55 Comments on Listen to the New Carrie Underwood Single: “Cowboy Casanova”
Wow! Another great song from Carrie. I had to listen to it several times before it got into my head, but it sure has a driving beat and energy that is very addictive. I like the lyrics too. As is to be expected, Carrie’s singing is masterful. I can’t wait to hear the rest of her new album coming out on November 3rd.
By the way, that is Carrie singing “Stand By Your Man” at the intro to Cowboy Casanova. I hope one day she will do a studio cover of that song which she has performed brilliantly live at the Opry.
I like it!
Are you sure that’s Carrie singing SBYM because it sounds like Tammy to me? I know Carrie has said that she loves the song, but I don’t think it’s her.
That is definitely Tammy on the Jukebox singing SBYM. What a catchy tune. Kind of has a Reba/Shania feel about it. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.
I’m quite sure it’s Carrie singing STBY on the Jukebox, it sounds just like her and her performance of it at the Opry. See:
and listen to the end. Plus, I’m sure the legal and licensing complexities of having Tammy’s voice on a Carrie track would be expensive and daunting.
hmm not a fan of it. i was hoping for something way more traditional. hopefully this isn’t like the whole album
It is SO nice to hear from Carrie again! With this driving song full of energy, I might be able to get over the fact that she didn’t release Flat on the Floor from her last album. I love it already!
That’s hands down Tammy on the jukebox, you can tell by her phrasing
I’m a huge Carrie fan but I’m not sure if I like this song or not. Her vocals are amazing, as usual, but like bobby..I was hoping for something more traditional country. I’m hoping the entire album isn’t like this. However, after listening to it a few more times…it might grow on me. But the guys on the radio this morning were saying this is no doubt going to be another number 1 for Carrie…which I agree with.
This song is a great one, but it does’nt seem very country to me. It seems if it were anyone other than Carrie Underwood all we would be hearing is how uncountry this sounds.
some people could sing the phone-book – she would sing the phone-book.
There are no licensing issues w/Tammy’s version on that video, It’s under 30 seconds AND the master recording is owned by Sony Nashville, which also is Carrie’s company.
It sounds like Carrie singing Tammy’s song to me!
Naw…it’s definitely Tammy at the beginning there. I imagine it doesn’t cost much to use the song at this point.
Carrie’s vocals are great, but the production reminds me of an Aldean tune, “She’s Country” to be precise. I was hoping for something different from her third album.
Different how Leeann? This is definitely different from anything she has recorded before.
I am…extremely disappointed. Her voice sounds great as always, but it such a shame that her talent is wasted on such banal material. While she will still probably score a hit with it, I can’t imagine it being a song that her admirers fondly remember in years to come. I’ve always been a fan of Carrie Underwood, and this song won’t change that, but she and her team are capable of so much more
I’m trying to figure out which rap song the phrasing in the line “You wanna get up but he’s holding you down ’cause you can’t live without one more touch” reminds me of. “Right Round” perhaps?
I mean different as in different than this type of song/production.
I should clarify that I do think this song is fun if I evaluate it from an non-critical standpoint.
I don’t completely hate the song, but I’m not too big on Carrie’s performance. She sometimes sounds extremely nasal to me when she’s in her upper register, and a lot of her notes in this song have that problem, especially the progression on “looks like” and “devil in disguise” in the chorus. It sounds like her mouth is lined with maple syrup or something.
There is no law saying you can use 30 seconds of someone else’s copyrighted song unless you are doing a review of the material. Then you can claim “Fair Use.” So I doubt the length of the cut by Tammy, if it’s Tammy, was an issue.
The song is clever-enough and Carrie-enough to go to #1, I suspect, if that matters anymore. But I am hoping not for something “more traditional” as much as something more restrained and memorable from the rest of the album. I can hope, right?
I am not really a fan of it at all….sorry
Definitely Tammy in the clip.
hmm not a fan of it. i was hoping for something way more traditional. hopefully this isn’t like the whole album
I am almost 99% sure that this song is not a stylistic representation of the entire album. I don’t think people give Carrie nearly enough credit for being an astute, sharply intuitive artist who is aware of where she stands in the industry, and what she needs to do to grow artistically. I really don’t think Play On will be one-dimensional.
I can’t believe that there is even a discussion about whether or not that is Tammy singing “Stand By Your Man” in the clip. Come on, people!!
I could comfortably bet one-hundred thousand dollars that it’s Tammy. Carrie does a good version of “Stand by Your Man”, but nothing like Tammy’s. Their voices and singing style, in general, are just so much different.
Anyone who is a true country music fan is intimately familiar with Tammy’s “Stand By Your Man” and would immediately know if someone else was singing the song — or even if it was Tammy singing a re-recording.
I was 100% sure it was Tammy the minute I heard it.
So far, this song is just okay for me. The production is very reminiscent of Shania.
Do you guys think Carrie actually wrote part of this? Or is her name on the songwriting credits merely to make her out to be more of a complete artist.
Good Lord! Anyone who thinks thats NOT Tammy on the Stand By Your Man opening might feel more at home at CMT.com. And run out and buy a Tammy CD to know what you’ve been missing…
Knightwalker says:Do you guys think Carrie actually wrote part of this? Or is her name on the songwriting credits merely to make her out to be more of a complete artist.
Are you trying to be funny or are you really that stupid? Writers just love to give up money and credit for what ever they write.
Please, let us try to stay above personal attacks on this thread.
Leeann, I didn’t mean my comment as a personal attack on Carrie. I’m not a huge Carrie fan but I do like some of her music, I’d just never followed her enough to hear she was a writer too. And I do know that some artists in nashville get songwriting credit if they just write a line of song, or a couple words; so I’m honestly curious how much of the song is her actual writing?
I actually wasn’t referring to your comment.
I’m not saying it’s what Carrie is doing, but I’ve definitely wondered the same thing about artists who haven’t, historically, been songwriters who suddenly have songwriting credits with big name artists (e.g. Tim McGraw and Martina McBride’s co-writes with the Warren Brothers and even Reba’s co-writes). But George Strait suddenly having songwriting credits on his new album, along with his son independetly “randomly” writing one of the best songs on the album and co-writing one with George himself, makes me give artists a little more benefit of the doubt….at least for the moment. But I, admittedly, still wonder…
I know songwriters are true writers even if they can only write lyrics or melodies, but I’m always, personally, most impressed when I see at least one or two songs in an even long career when an artist’s name can stand alone on a writing credit, just to know they can do both.
Of course, this does not even mean that I think artists need to be songwriters in order to be good artists, but I do personally connect most with artists who write the bulk of their material, as evidenced by my music collection.
This is one of those complicated debates, of course, that one little comment can’t really tackle. So, I’ll just reiterate that this comment is solely based on personal preference and not any intellectual foundation.
Reba actually wrote songs here and there throughout her career, though she claims she doesn’t have the patience to do it if the song takes too long. She penned one of my favorite of her 80s singles, “Only in My Mind.”
Carrie said on the last album that she loved being involved in the writing processes, and that they would tell her if her stuff wasn’t good and that all her stuff didn’t make the cut, but was happy to have four.
Over the past few months in interviews, she said she is very pleased with how far her writing abilities have come but she also likes co-writing because there are so many good writers out there to teach her more.
She doesn’t strike me as a liar! Her new single also sounds like it may be something she has experienced.
Then again, Elvis Presley’s manager required that Elvis be listed as a co-writer on all of his songs, even though he never did any of the writing.
This was a sticking point for Dolly Parton, who was told that Elvis wanted to record “I Will Always Love You” but it didn’t happen because she refused to share the songwriting royalty. What she would’ve made off of Elvis singing it would’ve been a drop in the bucket compared to the millions she made off of Whitney’s version.
I just heard it again on my radio station and I like it…country or pop or whatever…it’s a good listen. It’s just fun! It’s got a good beat and you can dance to it!! (Remember American Bandstand!!lol!)
Ha. True about Dolly! I can imagine Elvis would’ve done a bang up job though.
“I’m not a huge Carrie fan but I do like some of her music, I’d just never followed her enough to hear she was a writer too. And I do know that some artists in nashville get songwriting credit if they just write a line of song, or a couple words; so I’m honestly curious how much of the song is her actual writing?”
We haven’t heard the story behind this particular song yet, so I think anything I or anyone else would say about how much of “Cowboy Casanova” is Carrie’s actual writing would be speculative. I feel like I hear her voice in the lyrics (and I’m inclined to pin the few jagged lyrical moments in
the song on her, fair or not). But that’s just my opinion.
Having said that, we do know a little bit more about how “Last Name” came about. Now, I understand that for some (or even many) people, that song isn’t going to be considered evidence of Carrie being a good songwriter. But I’m bringing it up because it’s a window into how much Carrie might have contributed as a writer to the construction of the song. First, according to a Brian Mansfield article in USA Today, the genesis of the song was Carrie’s ongoing experience getting to know a guy whose last name she could not for the life of her remember. She would come into writing sessions with Hillary Lindsey and Luke Laird and talk about it, and eventually they decided to use that to create a song. Obviously, they took the song in a different direction, but the kernel of it was from Carrie.
Second, when that song was announced as a single, co-writer Luke Laird blogged on his MySpace page that he didn’t feel like he deserved a co-writing credit on the song, but that he would take it (unfortunately, the link to that particular blog doesn’t seem to work anymore). Now, I’m sure the guy is being modest and generous. I believe he has elsewhere described the process of writing with Carrie and Hillary as them trading lines. So it’s nothing definitive, but it seems to me that all this points to Carrie having had, for better and worse, a pretty strong hand in the crafting of “Last Name.” I also remember the Country Weekly story on “So Small” containing quotes from Hillary Lindsey that identified specific lyrics that came from Carrie, and also noted that she had made contributions to the melody.
Carrie has said repeatedly that she doesn’t believe she could craft a song by herself. She has consistently described writing as being a learning process for her. And she has never been shy about singling out songs that she had no hand in writing as her favorites (“Wheel of the World” from Carnival Ride, for example). Back in early August, she blogged some hints about her album, and singled out an impact song that she wishes she co-wrote (pretty sure that song is “Change,” co-written by Katrina Elam, Josh Kear and Chris Tompkins). So thus far, Carrie has given no indication that she is one of those artists seeking cred points by co-writing her own material. I don’t think she is kidding herself or the public about being a songwriter in the way that one considers, say, Miranda Lambert a songwriter. The way Carrie has handled the writing issue suggests to me that she isn’t going to take a credit if she doesn’t make a significant substantive contribution to the song.
And just to echo some people above, it’s clearly Tammy Wynette singing “Stand By Your Man” in the YouTube clip. The timbre of her voice is distinctive, as is her phrasing, and both are different from Carrie’s version.
To show her song writing capabilities I think it should be “So Small”, she wrote the second verse (which is the best) and she won a BMI award for writing it so she the ability is there.
To me, Carrie seems genuine and would be as up front as possible about her contributions when necessary. I really don’t have much doubt about that. She seems to talk pretty openly about her ability. It’s those artists who are vague that I can’t help wonder about.
Again, purely speculation: While sharing writing credits with big name artists who may or may not have had a significant part in the writing process might mean that they must split the royalties another direction, adding those big names to the credits could also be beneficial to the writers, as it makes it more likely that they will get an album cut from the artist in question.
Cowboy Casanova didn’t do anything for me. The only song she’s ever recorded that I really loved was her Randy Travis cover “I Told You So”. I’m not knocking her. She has a great voice. Her material obviously appeals to many even though not to me so far.
Regarding Leeann’s comment about singer/songwriters who actually can write both the lyrics and the melodies, I can’t think of any better than Mary Chapin Carpenter and Hal Ketchum. They are also very good singers.
I’m not doubting Carrie or going to say she is embroidering, but it seems to me that the last couple years since Swift has risen to join the top played artists in what is called Country, that there is more and more enphasis placed on whether singers, big name or small, have had a hand in writing their songs. That’s what gives me pause when I keep hearing of all these artists that suddenly were involved in the writing of their albums. For years it was never really any big deal whether the top artists in pop-country penned their own material, now all of a sudden it’s a point of pride that those artists have their names in the credits as writer. Excuse me if I seem to be belaboring the point, but I find the evolution of radio country to be interesting even as it becomes ever more dismaying.
First off, I have to second RazorX’s comment that it’s kind of absurd that anyone is even questioning who is singing “Stand by Your Man” in the intro to the video. But on to the matter at hand…
Dubious co-writer credits are hardly endemic just to mainstream country (“Toxic” has seven writers credited, so how much did Britney Spears really help? And Beyonce has repeatedly been called out for having her name added as a co-writer to songs on which she did nothing more than improvise a vocal run. Among other offenders.) but it does seem to be a trend that’s on the rise. So I think it’s legitimate to question how much someone like Underwood, who is an unproven commodity as a songwriter, contributes to songs on which she shares credit with “professional songwriters” like Cathy Dennis, Luke Laird, or Hillary Lindsay, especially when so few of the songs on which she’s credited show any real trends that would speak to her having a particularly distinct songwriting voice.
But I think it’s just as important to give her the benefit of the doubt on this issue, since she seems to openly recognize that this is something she considers an emerging aspect of her career and not just something that she’s expecting to be taken as seriously as her singing. Which puts her a good deal ahead of, say, Jessica Simpson, who had suspicious co-writer credits on fully three-fourths of Do You Know and made multiple comments in the media about how that supposedly enhanced her artistic credibility. So I’m interested to hear the songs she’s co-written for Play On to see how her writing has developed.
I don’t think it’s essential that someone like Underwood write her own material– Trisha Yearwood and Patty Loveless, among others, have crafted exemplary, artistically rich careers in which they’ve written little to none of their material– in order to be taken seriously as an artist. But I do think it’s essential that, like Yearwood and Loveless have done better than just about anyone, she become more selective in the songs she chooses to sing. And that, if she’s going to continue to co-write her songs, she show a more distinct voice as a writer. After several listens, I don’t think “Cowboy Casanova” stands as any real improvement on some of the better cuts from her first two albums in that regard.
Dan mentioned upthread an issue with her vocal tone which I will second. Despite her legion of fans shouting me down to the contrary, I’ve said since her Idol run that she has a gorgeous tone when she sings quietly but that her voice has an unpleasant, reedy tone when she goes above a mezzo forte (see also: Rimes, LeAnn and Morissette, Alanis). Which has been a problem for her in the past and is a problem I have with this single, too, since she often has to sing too loudly to be heard over production that is entirely too aggressive.
More positively, I do think she shows some signs of personality in her vocal performance on this single, which has always been the most common knock against her and what has kept me at arms’ length from much of her output to this point. So, even if I don’t care for this single, I think that’s a reason to be optimistic for her new record.
Jonathan: Great post. Thanks for the thoughts/insights. It’s ironic that the young lady often criticized for her “blandness” can inspire such passionate, heated debate whenever she releases her music.
I must agree that the quality of her voice drops as her voice gets higher, but it doesn’t particularly bother me; I still love this song, and a few others with the same problem.
I’m not getting why you’re pushing the issue. Do a little research and read what Carrie said about song writing immediately after her Idol win- especially during the recording of Some Hearts. And that was long before anyone knew who Taylor was. Carrie and writing has been issue since she won. I would also suggest a little research on the importance Country has always placed not just on the lyrics (storytelling) but on singer/songwriters in general. I suspect you weren;t paying attention before but now you are- for whatever reaosn. But, please, it’s a stretch to credit Ms Swift fwith more than the bubblegum country for which she’s known.
I’m a little late in the disscussion here, but everyone seems very opinionated on “Cowboy Casanova” as well as debating Carrie’s growth as an artist over the first few years.
While Carrie’s incredible talent does not deserve this radio fluff, it does seem like a song she would gravitate towards, thinking backing to the “Before He Cheats” and “Last Name” era.
The song also seems like an aproppriate fit for Carrie considering her age. She can’t sing a song like “Picture To Burn” and have it be successsful because she’d be deemed immature. Just the same she can’t pull of songs like “Concrete Angel” or “Independence Day” or anything to do with kids or marriage; people don’t want to hear her sing songs a 40-something-woman would do, right?
As for Underwood’s writing…
As others have said, Carrie makes clear she has tons of growing to do before she can craft a truly great song. Great songwriting comes with experience, and it is fair to keep in mind that Carrie has only been around four years, and she is so young and has a lot less life experiences to draw from.
I’m not really understand why Carrie’s name was the one to showcase below-par song choices though. Shania is a 90’s country icon and she had lines like “Honey, I’m Home/Trow the dog a Bone” (:
Does the production remind anyone else of Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” meets 90’s Shania with a dash of Aldean’s “She’s Country” thrown in to keep it current?
I’m a big Carrie fan, but I’m really disappointed by this song. The vocals do show some personality, but she’s fighting with the music too much. And Mark Bright’s gone from everything but the kitchen sink to everything AND the kitchen sink. Of course it’ll go to #1 by default, but she can do so much better.
I want everyone know that Carrie does have a bachelors in journalism with very high marks plus mass communication. why would you think that she could not know how to write a song/story about anything. when someone actually writes or co-writes a song, because everything starts with a story to make a song.Carrie wrote I ain’t in checotah (sp) anymore. its a real good song she wrote the song and someone else more than likely added the music to it. that is how a song is created. she has written or co written over 46 different songs that are registered with bmi. So Carrie does has the talent to write songs and add the melody . So do not want to hear that she cannot write or her name is just placed on the writting section. for one you has to be a member with bmi or ascap.