Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Carrie Underwood

  • Some Hearts [Arista Nashville, 2005] Choice Cuts
  • Carnival Ride [Arista Nashville/19, 2007] *
  • Play On [19/Arista Nashville, 2009] Dud
  • Greatest Hits: Decade #1 [Arista Nashville, 2014] **
  • Storyteller [Arista, 2015] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Some Hearts [Arista Nashville, 2005]
"Don't Forget to Remember Me," "Before He Cheats" Choice Cuts

Carnival Ride [Arista Nashville/19, 2007]
Nashvillians with a track record rarely lack for songs, but note that she wrote several of the liveliest ones herself ("The More Boys I Meet," "Last Name"). *

Play On [19/Arista Nashville, 2009] Dud

Greatest Hits: Decade #1 [Arista Nashville, 2014]
Big enough to command great songs, even to put her hand to a feminist few, but not big enough to trust her indoor voice ("Mama's Song," "Two Black Cadillacs," "Remind Me") **

Storyteller [Arista, 2015]
Really actress, not storyteller, although she does have a writing credit on the most impressive thing here--the cross-regional, cross-gender, class-conscious "Smoke Break," in which neither the mother of four working three jobs nor the farm family's first college man can do without the occasional drag or drink, sincere Christians though they be. And whoever wrote them, there are more good tales here than on her double-disc best-of. She still oversings sometimes, as idols will. But finally she's relaxed enough to let the songs narrate for themselves--be they torch-carrying and fuck-you songs, bad girl and justifiable homicide songs, or tonight's-the-night and happily-ever-after songs. A-