Blown Away (Single Review) – Carrie Underwood

Dry lightning cracks across the sky, those storm clouds gather in her eyes. Daddy was a mean old mister, mama was an angel in the ground. The weatherman called for a twister. She prayed blow it down.

To an incessant heartbeat-like drum, Carrie Underwood’s newest single opens. Blown Away, the second single off the album of the same title, is the darkest song on the album in question and a drastic departure from anything Underwood had given before, be it musically or lyrically.

As Carrie Underwood’s voice breaks in a delivery echoing the character’s need for peace, the song shifts into an ethereal production where Underwood goes into a multi-layered lower register to sing the song’s most haunting line, which confirms what the opening verse makes you think of.

There’s not enough rain in Oklahoma to wash the sins out of that house. There’s not enough wind in Oklahoma to wash the sins out of that past.

Carrie Underwood may have not been the victim of abuse but she sings Blown Away with so much conviction that it’s hard to think her life wasn’t the struggle she portrays. As she feigns power to sing the song’s chorus, you can’t but hear a faint cry in her voice as she pleads to have her problems blown away by the impeding twister.

Shatter every window till it’s all blown away. Every brick, every board, every slamming door blown away. Till there’s nothing left standing, nothing left to yesterday. Every tear-soaked whiskey memory blown away, blown away.

As the tornado nears her house, the character in Underwood’s song hides away in the cellar of the house, leaving her “daddy laid there passed on the couch.” As she listened to the screaming of the wind, the song exemplifies the amount of hurt the girl has been put through in her life.

Some people called it taking shelter. She called it sweet revenge.

As Underwood shifts between impeccable falsettos and power-singing in her delivery, she delivers an excellent song that is unlike anything else on any form of mainstream radio today. Carrie Underwood is not only singing about whiskey-soaked abuse memories, she’s also telling the story of a daughter leaving her father’s breathing body to the mercy of a wind that knows no mercy, all to a chilling production.

The country-pop production is another instance in which Underwood pushes the envelope further for country radio after a country-rock first single in Good Girl. In Blown Away, the dramatic production proves necessary to bring full effect to a song that desperately cried for such an epic dramatic feel, be it on the thundery chorus or the chilling pre-chorus.

Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear, the creators of Underwood’s biggest hit Before He Cheats, have given her the song that might just rival that. Some country audiences will be rubbed the wrong way with the theme of this song but with something this incredible, Underwood shouldn’t care the least. In fact, she should be proud pf that because it’ll be the mark of how great a song this is. With Blown Away, Carrie Underwood has yet again thrown caution to the wind and let her guards get blown away.

Blown Away is a song you can’t resist getting blown away with.

10/10

Listen to the song here:

And watch a sneak-peek into the music video here:

Buzz Vodka Mix: Khalleh l Jaw Wel3an – Hilarious Lebanese Ad

The frontman of Lebanese band Meen Fouad Yammine is part of the ads for Buzz Vodka Mix and I just watched his newest offering for the brand & it’s simply hilarious.

Yammine’s initial ad, which spun several parodies, is the following:

His partner in the previous ad has also went solo:

Overall, some successful ads Buzz has going for it here. My favorite is the latest one by Fouad Yammine. I couldn’t stop laughing after watching it.

I gotta try this Buzz drink.

Kunhadi’s New Year’s Eve Ads

For those who like to party hard on NYE and then drive back home, Lebanon’s NGO Kunhadi has an ad right for you – and it is simply great.

The campaign has two components: a video and a poster, both of which are making the viral rounds because of their very sincere message and the simplicity with which they were made.

The posters:

Kunhadi - NYE Poster

For non-Lebanese readers, the ad says: your parents are staying up on New Year’s Eve for you to come back. Don’t drink and drive.

The YouTube video to accompany this poster is:

You have to give it to Kunhadi. Their ads are always poignant and emotional. I also remember their Mother’s Day ad was brilliant as well.

And on another note, is it just me or is the Lebanese marketing scene becoming way more creative than it used to be? First there was the Lebanese Brew ad, then there was the Nadine Labaki Johnnie Walker one, followed by Fransabank and then MAD Beirut. 

But no matter… hopefully the message in this video comes across. And what’s more important is for those who are going to parties to be aware not to get into cars with drunk stubborn friends who refuse to take a cab.

Drunk Thursday

It is that time of the year again – the time where we attempt to celebrate our ancestor’s traditions in the period leading up to lent.

One of the most loved traditions will take place tomorrow: Drunk Thursday, aka the only day of the year where getting wasted in front of your parents is met with cheers.

The tradition – or at least what I’ve come to understand of it – goes as follows. On the last Thursday before lent, the whole family gets together for one last shindig before lent starts. It used to be that people gave up everything that made them happy for the lent period, alcohol included. So this “drunk Thursday” served as their last serious farewell to the substance, giving it up until Easter rolled over.

Disregarding what alcohol does to your liver and other vital organs, I think it’s an awesome tradition. It just has this Lebanese familial feel to it that I believe has been decreasing over the years. It’s always nice to sit with your parents over a glass of wine and chat. Now take the wine and extrapolate to a certain unknown power and throw in a few extra family members, some of which you do not want to mingle with and you’re in for one exciting evening – be it you are an atheist or not. This is not a religious occasion, per se.

I’ve personally never celebrated the day properly with my family. Other people my age have had their own share of “Drunk Thursdays” but getting drunk has always eluded me. I have no idea why. God knows I’ve tried. I’ve also taken up drinking quite late compared to other Lebanese my age. Apparently the “acquired taste” of alcohol required extra-acquiring by yours truly. So it looks like this year will be the one time my family gets together to “celebrate” this day properly. And I have to say, I’m excited about it!

Keeping up with traditions – even though our understanding of them might have become different – is always important because it roots us further in our identity. Even if the tradition is as simple as binge drinking with your dad.

So is your family getting together tomorrow to get drunk?