From Some Hearts)
In one five minute ballad Carrie Underwood was able to show the strength of her voice through complex vocal runs and tender verse readings. The lyrics of her first radio single after American Idol are highly-relatable to anyone in the middle of crisis and it remains one of the best songs (and singles) of her growing repertoire.
9. "Quitter" (Track From Play On)
"Quitter" is an interesting partner to "Jesus Take The Wheel" in that the jovial uptempo track finds Underwood singing lyrics about how she's been a 'quitter' when it comes to love because she always seems to find bad guys. Now she's found someone who makes her not want to quit so she fights that urge.
8. "Wasted" (Single Track From Some Hearts)
A philosophical track about life, "Wasted" is about not wasting our life on stuff that is clearly around us, like the 'still of the morning, the color of the night.' One of Carrie's most Traditional Country ballads (with a steel guitar solo), the song also serves as an allegory to getting over drug abuse and addiction.
7. "Two Black Cadillacs" (Single Track From Blown Away)
One of a handful of 'darker' songs on Carrie Underwood's fourth album Blown Away, "Two Black Cadillacs" is a brooding tempo-filled song about the women at two ends of a relationship with one man (a wife and mistress). The women choose to take care of the man after learning of each other and the mutual lies he promised them. It's a modern murder ballad so what's not to like?
6. "Flat On The Floor" (Track From Carnival Ride)
A spirited melody gives Carrie chance to showcase more of her vocal acrobatics and it's one of the best songs she's never released as a single. "Flat On The Floor" delivers lyrics that showcase a woman who has decided that the man is not worth the trouble or 'storm' that he 'rains' on her every time he comes around. She's fed up and the angry vocal and melody hammer the point home.
5. "Thank God For Hometowns" (Track From Blown Away)
Still a potential single from the current album Blown Away, "Thank God For Hometowns" mixes a beautiful piano-driven melody that recalls Bruce Hornsby's iconic "Mandolin Rain" while telling a story of the bonds that hometowns have on our lives. Filled with fiddles and steel guitars along with a subtle vocal from Carrie Underwood, "Thank God For Hometowns" just hits the Country Music sweet spot by melding the Traditional with the Contemporary in a chic way.
4. "Temporary Home" (Single Track From Play On)
One of the many songs that weaves Carrie Underwood's Christian faith into a secular Country Music lyric, "Temporary Home" tells a story of faith and hope of about a greater home waiting for everyone up in Heaven. The melody is once again tender and sweet while Carrie refrains from 'over singing' the simple and heartfelt lyric.
3."Blown Away" (Single Track From Blown Away)
In the tradition of Martina McBride's "Independence Day", "Blown Away" is a haunting tale about a family able to move on from a terrible life with an abusive alcoholic father/husband. The lyrics are married to a melody and instrumental track that recalls the atmospheric ballads of Coldplay. It's effective and emotive and clearly one of the best singles of Carrie Underwood's career.
2. "Before He Cheats" (Single Track From Some Hearts)
Carrie Underwood was a Country star thanks to "Jesus Take The Wheel" but "Before He Cheats" made her a Pop star. A biting tale of revenge, this one tells the tail of a wronged women exacting revenge on her boyfriend's cheating ways by trashing his 'pretty little souped up 4 wheel drive." She knows it's over so she exacts her revenge. It's a dark, slightly twisted tale that is accentuated by both the melody and Carrie Underwood's nuanced vocal performance.
1. "I Told You So" (Single Track From Carnival Ride)
It's hard to take a cover of a Classic Country song and make it your own but that's exactly what Carrie Underwood did with one of Randy Travis' biggest hits. She did all of this without changing anything about "I Told You So." It still has that wonderful Traditional Country melody and that soaring vocal in the chorus (featuring Vince Gill) along with verses which are nuanced as many Classic Country songs are.
What do you think? Do you agree with our list? What are your 10 Best Carrie Underwood songs from 2005 to 2012? Feel free to comment below. We would love to hear from you!