Last year, the first Idols Give Back special found Carrie Underwood transforming the Pretenders classic “I’ll Stand By You” into an immaculate country ballad. This year, she reinvents the George Michael smash “Praying For Time.”
This charity single was performed live on the show, and it’s a tribute to Underwood’s vocal prowess that it sounds good enough to be a studio recording. Her ambitious reworking of the song differs so much from the original that it’s like hearing it for the first time all over again. She sings with clarity and conviction. It’s a refreshing contrast to most of the pap on country radio, and like “I’ll Stand By You” before it, shows that her talent is deeper than most of her conventional music suggests.
Nearly two decades after its initial release, “Praying For Time” is as timely and relevant as it’s ever been. Underwood’s rich reading of such powerful lyrics proves she can sing socially conscious music just as well as the power ballads and rave-ups that she’s been most known for so far.
Written by George Michael & R. Phillips
Buy: Praying For Time