It’s been well established by this point that Carrie Underwood’s eighties pop/rock runs deep in her musical roots. Being part of the MTV generation, this isn’t surprising, as the days of country artists who were only exposed to country music are long gone.
Underwood draws on those roots more than she’s ever done on a traditional single, but fans from her Idol days will have flashbacks to her star-making performance of “Alone” when they listen to “Cowboy Casanova”, as Carrie does her very best to channel Ann Wilson and often pulls it off. I have to say that the verses are catchier than the chorus, though, and if you’re going to do eighties power pop, you need a stronger, bigger chorus.
That’s a shortcoming that speaks to the larger dilemma that “Cowboy Casanova” creates. There’s a large group of people who don’t want eighties pop anywhere near their country music, so this song will be a loser for them right out of the gate. For people like me, who get a kick out of cheesy cross-genre pollination, the track doesn’t go far enough. If you’re going to kick off the song with backing vocalists that sound like Tears For Fears, you might as well go all the way.
The comparisons to Shania Twain are inevitable here, and Underwood is on record as a big fan of Twain’s. The genius of Twain’s best work is that she made brilliant pop records with country instruments. It is very difficult to do pop well in the first place, let alone incorporate country instrumentation into it. On “Cowboy Casanova”, Underwood makes a strong attempt but doesn’t quite pull it off. We’re left with just a decent single that doesn’t feel quite country enough or quite pop enough to make it a keeper.
Listen: Cowboy Casanova
It sounds like you would have liked the leaked version better. I really like this song for the simple fact that it is different from her past lead singles. It has a nice beat and simple but likable lyrics and is just a fun song. She certainly could have led off with a more artistic and emotional single like Miranda Lambert with Dead Flowers but I think that would have been a mistake. She needed a single to rocket up the charts and make some noise to push record sales. I do think she is trying to reconnect with her more pop leaning fans with this single and I think she will succeed in doing that. I do hope she has more traditional cuts on her new album butt I do like this song quite a bit.
I agree. This starts out with a bang and I love it. It’s catchy from the get go BUT then it sputters at the end. There is too much repeat beats inbetween verse 1 and 2 and the ending just repeats repeats when there should be more depth. Like dig deep and tell us why you can’t stand this cowboy casanova without all the heard before phrases. Then change it up at the end for a surprise. AGain, beginning catches you and you are ready for the fun but the ending…just dies. Any chance of a tweet on this Carrie before the album comes out?
I’m enjoying this one but I think I would be enjoying it more with a more whimsical production that didn’t stomp on the honkytonk in the vocal melody. I would have liked some saloony piano accents instead of so much electric guitar.
That said, I think Carrie pulls this off. I find both the verses and the choruses very catchy, although I suppose there are elements of both that will make them difficult for singalongs. I think Carrie does a good job combining sass with a sense of light-hearted girltalk.
I also find myself a bit relieved because, unlike a lot of singles released by major acts to country radio (for example, “Then,” “Ride,” “Kiss a Girl,” “Need You Now,” “Here Comes Goodbye,” “You Belong With Me,” etc.), this is a country single that, while heavily flavored by influences from other genres, has a genuinely country flavor to it. I would like it even better if the country flavor were allowed to come through more strongly.
I also agree with Gavin that I’m liking this as a change-up for Carrie. I’m liking it as a sign that she isn’t content to follow country radio’s prevailing sound, or just to follow any formula behind her previously successful singles. That, too, is not something I think can be said of a number of major country acts right now.
“Cowboy Casanova” is far from perfect to my ears — I think it is overproduced, and the lyrics, while punchy fun, don’t ultimately go much of anywhere. But I’m quite enjoying it despite all that and it makes me look forward to Carrie’s upcoming album more. I just hope that said album will have room for a sparely produced, beautifully sung “Oklahoma Wind” alongside this track.
I love everything about this song! It reminds me of Shania at her prime, and I think it shows Carrie’s amazing versatility as an artist. She can rock out on this song, yet pull of a classic country song with Randy Travis on I Told You so with grace and depth. Her vocals are amazing on this song, and I find it infectiously catchy. It has HUGE HIT written all over it. It is getting AMAZING reviews all over the internet, as Carrie is making new fans all over the world watching this on youtube.
While you guys might find flaws with the chorus, I love the chorus and find it incredibly catchy and easy to sing along to.
Not every song needs to be inspirational or deep. Sometimes, we want to dance and have fun to a song on the radio. It doesn’t have to have a great meaning or change the world. This song, makes me want to dance…and it puts me in a good mood. So to me, it is an A+++++.
Rock on Carrie !
I think this song will end up being you love it or hate it, like Sugarland’s “All I Want to Do.”
It will most likely go #1, because it IS a different style than what we’ve heard from her before. I think she pulls the song off well, and it’s not so bad after a few listens. A-
Although I’m a huge Carrie fan and have followed her since American Idol, I didn’t know what to think of this song when I first heard it.
Unlike most here, I think the production is one of the most interesting elements of the song. It’s a great infusion of pop, country, and maybe even a dash of rocker-chick.
I think the overall reaction to the song has been pretty negative, both by fans and reviews that I have read.
I think the production actually makes the so-so lyrics more interesting. If “Cowboy Casanova” had the same sound of her other kiss-off anthems (“Before He Cheats,” “Last Name”) than nothing would make it stand out from her other work.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I think the lyrics are really compelling and catchy. After all, Shania was a 90’s icon, and every one of her songs had a pointless line or two like “Yeah, I’m gonna getcha baby I’m gonna knock on wood.” Or “Even my skin is acting weird/I wish that I could grow a beard.”
“He looks like a cool drink of water/but he’s candy-coated misery” is better than anything Shania ever created.
Carrie is still a young woman and she started writing only two years ago, which should mean something. This song is perfect for someone Carrie’s age; she’s too young to sing material like “Independence Day,” but also way too young to attach herself to songs like “Picture To Burn and “White Horse.”
K: I think you meant to say “way too OLD to attach herself to songs like PTB and WH”.
Yeah, I did, sorry.
I’ve never really been a fan of Carrie, but her last singles (“Just a Dream” and “I Told You So”) started winning me over. Sadly, “Cowboy Casanova” is a step back for me.
Passing along something from my daughter, who sang in a rock band for seven years and did a lot of songwriting. After I played “Cowboy Casanova” for her yesterday, she had two comments. First: “Wow, pretty good. Better than I expected.” Second: “Just too country for me.”
Carrie has been a rock girl and everybody knows that. It was a matter of time to her spread her wings and show more of this side. “Not Tonight”, a song she co-wrote and made Kristy Lee Cook’s album, shows attitude and a rock leaning. It’s not a masterpiece, but I consider that song better than a lot of stuff that we hear on Carrie’s album, cause it shows at least some personality.
But that step on Carrie’s career is calculated to make her crossover, I think. Following the Taylor Swift success, maybe the label will try to make her a success too. So I think that decision fill both interests.
I just wish we’ll have a lot of better songs on the album.
regarding the comment that Carrie is too old to attach herself to songs like PTB and WH, I’d disagree with that statement, in the sense that PTB is about on par with Cowboy Cassanova in terms of maturity and content and White Horse to me seems more mature. Cowboy Cassanova like PTB paints the guy as the complete scoundrel and at fault for all that has gone wrong and tries in effect to persuade everyone around him that he’s not worthy of a chance. Which maybe the guy isn’t in either song, but both songs basically have the same message. Redneck Heartbreak=Cowboy Casanova. White horse while it portrays the male in the song as not living up to the singer’s expectations, also acknowledges that the singer should have recognized him for what he was; so blames herself as much as she blames him. She realizes in the end that it’s time to move on. This is the way I see it and I realize those who are bigger fans of Carrie or Taylor will disagree with me.
I love the song…its so catchy and i feel like it deserves an A+
I LOVE THE SONG AND I THINK IT DESERVES A
I LOVE CARRIE AND HER NEW SINGLE! I GIVE IT AN A PLUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO CARRIE!!
I love this song and it surely will go to #1. Carrie can sing the phone book and it would sound great! Her vocals are clear and true and I like the variety of songs she has on her albums. I am sure her new album will have a variety as well.
Carrie’s genre is country-pop. And have you not seen her pull off all those awesome Guns n Roses songs live? I love this song and it will totally go number 1 on the charts. Artists who make the same kind of music all the time lose the interest of the public. Not that Carrie was losing any attention, but it was a good choice for her to try to change it up. Overall, I give it an A+.
Any chance of a tweet on this Carrie before the album comes out?
I highly doubt it, considering the mess that was made with the leaked cut and Carrie’s fairly strong reaction to the fact that there are now two versions of the song floating around. I can’t see her creating a third.
I just hope that said album will have room for a sparely produced, beautifully sung “Oklahoma Wind” alongside this track.
You and me both. Like I’ve said, I really feel this album will be more diverse than the previous two.
Unlike most here, I think the production is one of the most interesting elements of the song. It’s a great infusion of pop, country, and maybe even a dash of rocker-chick.
I agree. I think Mark Bright did a better job with this song than he did with many on Carnival Ride…simply because this type of song fits his production style. It may not be the kind of sound that traditionally belongs in country music, as Kevin mentioned in his review, but it works well on this song.
One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is the performance potential of this song. One of my first reactions to this song was that it would have been much better received had she debuted it live…I have a feeling this song is going to be remembered more for its live performances than for its recorded version.
^^ I believe there are already actually 3 versions of the song. one is the one that’s been officially released to Country, one is the one that was leaked and there is a much poppier version as well. I think they are gearing up to try to have crossover success to pop and other charts, as well as possibly going overseas. Just my opinion.
This song is a product of a DEVELOPMENT OF ENTIRELY NEW STYLE OF SONG FROM “CARRIE UNDERWOOD”!!! This type of “country pop” song is “CARRIE UNDERWOOD’S ELEMENT”!!!!! It is a VERY INFECTIOUS SONG. Carrie’s very infectious and very superior quality vocal radiates from this song “Cowboy Casanova”. FANTASTIC SONG!!!!!!!! Grade = A+.
“Cowboy Casanova” is all over the internet and getting FANTASTIC REVIEWS!!! It is a VERY INFECTIOUS SONG!!! Carrie Underwood re-invent herself on this song. We all know that Carrie can sing a wide-ranging styles of music since Season 4 American Idol Show with very superior quality of her vocals – POP “Could’ve Been” of “Tiffany Darwish” (Top 24)etc., R&B/SOUL “MacArthur Park” of “Donna Summer” (Top 7), ROCK “Alone” of “Heart” (Top 11) etc., “The Sound Of Music” of “Julie Andrews”, “She’s Leaving Home” of the “Beatles”, “I’ll Stand By You” of the “Pretenders” …… AND MANY MORE!!!
“^^ I believe there are already actually 3 versions of the song. one is the one that’s been officially released to Country, one is the one that was leaked and there is a much poppier version as well.”
That’s incorrect. There is a leaked rock version that Carrie and her label have confirmed to have been a rough, unfinished cut not intended to have been heard by anyone but Carrie/the label. It’s not unusual for there to be different mixes of a song prior to the selection of the final one. I’m convinced that there is sparer mix of Lee Ann Womack’s “Last Call,” and I actually wish that that would have leaked.
In any case, Carrie has blogged to state in no uncertain terms that there is only one version that is a sanctioned release and that is the version on her YouTube channel. In her blog, Carrie emphasized that she doesn’t do alternate versions of her songs. The logical extension is that if there is any airplay garnered on other formats or overseas, it will of the official version. Her stance has been quite vocal and consistent on this front for a few years now. So if CHR/Pop radio is going to play this, its programmers will have to overcome their apparent fear that fiddles and steel guitar will be the demise of pop radio (they apparently also see banjos as a threat, but that isn’t an issue in “Cowboy Casanova”).
Artists who make the same kind of music all the time lose the interest of the public.
So how does one explain the continuing appeal of folks like George Strait and Alan Jackson? Even to the extent that Alan might be “los(ing) the interest of the public,” I would say that’s more because of him depending too much on his own songs — thereby tapping out his creative well — and not recording more songs from outside writers than the style of music he makes.
We will soon hear George Strait, Alan Jackson and Martina McBride retiring like Brooks & Dunn because they can not sell albums anymore. THEY CAN SELL ONLY AT AROUND 800,000 units of their albums JUST ENOUGH TO COVER ALL THE EXPENSES OF THE “DIRECT COST” AND “INDIRECT COST” OF THE ALBUM. And Martina McBride’s latest album sales did very poorly.
I’m not an insider, but let’s just say I’ll believe that when I see it. Can’t speak for Mr. Jackson, but a perusal of Strait’s certifications at the RIAA website reveals a string of platinum albums going back to 2000’s self-titled effort, which was certified gold, and before that the string of platinum goes back to the beginning of his career (although, granted, some of those earlier albums did take a while). I just don’t see any reason for that to break anytime “soon.” To be honest, I thought at the time it was released, that the box set was the capstone of Strait’s career. I never would have thought he’d go on to have the success he went on to have after that.
800K in album sales is nothing to sneeze at in the current market. That George Strait has been able to sell that number or better while releasing albums every year is a testament to the loyalty of the core fanbase he has built up over his long career. That he hasn’t been that musically adventurous hasn’t impacted that core fanbase; it is, perhaps, hindering him from expanding that core fanbase. But at this point, I don’t think he needs to expand his core fanbase — that fanbase seems really steady and unlikely to forget the man anytime soon. Moreover, George can count on being showered with critical acclaim from the country music awards shows. Heck, he won his first Grammy this year, and it was for Best Country Album.
About Alan, is it really fair to say the man is making the same music all the time? His last three studio releases have been a gospel album that went platinum, a country set produced by Alison Krauss that sold north of 750K despite only one country radio hit (the lovely “Like Red on a Rose”), and a mainstream country set that is closing in on a million copies scanned.
Alan Jackson is a bit of a different story from George in that it appears his core fanbase is a bit smaller than George’s and his concert audience seems to have suffered a bit lately. Even so, I see no signs that either George or Alan are losing public interest. In addition to the evidence above, their radio status seems safe for now. Radio and the research programmers rely on favor the familiar, so George in particular should be fine and Alan has been rewarded with strong radio play for releasing conventional singles (instead of the best songs on his latest album, unfortunately). And since neither is a woman, radio doesn’t seem likely to shoo them off the airwaves due to age.
To bring this back on topic, Carrie Underwood is in a very different position than George and Alan for a whole host of reasons (country radio has proven far more fickle in its treatment of female artists, Carrie is still trying to shore up her core fanbase, she is still growing as an artist, she draws from a wider range of artistic influences, her fanbase is of a wide range of tastes, etc.). I think it is healthy for Carrie to be experimenting a bit and like I said above, I find it encouraging that she didn’t throw out a lead single that sounds like everything else on country radio right now.
I also want to agree with the point that the music Carrie is making right now is credible for her age and place in life. One thing I find kind of interesting about her love/attraction songs is how morality seems to loom large as a theme in a number of them. For me, Carrie sounds like a grown up church girl singing about love and attraction. What I like about her voice is that it conveys that tension between a knowing earthiness and the beliefs with which she has likely been raised.
I really enjoy your thoughtful and informative posts and wish you would consider adding your opinion to the 9513 Cowboy Casanova discussion:
It is actually a matter of how YOU PERCEIVED THE CONTRACT OF AN ARTIST. Record companies “pay” an “artist a” set amount of money during an album’s development. The artist gets one lump sum to record an album PLUS “Royalties” DEPENDING ON HOW MUCH THE RECORDING COMPANIES RECOVER THE “DIRECT COST” AND “INDIRECT COST” OF THE ALBUM. George Strait is A VERY EXPENSIVE ARTIST because he is “KING GEORGE” (THAT IS MY PERCEPTION). In his latest album, he sold around 216,000 units for two weeks. Although it is still too early to predict, it looks like it will not reach 800,000 units based on early trend. “IF” the album does not meet target sales, a label may be quicker to drop you. 800,000 units sold for George Strait, Alan Jackson and Martina McBride will have a different profit/loss for Miranda Lambert, Julianne Hough and Kellie Pickler OR OTHER CHEAPER ARTISTS.
My point is, although making music is a creative process, “BEING AN ARTIST” and “MAKING MONEY” from that “ART” are two different things. Since “ALBUM SALES” and “LIVE CONCERT TICKET SALES” ARE THE “LIFEBLOOD” OF AN ARTIST’S CAREER …… “Market-oriented innovation” WITH QUALITY ARTISTRY IS THE KEY!!! An artist must continually adapt to changing needs and opportunities – DEVELOPMENT OF ENTIRELY NEW MUSIC AND TO CHANGES IN EXISTING STYLES OF MUSIC AS PERCEIVED by Carrie Underwood, the songwriters, Mark Bright and THE MARKET!!! THAT IS WHAT “CARRIE UNDERWOOD” IS ALL ABOUT!!!
George Strait’s album will continue to produce radio hits, and he’s already sold 216k in only two weeks. I’d be really surprised if he didn’t reach that 800k mark or more by the end of the album’s life cycle.
As you said though, the real money is in touring. Which check would you rather cash, the album royalties of today’s biggest artists, or the touring profits of one of the all-time greats?
“Regarding the comment that Carrie is too old to attach herself to songs like PTB and WH, I’d disagree with that statement, in the sense that PTB is about on par with Cowboy Cassanova in terms of maturity and content and White Horse to me seems more mature. Cowboy Cassanova like PTB paints the guy as the complete scoundrel and at fault for all that has gone wrong and tries in effect to persuade everyone around him that he’s not worthy of a chance”
I disagree. While “White Horse” and “Cowboy Casanova” have the similar message to stay away from the bad guys, I think they are entirely different songs…as they should be, considering the age differences of Carrie and Taylor, as well as their insight on relationships.
Take the first verse of “White Horse” as example:
Say you’re sorry/That face of an angel comes out/Just when you need it to
As I pace back and forth all this time/’Cause
I honestly believed in you/Holding on The days drag on/Stupid girl I should have known, I shoud have known”
Taylor is reflecting on being a niave young girl in a relationship and that she is a “stupid girl” who should’ve known the “White Horse” really wasn’t going to come around as she had hoped.
This is a theme that is fed to young girls who are brought up to believe that a prince on a knight on a white horse is going to come enthrall them, and they will live happily ever after, right?
Though Taylor later admits that this fanasty does not exist, it’s obvious that she thinks her audience has believed in these notions, and she herself has as well:
I’m not a princess
This ain’t a fairytale
I’m not the one you’ll sweep off her feet
Lead her up the stairwell.
Cowboy Casanova is a warning to stay away, rather than a young girl living out a relationship and then learning from it.
“Cowboy Casanova” warns to Stay away from the devil with blue eyes whose touch you cannot live without, yet cannot resist.
When Carrie delivers that this cowboy will “give you feelings you don’t want to fight” it seems to imply more a more affectionate, adult relationship than the latter.
Taylor delivers no hint of a complex relationship, much less one that let her see a seemingly charming guy was a devil wrapped in candy-coated misery. It is doubtful that the “White Horse” character never got past the past the fairytale theme of young love, thus she did not get a chance to warn another girl of his delivish qualities that could only appear in a mature relationship.
I agree and disagree with you there K. I agree Taylor’s WH isn’t very deep, but I think you’re over intellectualizing “casanova” here. The feelings “you don’t want to fight” could simply mean the sudden urge to f**k the guy (although that’s a more “adult” relationship, its no less shallow). And a warning to stay away from a guy seems to me to be a more basic life lesson than learning from your mistakes.
This is the worst single release in Carrie’s career so far, in my opinion. Though it’s been mentioned countless times, the production is heavy-handed at best. When you’re handling a singer with such a technically proficient voice—and though I’ve criticized Underwood’s connection to some of her past material, she is a fine singer—it would be wise to showcase that instrument. Instead, she spends half the song bending her vocals to fit the very-poppish melody. (Dan and Jonathan have commented on this in other posts.) The reliance on the melody takes a generally strong voice and makes it sound grating and off-base in certain sections.
The hook is problematic, too. Though the song itself is catchy, the chorus lacks the punch it needs to survive repeated listens, mostly because the title line seems like an afterthought. The verses are rather trite; it seems like a song out of the Kellie Pickler recycling bin, not the long-awaited release from the format’s dominant female star. Not every country song needs to be a meaningful piece of art, but even light fare like Brad Paisley’s “novelty” tunes have a depth and detail that make them credible despite their nature. Carrie’s singing is on-point for a good portion, and she injects it with some nice sass (reminiscent of what I think is one of the better singles of the last few years—“Before He Cheats”), but it doesn’t save this loud rock-country stomp.
It’s impossible to speculate how Play On will play out, but this is discouraging. I was listening, on repeat, to another great song of this decade today—Rodney Crowell’s “Ashes By Now.” Emmylou’s ’70s version is raw, spare and mellow, but Lee Ann Womack’s version really crackles and she sang the fire out of it. There’s a treasure trove of great songs by great writers just waiting to be brought into the present-day. I know Carrie and her team want her to have more impact on the creative process, but why not turn to some older gems and put a new, modern spin on ’em? Without the clunky musical setting of course.
Artists like Carrie are formed to fit into the mainstream, and those artists will always have devoted (and vocal) fans and staunch detractors. I fall somewhere in between (most of her singles have fallen in the “B” range for me), but “Cowboy” is hard to defend from my end.
This song is perfect for someone Carrie’s age; she’s too young to sing material like “Independence Day,”
How old is she –26, I think? Martina was 27 when the album containing “Independence Day” was released. Carrie is not too young to sing substantive songs.
I agree that Carrie is not too young to sing “Independence Day.” The fact is that the situation in that song befalls all too many women her age and younger.
In fact, she did sing “Independence Day” when she was on AI and it was the second track on one of her CD singles.
I’ll admit that Carrie Underwood the vocalist is extremly talented, but Carrie Underwood the artist just does nothing for me. Similar to that of Martina McBride, if I was going to come up with my favorite Martina songs…a 6 pack would be plenty and a 12 would be too much. They sing like angels but the song choice, and the production just isnt there….
Martina’s early work would easily make up a Starter Kit for me.
Martina’s past two albums were bad. Most of her work prior to that was very good.
“This is the worst single release in Carrie’s career so far, in my opinion.”
Last Name would be my choice for worst. I actually like this one a little better although I prefer her ballads and hope her next single (if it made the album) is “Oklahoma Wind” a co-write with Bill Anderson.
“This song is perfect for someone Carrie’s age; she’s too young to sing material like “Independence Day,”
There’s absolutely nothing in the song which makes it inappropriate agewise for even a teenager.
WOW! I’m laughing at how some of you are giving such in depth heart to heart reviews of “Cowboy Casanova” like you are well respected music industry people.It’s so not that serious.Jason Aldean is on top of the charts this week(3 weeks) with a song called “Big Green Tractor”.Now that title alone is just…stupid and redneck.There are so many completely dumb country song titles out there in country music-including the greats(legends).Yet, you all are jumping all over Carrie like you haven’t heard a song that you thought was a little bit silly or strange, or could have better lyrics.It shows you all are just HATERS.Why? Because you criticize one person for something that a whole lot of people are doing.Lame.Doesn’t matter anyway.It will reach number 1 and win her many awards and millions of albums.It’s supposed to just be an upbeat sassy fun song dumb dumbs-not change the world and come to jesus.
Read many reviews Shut up?
…. It shows you all are just HATERS.Why? Because you criticize one person for something that a whole lot of people are doing.Lame …
No, because we criticize the others as well.
I’m with Shut Up – too much opinion masquerading as analysis. In its third week of a rushed release, Cowboy Casanova is #11, so the commercial question is answered.
Whoever said Martina McBride has been good for all but the last 2 albums is wrong. Her last good album was Evolution. Since then, she’s crapped on herself with a parade of abused and retarded children (Concrete Angel, God’s Will), feminine treacle (Love’s the Only House, In My Daugther’s Eyes) and Hallmark platitudes (most of her other singles). Who knew Whatever You Say would be the bookend to My Baby Loves Me?
I agree with Shut Up. Too much opinion masquerading as analysis. “Cowboy Casanova” is #11 in its third week of a rushed release. It’s a hit. The rest doesn’t matter.
Whoever said Martina McBride has been bad since her last 2 albums is wrong. “Whatever You Say” was the perfect bookend to her career staring with “My Baby Loves Me”. Since then, it’s been a shameful parade of feminine treacle (“In My Daughter’s Eyes”, “Love’s the Only House”), abused and retarded children (“Concrete Angel”, “God’s Will”) and Hallmark sentimentality (pretty much everything else).
I don’t even think there was a commercial question, not at least in the actual review of this song. It’s no stretch to wager that a Carrie Underwood single would rocket to the top, no matter what it was.
I honestly don’t know there is so much discussion over this song. It serves its purpose as a fluffy, pop-country, gulity-pleasure ditty.
There have much worse songs country and mainstream songs, and I think Carrie is getting a bit too much flack.
Can anyone here honestly say “She Thinks My Tractors Sexy,” “Bob That Head” “Redneck Yatch Club” “Good Directons”, “It Happens” and many others are any better or worse than “Cowboy Casanova?” I say no, simply because there HAVE been dozens of songs that are pure heartless, brain-dead hogwash and almost trashy compared to the above-average but decent filler titled “Cowboy Casanova. ”
In my opinion, there is no use complaining about this song- in the end it all comes down to Carrie Underwood herself- she is the one who has to conceiously chose whether she wants to record stellar, timeless material with excellent producers, or if she wants to continue to record the average pop fluff she currently attaches her name to.
No one group of fans, critics, or adoring industry folks can make that descion for her. People can either chose to support and love her and her music, or they can be among the group that admires her talent, but contstantly whines about her mediocre material; neither of these groups can change the artistic imprint of Carrie Underwood, so I don’t know what purpose continuous whinning does.
I am awaiting “Play On” with excitment, but Im really not sure what to expect from a growth standpoint. Both “Some Hearts” and Carnival Ride” have gems- “Before He Cheats,” “I Just Can’t Live A Lie” “Jesus, Take A Wheel,” “Just A Dream “I Know You Won’t” and “I Told You So” being staples.
I may be in the minority here, but I am in awe of Ms. Underwood’s ability to bring so many average songs to life and make them standouts when coupled with her extrodinary talent.
I suppose there wouldn’t be much point in blogging about country music if we simply said something was “good” or “bad” without reasons to back it up, which could be perceived as “whining” by people who disagree.
I agree with you to an extent Leeann, but I was simply trying to make the point that no amount of superfans or bashers can chage the artistic mold of Carrie Underwood the artist; is there really any sense in going round-and-round about in a comment thread when everyone has pretty much come to the same conclusion at Ms. Underwood’s sub-par material doesn’t match her suprior talent?
Reading this thread, this appears to be true….I don’t see what even commenting on this song or Carrie Underwood can do at this point; superfans and cynics have all seemed to make up their minds about Carrie, her talent, and her material.
Observe as K softly fillets the raison d’être of a blogging / commenting site. Absolutists unto ourselves.
“Can anyone here honestly say “She Thinks My Tractors Sexy,” “Bob That Head” “Redneck Yatch Club” “Good Directons”, “It Happens” and many others are any better or worse than “Cowboy Casanova?””
I think all of those songs are better than “Cowboy Casanova” (besides “Bob That Head,” which isn’t better than anything). They’re novelty songs, but they at least have some amount of cleverness to their lyrics or conceits. I don’t think this song does.
That said, I don’t think it’s any worse than a lot of what’s in rotation right now. I feel like we’re in a trend of catchy songs with lazily-written lyrics, and this song fits in there. I think Carrie can do better, but until she does I’m just kind of indifferent about her.
In large part, I agree with you and have even said as much myself. There is a small part of me that still thinks that minds can be changed or at least softened, however. Mine has, including regarding Carrie Underwood. I used to roundly dismiss her due to her Idol association, but previous threads on this very site have softened my position and now such arguments actually annoy me. Like Dan, I’m still pretty indifferent to her music, but I’ve gone from someone who wouldn’t even be able to say that she had talent to one who thinks she has lots of it, but hasn’t chosen good enough songs to match it. Super Carrie fans may not be satisfied with that amount of progress, but I submit that it’s still measurable progress.
It’s no stretch to wager that a Carrie Underwood single would rocket to the top, no matter what it was.
I kind of disagree. There’s always been a camp of detractors that claim she’s the flavor of the month. I agree with this in some ways, and have no issue with the fact that eventually, her commercial flame will diminish – that’s how the industry works. But I think to some extent, people tend to discount the staying power she’s had. There were many people three or even two years ago that would not have believed the lead single off her third album would become the fastest-rising single of her career.
Super Carrie fans may not be satisfied with that amount of progress, but I submit that it’s still measurable progress
I’m satisfied. A little respect and open-mindedness goes a long way!
I think one of the reasons Cowboy Casanova has risen so quickly on the charts is the online Carrie superfans have become even more organized and more determined to push everything she does in every way they can. I’ve observed their fan forums for some time, and they are the most organized online fan base of any artist, making threads for everything they can find to set up ways to vote on radio, various awards shows, and even random online contests for appearance and fashion on remote blogs and magazines. Many of them seem to have a hatred of anything done by Swift because they see it as a threat to Carrie, and her recent success and major press coverage has fueled that hatred and fueled the Carrie fans to be even more fanatic. I find it amusing and also sad that people go to such lengths to build of fake popularity for any artist, and it says a lot about the poor state of our music industry that these tactics work. I enjoy many Carrie songs, but the song Cowboy Cassanova has very little appeal to me, and to most of the people I’ve worked with and talked with that hear it when it comes on the radio. I’m sure it will go #1 though, because of the core base of Carrie faithful and because radio country music are part of the industry and the industry is going to continue to promote her just like other radio artists as long as they can get mileage out of her.
I have to disagree with you about CC not being catchy, but that’s obviously just a matter of opinion. I actually happen to think that “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” and “Redneck Yatch Club” are two of the most inane and frivilous songs to come out of Nashvile in years- I don’t think either are catchy or cute- they are just plan annoying tunes that waste space on radio.
I think this song at least has a unique tune- it sounds different from anything Carrie has previously done, and the lyrics are appealing because of the rapid-fire fashion they are sung in.
I guess what I’m saying is I completely disagree, Dan. The song is fresh-sounding for Carrie, the somewhat stale lyrics are devlivered in a clever way, and she delivers a bit more personality than usual in the vocal performance.
Yes, its still a peice of radio fluff, and she could have chosen a much more worthy single. However, I think under the circumstances, everything about this song could have been much worse if sung by someone else.
I will admit though I was not a fan of this song when I first heard it- but now that it’s grown me I don’t think it’s nearly as much of a travisty as some others here.
You make a very valid point with the Idol refrence- even though Carrie’s talent as an extremely gifted vocalist is obvious, I think many people refuse to accept that she had had to work hard to get where she is even though she was “given” a recording contract. She still had to go on TV every week in front of millions who watched her every move, she had to go on her first tour with literally no experience, and she had to be away from her family and sacrifice her personal privacy as well; to me, that’s a lot for anyone to handel, let alone someone who had never sang in front of anyone except her sorority sisters, never been on a plane or out of her home state until American Idol, and she had no previous experience with Hollywood or the city life.
I think many individuals who say they could go through being judged in front of millions of Americans while having little expereince of life outside growing up on a farm in a town of 3,000 people should at least be seen as a strong go-getter- two qualities that are benefical to anyone in the music bussiness.
When American Idol was over, Carrie still had to work very hard to shed the Idol mold- something that seems to be difficult for many past contestants and winners to break. American Idol is the most watched show in America- she was obviously under enromous pressure from everyone to suceed- and she did.
People always seem to complain Carrie didn’t pay her dues” because she didn’t play in bars with drunks all night- the “dues” she paid on American Idol and onward where stil just as much work and scarifice, if not more, in my opinion.
I think many who don’t like Carrie are coming around and recognizing her talent- only because she has been off Idol for a few years, and she has been thier biggest success, as well as explosive in country music as well. If Carrie was a semi- famous winner of AI (Clay, Ruben, David), I feel people would be much more crticial towards her talent.
“It’s no stretch to wager that a Carrie Underwood single would rocket to the top, no matter what it was.”
Tara, I also disagree with that to some degree as well. Any single can make or break an artist- Carrie is certaintly no exception. I think the difference with her is that her core fanbase is so robotically loyal that she will always have them supporting her- even if all those semi-fans fall off the map. She had millions following her and voting for her on American Idol- it is my belief that those same fans are the majority that will keep her around for years, even as her success starts to diminish and some fans start to move on to other artists.
But I also think her popularity will fade in time, and I think much of her commerical it factor that held her in the begining now belongs to Taylor Swift. Carrie will still be successful regardless of who is on top of the coutry world, but there will always be one artist who has a slight edge over another, and I think Swift has the avantage right now.
That being said though, I do think radio’s love affair with her will die off as soon as other wildly successful females come into the mix. It will happen that many more females will come into the genre and have much more success than Swift or Underwood; it’s just difficult to predict when or who that will be.
I think even if Carrie’s commerical success calms within the next few years, she has accomplished so much in such a short time span that she will remain in country’s history forever, regardless of what happens in her future as an artist.
I think it is statements like yours that fuel the fire between Carrie and Taylor fans. An example would go something like this:
On a Carrie blog:
Carrie fan: “Carrie is so awesome, and she can sing anything. ”
Taylor fan interjects: “I’m so sick of Carrie, at least Taylor is genuine and writes her own songs.”
A simple mention of how one fan is sick of an artist not being talked about in the blog starts an all-out war between fans, even if it’s an innocent opinion. I personally have never seen anything like the hatred and lies spewed between Taylor and Carrie maniacs; one always mentions their favorite of the two at completly random times, and the warring begins. I can hear the “at least Carrie can sing” comment ringing in my head right now!
As a loyal Carrie fan, I find it disgusting, dispicable and childish how these fans treat each other. People automatically seem to think Carrie fans will destroy anyone who doesn’t worship the ground Carrie walks on, which couldn’t be farther from the truth. I try to be respectful to fans of all artists, regardless of the artist they loyal to.
I have to say that your claims regarding Carrie fans really can easily be turned back around on Taylor fans as well. As one who’s not a loyal fan of either, I’ve noticed that both sides do what you’re solely attributing to Underwood fans. Both sides seem equally culpable on that front.
The business about fans organizing is stupid. Every major label artist has a stable of devoted fans who will try organize at the explicit expense of others. I haven’t done the work on this, but I suspect you could probably find pretty quickly Miranda Lambert fans lashing out at the other two members of the blond trifecta (Taylor, Carrie).
Lingering references to American Idol: pointless. Too many excellent songs have come from too many contestants who have won too many Grammys for that slight to matter anymore.
I did say was CC catchy…
September 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm
“I think one of the reasons Cowboy Casanova has risen so quickly on the charts is the online Carrie superfans have become even more organized and more determined to push everything she does in every way they can. I’ve observed their fan forums for some time, and they are the most organized online fan base of any artist, making threads for everything they can find to set up ways to vote on radio, various awards shows, and even random online contests for appearance and fashion on remote blogs and magazines. Many of them seem to have a hatred of anything done by Swift because they see it as a threat to Carrie, and her recent success and major press coverage has fueled that hatred and fueled the Carrie fans to be even more fanatic. I find it amusing and also sad that people go to such lengths to build of fake popularity for any artist, and it says a lot about the poor state of our music industry that these tactics work. I enjoy many Carrie songs, but the song Cowboy Cassanova has very little appeal to me, and to most of the people I’ve worked with and talked with that hear it when it comes on the radio. I’m sure it will go #1 though, because of the core base of Carrie faithful and because radio country music are part of the industry and the industry is going to continue to promote her just like other radio artists as long as they can get mileage out of her.”
I suspected as much…but I think Leeann makes a good point too, I suspect the same with Taylor fans…but from the admittedly limited amount that I have observed, the Carrie fans seem to dislike Taylor more than the other way around. And it is actually Carrie who wins almost every single poll she’s mentioned in, not Taylor. Evidence of even more fervent fan organization, I believe.
Another song of Carrie’s I didn’t like the first tiem i heard it, but is starting to grow on me (last Name and “wasted” were others”)
Knightwalker: “I’m sure it will go #1 though, because of the core base of Carrie faithful . . .”
This makes no sense. A song cannot go #1 on the support of a faithful core fan base. See, e.g., every single by Miranda Lambert. Broad-based appeal will drive a song to #1.
Knightwalker continues: “. . . and because radio country music are part of the industry and the industry is going to continue to promote her just like other radio artists as long as they can get mileage out of her.”
Knightwalker had one thing right, i.e., country music is an “industry”. It’s not a non-profit organization; it’s a for-profit business. And a for-profit business would be foolish not to promote songs of an artist the public likes.
quote from Leann
I have to say that your claims regarding Carrie fans really can easily be turned back around on Taylor fans as well. As one who’s not a loyal fan of either, I’ve noticed that both sides do what you’re solely attributing to Underwood fans. Both sides seem equally culpable on that front.
Leann, I aggree that both artist’s fans do this, as well as several other current popular artists that have no where near the online fan base that either Carrie or Taylor have. I read and frequent forums of Carrie, Taylor, Miranda, Shania and many more, just as observer, because I find it very interesting how fandom works. I enjoy music from all of the artists I mention, and my biggest support usually goes to the one(s) that are the biggest underdogs at the moment.
The reason I talked about Carrie’s fan base is because from the different main messageboards for her fans, compared to others like Taylor, they have by far the most organized system for voting. No other fan base comes close to it. I suspect the main reason is because when she was on American idol, voting meant pretty much everything as to how far any of the contestants went, and after she won and entered the country music mainstream, that organization and fan base continued to grow. I think Carrie has worked very hard and earned a large part of her success, but I also see the influence of that organized fanbase in how quickly and how often she gets to the top in everything from online polls to country music charts to award wins.
Taylor also has a huge online fanbase, but the difference between those fan bases is in part how Taylor’s fans vote vs how Carrie’s fans vote. I think Taylor reaches a wider range of people online and has a bigger fan base but they are not concentrated, and the majority of those are not forum fans and participate in voting etc in a random manner, not in a dedicated every day planned strategy.
Miranda has a very loyal and dedicated fan base too, but it is much much smaller and has much less impact than either Taylor or Carrie’s.
I’m most of all interested in how all of this works, because obviously radio popularity in country music and in every other form of media is much different than it was even 5 years ago.
I have to say I’m kind of disappointed in both Carrie and Taylor as far as the direction of their music. I think both have unique musical abilities and have the ability to bring a ton of exposure to country music, but both seem to be developing strong pop leanings and are infusing a lot more pop elements into their music, which kind of depreciates any good that might come of bringing worldwide attention to country music and giving it more listeners. I actually think that if both of them and the rest of the popular artists today would build their songs in a more traditional manner, leave in banjo, mandolin, steel guitar, fiddle etc. and take out the drums and electric guitars and synths and all the other pop and rock elements, (or at least cut them way down) Country would show itself as a much stronger and more influential and credible format. All the pop and rock in the songs today seems to take away their emotional impact for me.
Thanks for anyone that read this and understand what I’m trying to say.
I understand what you’re saying now. I can definitely give you voting, as far as Carrie’s fans are concerned.
OMG. Has anyone seen Carrie’s new video for this song?? My jaw dropped…. O.O
“Toto… we’re not in Nashville anymore.”
the melody is a rip off of Brittney McDonald’s “Bang”. One of the cowriters of Casanova heard it last year. Apparently he took it and used it for Casanova.
George Harrison got sued many years ago cause “My Sweet Lord” sounded just like a song from one of the girl groups of the sixties. George lost.
This is a rumor started by gossipmonger Perez Hilton. Unlike “My Sweet Lord” & “She’s So Fine” These songs don’t even sound remotely alike.
omg i love carrie underwood she like the best singer ever. she is my role modle. love ya girl……..(:
The radio is killing it for me. Plus, it sounds more like rock