August 27, 2010
300.jpg” alt=”” width=”150″ height=”185″ />Love ain’t no fairytale.
The latest single from Carrie Underwood knows and embraces this. I can’t remember another wedding song that is so understated in its declarations. As she prepares to marry, she reassures her mother that this man is good. That’s pretty much it.
Pretty much it on paper, at least. But notice how the term is repeated – “He is good, so good.” Underwood chooses to emphasize those five words more than any others in the song, singing them as if just being good is enough to qualm a worried mother’s fears for her daughter’s future.
But it is enough. Loyalty, respect, and faithfulness are the only virtues she’s proclaiming, and in truth, that’s setting the bar pretty high. No doubt this will be a successful marriage if he clears it.
That being said, the tenderness of the lyric and Underwood’s typically stellar vocal delivery cannot fully mask that the song’s structure isn’t as tight as it should be, with a reference to “this crazy thing called life” detracting from the actual subject matter of the song. The sentiments get a bit jumbled, with the focus not being entirely clear.
“Mama’s Song” attempts to be a song about three things at once: a daughter helping her mother let go, thanking her mother for what she’s done, and praising the man she’s marrying to her mother. By trying to get all three accomplished in one song, each individual purpose is shortchanged. It succeeds in getting the praising done, but falls a little short on the other two.
And as is often the case with Underwood singles, there is one component too many in the production. The song glides along so peacefully that the strings that surface toward the end of song kick the whole thing up a notch, but the sudden appearance of backing vocalists are an unwelcome intrusion, undermining the mood that the song had successfully established. These missteps gum up the works enough to keep the song from reaching its full potential.
So it’s good, so good. But it isn’t great.
Written by Kara Dioguardi, Marti Frederiksen, Luke Laird, and Carrie Underwood
Listen: Mama’s Song