Written by Hillary Lindsey, Brett McLaughlin, and Will Weatherly
Cry Pretty has some of the best material that Carrie Underwood has released to date, but for whatever reason, those gems aren’t being the ones sent to radio.
“Love Wins” has an admirable sentiment, and had it been delivered earlier in her career with a simpler arrangement, she might have gotten away with it. But Underwood is too seasoned a vocalist to pull off such wide eyed naivete. You’re left thinking, “Love wins? Does she really believe that? Is she even paying attention?”
The production does her no favors here, overwrought and loud as it is, but there was no saving this record in the first place. The material is simply too weak.
Written by David Garcia, Brett James, and Carrie Underwood
Meanwhile, her newest single is a mindless rave up about hitting the beach and hanging out during the summer.
Putting aside the glut of songs such as this, Underwood’s songwriting efforts are interesting enough to pick up some unique details like “cheap gas station sunglasses” and “redneck margaritas” being “2 for 1 at that old marina.”
But praising those details is like complimenting the lighting and shading on a portrait of dogs playing poker. All that effort in service of this theme?
I’ve been largely unimpressed by her new label’s handling of her work. They didn’t rein in the bombastic production that drowns out the finest vocalist of her generation, and they can’t seem to pick the singles that showcase her at her best.
Come on, Universal. I’ll help you. The fourth single is “Spinning Bottles” and the fifth single is “The Bullet.” Get to work.