July 31, 2007
She’s a little older, and a little wiser, this Carrie Underwood. Surfacing as a co-writer on the lead single from her mega-anticipated sophomore set, she’s singing about the importance of loving one another, and not getting lost in the mundane daily trials that can seem so big at the time.
It’s a solid song, and she sings it beautifully, though I can’t help being a little concerned by the busy production and the big notes towards the end. It’s not painful to listen to like some of Martina McBride’s recent power ballads, because Underwood’s voice is big enough to carry it. But the string section and the glory notes seem like too many bells and whistles. She needs sparser production that gives subtle support to her voice, rather than push against it.
Hopefully, the album will be balanced and have those subtle moments, and this is the big showcase number or something. It’s a darn good single and it’s already stuck in my head, so I’m sure it’s full speed ahead for the Carrie Underwood juggernaut. Still, I can’t help but wish she’ll release an acoustic version as a download bonus. She’s one of the few vocalists we have that doesn’t need a drop of production polish to shine.
Listen: So Small
Buy: So Small