June 5, 2010
But darn if Carrie Underwood isn’t getting close. “Undo It” is short, sweet, and undeniably catchy. “Undo It” features both “We Will Rock You” drum riffs and twangy fiddle, as if those two things together are as natural as peanut butter and chocolate.
It even has a chorus of “Na Na Na’s” so infectious that somewhere in the world, Steam is reflexively adding, “Hey Hey, Goodbye.”
And though she’s such a skilled vocalist that it’s hardly worth noting at this point, Underwood sings the dickens out of the song.
But there’s still one lesson that needs to be learned, one that plagues pure pop and pop-flavored country alike: the way too busy production. Go back and study any classic pop hit of Madonna or Shania Twain, and pay attention to how deceptively simple they are. You can clearly hear every instrument because there’s so few of them, and the lead vocal doesn’t get drowned out by too many backup singers. It’s a problem that plagues even great records like Pink’s most recent hits, which are pure sonic pleasure until the last time through the chorus, when Pink is drowned out by all the bells and whistles.
Now, Carrie Underwood is never in any danger of being drowned out, and she is able to avoid being overpowered without overpowering in return. This is as catchy a piece of ear candy as she’s produced to date, and it’s made me hit repeat the way her best singles tend to do. But she’s really only a tighter production away from inducing Twain-level euphoria, and I can’t wait until she gets there.
Written by Kara DioGuardi, Martin Federiksen, Luke Laird, and Carrie Underwood
Listen: Undo It