Carrie Underwood, “So Small”

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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.

Grade: B+

Listen: So Small

Buy: So Small

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12 Comments

Category: Single Reviews
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  1. dudley says:

    You nailed it for me, Kevin. Carrie’s vocal is beautiful and this is a very good single, but the production is overkill at the end. Carrie’s voice, the melody and the message are enough to make this song resonate, and it doesn’t need all those bells & whistles. I, too, hope for an acoustic version of this song somewhere, and for more sparse and complementary production on the rest of the album.

  2. [...] Small" review from Country Universe Review: Carrie Underwood, “So Small” « Country Universe [...]

  3. ChrisNo Gravatar says:

    I really like the new single. Carrie sounds great on it and hits notes that could challenge the best artits out there… Definitly a #1 quality song! I’m looking forward to an excellent second album!

  4. I like this one, but I was sort of hoping for more with her first single from the new album. I may like this more with repeat listens. I usually don’t like generic sentiments that apply to anything type songs when especially when they are overproduced. The high note is so AI. This is very Martina McBride for me.

  5. Joe says:

    I like the single and hope the album is just as good. Any word on if she’ll include a cover of “Alone” on the new album? She knocks that song out of the park. That video you have posted of her singing that at a recent concert is amazing and it seems to be a favorite among her hardcore fans.

  6. gabyNo Gravatar says:

    I agree Kevin, the production is a bit much, but her voice is solid. Its already stuck in my head too!

  7. Stephen says:

    It’s a decent song, but it just seems too immediately-after-”Idol” to really resonate with me. It sounds like something from an “Idol” winner’s first album, not second. Then again, I never would have expected a great song like “Before He Cheats” on an album for someone who wasn’t necessarily going to be a country artist at the time.

  8. UnknownNo Gravatar says:

    This song jumped onto the Top Twenty on the billboard charts in one week. according to CMT. this song is awesome. GET OVER IT ITS GOING TO DO GOOD.

  9. DuckFan4LifeNo Gravatar says:

    The review nails it exactly what I was thinking…

  10. Kent says:

    The more I listen to this song, the more I seem to like it. The video is spectacular, and shows that this song can relate to many different situations.

    As for the production, I am bothered by the extra production. Perhaps it’s my pop rock / rock influences that make me immune to it, but I like the extra production.

  11. Leeann says:

    Perfect review of this song, Kevin. I completely agree with every word.

  12. JessnaNo Gravatar says:

    Ehhhh… not a Carrie fan, but she has some songs that are good. This song, however, is way too close to Martina’s “Anyway”.

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