Carrie Underwood

CMA Awards 2015 – Staff Picks & Predictions

November 1, 2015 // 14 Comments

The 49th Annual Country Music Association Awards will be handed out on Wednesday, November 4. Once again, the ceremony is hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood.

Here are the personal picks and predictions from the Country Universe staff.

Carrie Underwood Through the Years: 20 Acoustic Performances

October 21, 2015 // 4 Comments

It’s been 10 years this month since Carrie Underwood released “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” a song that would define her early on as a wholesome, powerhouse vocalist with mass appeal. It was a fitting label at the time, but it fell short of what I knew her to be: a deeply emotive artist who understood humanity.

2015 CMA Nominations

September 9, 2015 // 21 Comments

Throughout 2015, there have been rumblings of a backlash against the prevailing trends at country radio, and that backlash is certainly reflected in the year’s crop of CMA nominees.

Favorite Females’ Covers of Females’ Songs

August 30, 2015 // 27 Comments

We can thank the shortsighted radio consultant Keith Hill for one thing: drawing attention to the women of country music in a year where so many of them are making outstanding music. As their mainstream counterparts cycle through a series of one-note styles and themes, female country artists are putting out diverse and decidedly more progressive music, even as they draw influence from previous generations. That they do so while supporting each other makes it all the more impressive.

Single Review: Carrie Underwood, “Smoke Break”

August 21, 2015 // 24 Comments

“Smoke Break” is a remarkably good attempt at a working class anthem. It’s so stylistically different from the “rah rah, let’s party this weekend” approach that has made drinking synonymous with adolescent behavior in modern country music.

Daily Top Five: Carrie Underwood Singles and Tracks

August 21, 2015 // 23 Comments

I’ve been at this whole Country Universe thing for eleven years now, and one of the early highlights of my time doing this was the arrival of Carrie Underwood. She was so, so good on American Idol, but it didn’t quite prepare me for how much I would love hearing her do original material.

Daily Double Top Five: Most Played Tracks

July 7, 2015 // 14 Comments

Back in the day, we used to do iPod checks.   Seemed so current at the time! Now, we’re gonna ask you to go to Spotify or your phone or whatever, and just let us know what you’re listening to the most. Two Daily Top Fives Today:  Your five most played songs from a 2015 album, and your most played country songs of all time. Here are my lists, sticking to one song per artist:

Daily Top Five: Palate Cleansers

July 5, 2015 // 18 Comments

It’s gotten to the point that I can’t listen to more than two country singles in a row without wanting to hurt somebody. So here’s the daily top five.  What are some songs that are your palate cleansers, that you can always go back to when you need to wipe out the aftertaste of some really bad music? Here’s my list: Alison Krauss & Union Station, “The Lucky One” Rosanne Cash with Johnny Cash, “September When it Comes” Kathy Mattea, “Where’ve You Been” Jason Isbell, “Elephant” Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill, “How Great Thou Art”

Daily Top Five: Vince Gill Albums, Songs, and Harmony Tracks

June 6, 2015 // 11 Comments

Following up on today’s Say What?, we’re going full Gill for today’s Daily Top Five. What are your favorite Vince Gill albums, songs, and harmony tracks? Here are my lists: Albums These Days High Lonesome Sound I Still Believe in You The Key Pocket Full of Gold Songs The Key to Life Worlds Apart Threaten Me with Heaven What You Give Away When I Call Your Name Harmony Tracks “I Don’t Paint Myself into Corners” – Trisha Yearwood “No Place That Far” – Sara Evans “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me” – Rosanne Cash “How Great Thou Art” – Carrie Underwood “Timber, I’m Falling in Love” – Patty Loveless

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