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Carrie Underwood - Some Hearts
By Jim Moulton

Idol winner Carrie Underwood's much anticipated disc is out. American Idol is the only TV show I get caught up in. I loved this year where it came down to southern rocker Bo Dice and Underwood, the country cover singer.

Underwood really is a talented young singer with a powerful voice. First single "Jesus Take the Wheel" is one of the best songs on the disc. Also one of the very few slower songs. This is a great story and inspirational song. Nice bouncy guitar and great pedal steel by Mike Johnson. On the other hand, it is overproduced with strings and rock guitar. Heard her sing it live on Leno with a band and she sounded even better. 

There are so many musicians, digital engineers on this CD, it is frustrating and way overproduced. Maybe 30 to 50 layers of sound per track. When you get so many overdubs and people working on it in different studios, it loses cohesiveness. The last CD that I reviewed from the ninety's by Rhonda Vincent maybe had at the most 16 tracks going at the same time, maybe more, but everything was done by one guy at the same place. There is some unavoidable clipping. Half of the CD is produced by Dan Huff and mastered by Adam Ayan of Gateway Mastering, the other half is produced by Bill Bright and mastered by Hank Williams of Mastermix. The list of musician credits takes up the whole side of the CD insert which has a nice poster of Carrie on the other side. I'm prone to like the songs done by Bright and Williams better. I got to the point where I threw the liner away and just listened to Underwood's vocals. It is a strange mix, there are so many musicians listed on a track, I can't hear some of them, could have been mixed real low in the mixing part. I do not like at all the Pro tools midi synth inserts all over the place, it is like you are being bombarded with sounds. All of that said, this is a very good CD because of Underwood and some great material.

"Before He Cheats" is a great song about how to stop a boyfriend from cheating. (Knock out his headlights with a baseball bat). It has less musicians, a couple of greats Mike Johnson on steel and Bryan Sutton on acoustic guitar. Love the funky redneck lyrics.

The bonus track, "Inside Your Heaven", is a great quality track that she nails. It is also produced all over the place but sounds a lot clearer than some of the tracks, better sound quality.

A really nice song is co-written by Underwood, "I Ain't in Checotah Anymore" (her hometown). This moves very well, nice banjo and fiddle. This is a slower song with some weepy pedal steel. Some more great redneck lyrics. Nice guitar. "I'd rather be cow tippin' in Tulsa than hailin' cabs here in New York".

The title track, "Some Hearts", is very country radio, very pop sounding. Underwood's vocals are excellent. Very talented drummer. A lot of these songs start out with an eerie synth sound then breaks out into a rock beat.

"That's Where It Is" has a more country sound, her voice takes on a different timbre here. Real emotive and playing with the melody.

"Whenever You Remember" is a beautiful slow song. Great vocal performance, this song is great balance, not overproduced. Very tasteful electric guitar break.

All said and done, this CD is probably better or as good as the stuff on the charts now (except Gretchen Wilson's "All Jacked Up".) Another great song is "Don't Forget to Remember Me", a slower song about prayer and circumstance. This CD will probably do real well both on the country and pop charts, that's how good Underwood is. Great songs, not all that I would like, but songs that today's country radio crowd would like.

Buy It Now!

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Some Hearts song list:

1. Wasted 
2. Don't Forget To Remember Me 
3. Some Hearts
4. Jesus, Take The Wheel 
5. The Night Before (Life Goes On) 
6. Lessons Learned 
7. Before He Cheats
8. Starts With Goodbye 
9. I Just Can't Live A Lie 
10. We're Young And Beautiful 
11. That's Where It Is
12. Whenever You Remember 
13. I Ain't In Checotah Anymore 
14. Inside Your Heaven


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