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Carrie Underwood - Carnival Ride 
By: Brianna Nightingale, CSO Staff Journalist

I have never heard Carrie Underwood sing a song without putting all the emotion and power into it that I believe to be humanly possible. This girl is truly a gifted singer and she reminds us of that each time she opens her mouth.

Before she was on American Idol, Underwood was unknown to the country music industry. Now it is only a couple years later, she just released her second album, Carnival Ride, and everyone, including Underwood, is very aware of her quick success.

Carnival Ride is packed with songs about dreams, love and reality. These songs were meant to inspire their listeners and let people who have lost all hope gain some of it back, realizing they actually have a lot for which to be thankful.

The first of thirteen songs, “Flat On the Floor,” is crammed full of harsh lyrics about being sheltered, “hiding from the storm ‘til the damage gets done.” 

“So Small,” Underwood’s first single to radio off this album, is where the cheerfulness begins. The whole tune is a river of inspiring lyrics, but here is where they start:

“It’s ok to open up  
Go ahead and let the light shine through 
I know it’s hard on a rainy day 
You want to shut the world out and just be left alone 
But don’t run out on your faith…’cause 
Sometimes that mountain you’ve been climbin’ is just a grain of sand
And what you’ve been out there searchin’ for forever is in your hands”

Besides “So Small,” another of my favorite tunes on the CD is “All-American Girl.” Most fathers and star football players have a soft spot in their hearts where their girl fits in and becomes “the center of his whole world.” The message in the words is realistic and cheerful; before you know it you’ll be feeling just a little better-off.

Once again, Underwood’s voice and the arranged lyrics are extremely powerful in “Get Out Of This Town” and “Crazy Dreams,” grabbing the listener’s focus throughout the entirety of these songs. As with many others on this disc, “Crazy Dreams” is meant to encourage and give that glimmer of hope to someone who feels as if they are at the bottom. “I have stood at the bottom of some walls that I thought I couldn’t climb…Thank God even crazy dreams come true.”

“I Know You Won’t” and “I Told You So” are slower songs, where “Last Name” is more upbeat. It tells the story of a night full of actions that will only make sense if she “blame[s] it on the Cuervo.” The wittiest song on the album, “The More Boys I Meet,” has Underwood frustrated with men and thinking the more often she is irritated by them, “the more I love my dog.”

The song that closes out the album, “Wheel of the World,” is one of the greatest songs I have ever heard. It’s all about the truth. It’s about the circle of life. Listen to it; you’ll love it as much as the rest of Carnival Ride. I thought Some Hearts was amazing, but somehow this is even better.


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