Two Black Cadillacs (Single Review) – Carrie Underwood

 

Carrie Underwood’s new single, off her platinum selling album Blown Away and as a follow up to one of 2012’s biggest country hits Blown Away, is Two Black Cadillacs, a song which sets an ominous tone the moment the first note strikes.

Two black Cadillacs driving in a slow parade. Headlights shining bright in the middle of the day. One’s for his wife, the other for the woman who loved him at night, Underwood sings as a dramatic melody plays in the background. She immediately throws us into the setting of a funeral where a preacher man is saying the man being buried was a good man and his brother says he was a good friend.

But the two women in the black veils have a secret to hide. The story could very well serve to make a movie drama and Underwood delivers it effortlessly in a few minutes.

Two months ago his wife found the number on his phone, turns out he’d been lying to both of them for far too long. They decided then he’d never get away with doing this to them, Underwood lets the plot thicken. The women, taking turns in lying a rose down on the coffin and throwing dirt into the deep ground, also have a secret to hide. So they share a crimson smile and leave their secret with the man they killed, at the grave, to die with them.

Two Black Cadillacs is a hauntingly dark song by Underwood that serves as a one-two punch by the country star as she delivers her album’s most critically acclaimed tracks as back to back singles. The darkness with which her tone delivers this song would make you think she’s lived these events herself but it’s only telling of the caliber that Underwood has turned into as a performer. As she sings “bye bye” to signal the women biding farewell to the man who betrayed them both, you can feel her voice pierce through.

Two Black Cadillacs is a song where the musicians playing couldn’t stop after it was done so they kept playing and playing. Part of them jamming is found on the album track and will probably be cut with the radio edit. The song goes fifty shades deep and is Underwood’s darkest and most thought-provoking single release to date. From the haunting thumping melody that is reminiscent of a funeral march to the rich and multi-layered storytelling lyrics, Carrie Underwood delivers. Releasing a “softer” song may have been a safer bet. But Underwood is here to let her detractors know that Blown Away was just a storm warning. Bye bye, bye bye. 

A.

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Blown Away (Music Video) – Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood has released the music video for her second single (review) off her album of the same title (review): Blown Away.

After a few months of waiting and increasing hype, which culminated in a competition for radio stations for the right to hold a premiere for the music video, the video is finally here.

A few comments:

  • The video is very well done. The build up is intense albeit the ending was a bit disappointing and too colorful for my taste. A shot of the destroyed house to the backdrop of retreating storm clouds would have been more dramatic than the current way the video ends.
  • The Wizard of Oz inferences are present throughout: be it the yellow brick road, the tornado, plaid shirt, red shoes, scarecrow in the cellar and Carrie’s own puppy as Todo.
  • The relationship with the dad could have been illustrated a notch more. Instead of a history homework problem at the beginning, why couldn’t they take it to where the song clearly says the relationship is? The father looks like a drunk in the video – not an abusive father. You need to make that jump through the song but the video could have easily illustrated that.
  • There were small hints throughout the video that tie in very well with the song such as the main character touching a grave and walking through a cemetery around the lines “mama was an angel in the ground.”

Overall, one of Carrie’s best. Some of the comments above are merely being nitpicky about the video. But it’s truly, really, well-done.

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:

Teaser from Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away Music Video

This was leaked from the fan club party that went on at the Opry in Nashville, a 13 second teaser from the upcoming music video by Carrie Underwood for her song: Blown Away, which I correctly predicted would be the second single off the album of the same title.

The storyline of the video looks like it’ll be what was leaked a couple of days ago:

The video opens with heavy rains. People in town running with newspapers over their heads to their cars, a lady’s umbrella gets turned inside out. The camera is zipping to different parts of the city showing people trying to deal with the storm.

The camera then zooms out of the city down a road to a big farm. It isn’t raining there, but you can see the lightning clouds coming towards the house.

The first verse starts and the camera zooms into the house. There’s an old man laying on the couch, passed out as if he were watching TV. The emergency weather service is is on the TV. Between the TV and the couch stands Carrie. Holding a picture frame and flashlight. When Carrie sings “those storms clouds gather in her eyes,” the camera zooms into her face and her eyes are watering, but she’s not crying. She shakes her head in a disgusted way, looks away from him. At the line “the weatherman called for a twister,” she shuts the TV off and walks away.

The camera goes out to the street and you see the band playing and Carrie is singing “there’s not enough rain in Oklahoma…” It goes back and forth between this and the Carrie in the house collecting all of the pictures off the walls and scrapbooks. You can see the dad still passed out on the couch and the girl walks up the stairs to her room.

When the chorus starts, the camera is switching between Carrie with her band outside (the winds have picked up a bit at this point) and Carrie in her room tearing it to pieces. She’s tearing up pictures of her dad, throwing her clothes, etc.

When the chorus ends and Carrie hits the high “Blown Away” note, the clouds are now really dark, her hair is blowing wildly and a single lightning bolt strikes near the band, tearing the ground up.

As the second verse starts, it zooms back into the girl’s room. As soon as she starts crying, it starts raining lightly outside on Carrie and the band. The winds are still blowing. It starts showing people around the neighborhood running into their cellars, gathering their kids and just kind of panicking. Carrie (the inside one) sees her father still sleep on the couch. She picks up her whiskey bottle and takes a big drink of it and wipes her mouth.

When the second chorus starts, it’s really raining hard and lightning striking everywhere and for the rest of the video, it zooms between the storm progressing, eventually with a tornado touching down right behind the band and ripping up the house and the inside Carrie who is sitting in a chair in the basement with the light right above dangling and swaying as if the house was moving. There are lots of shots of the house be ripped apart by this storm, with pictures flying everywhere etc.

At the end of the song, Carrie emerges from the basement and the entire house is gone, except for an empty couch.

Sounds great, no? Here’s the teaser for you:

Carrie Underwood Discusses Her Album “Blown Away”

With the album sitting atop the top-selling albums chart for a second week, Carrie Underwood has taken some time out of her very busy schedule to talk about the 14 songs that make up “Blown Away.” You can check out my review of the album here as well as all the lyrics for the songs here.

Some of the songs gain a different meaning. Others are still pretty-self explanatory. Overall, this is an interesting series of videos that anyone who has listened to the album, or is interested in listening to, should watch:

1 – Good Girl

2 – Blown Away

3 – Two Black Cadillacs

4 – See You Again

5 – Do You Think About Me

6 – Forever Changed

7 – Nobody Ever Told You

8 – One Way Ticket

9 – Thank God For Hometowns

10 – Good in Goodbye

11 – Leave Love Alone

12 – Cupid’s Got a Shotgun

13 – Wine After Whiskey

14 – Who Are You

Blown Away is a great album. It’s an eclectic mix of styles. You’ll find something there to suit your taste, unless you are only into trance in which case you’re out of luck. I’m a bigger fan of the slower songs on it but the uptempos are great as well. If you haven’t given it a listen, you should do so. Odds are you’ll end up buying it.

 

Blown Away (Album Review) – Carrie Underwood

At a time where artists follow a repetitive cycle in their careers of album making and touring, Carrie Underwood has decided to break the routine she found herself in and take her time in giving the music industry her fourth album: Blown Away.

Two and a half years after her latest offering, Play On, was deemed as mediocre by critics, Underwood figured the best approach for album number four was a “all bets are off.” When you’re among your generation’s best vocalists, why not seek out material that’s fitting and can only elevate your talent?

This is what Underwood does on Blown Away in droves.

Opening with the rocking Good Girl, the album doesn’t relent. It moves into the haunting Blown Away, a song about a girl seeking revenge on her abusive father which Underwood delivers breathtakingly. The album goes even darker with Two Black Cadillacs, where a wife and a mistress at the funeral of the man who betrayed them both, a song that Underwood also delivers in a chilling manner.

See You Again, originally written for Narnia’s The Dawn Treader, showcases Underwood’s nuanced vocals as she tells a very significant person that she’ll see him again despite all. Do You Think About Me is an effervescent country song about a young love that is long gone but which Underwood keenly remembers.

The album’s most personal track, Forever Changed, is an old-fashioned country song that chronicles the life of a woman as she fell in love, gave birth and is now losing her memory while her daughter achingly watches. Underwood’s very subtle, nuanced and subdued delivery of Forever Changed adds another dimension to the storytelling.

Nobody Ever Told You, a country uptempo serves as a simple empowering anthem for young girls. It’s followed by the tropical Bob Marley-esque One Way Ticket, written while Carrie Underwood, Josh Kear and Luke Laird were sipping margaritas. The laid back atmosphere of the writing session translates perfectly to song with goofy lyrics such as “tell your boss man where to stick it” and whistling delivered by Underwood herself.

Don’t let the cliché title of Thank God for Hometowns fool you. The song hits a nerve with anyone who comes from a small town anywhere around the world. The Ryan Tedder co-write on the album, Good in Goodbye, is a haunting track about meeting a former lover with whom things ended badly, feeling regret even though both are happy with their lives now. “Sometimes, yes sometimes, there’s good in goodbye.”

On the folky and repetitive Leave Love Alone, Underwood delivers a foot tapper as she repeats “I just can’t leave alone.” The country-heavy, Brad Paisley-guitar driven, Cupid’s Got A Shotgun is the album’s most redneck track. With references to guns, riffles and shotguns, Underwood is escaping love at all costs. Brad Paisley delivers a masterful guitar performance on the track.

Wine After Whiskey, a song that didn’t make Carrie’s previous album Play On, is an aching regret of a relationship that went sour, getting diluted into something that doesn’t work anymore. Who Are You, the album’s most religious track and written by Shania Twain’s former producer Mutt Lange, serves as a decent conclusion to the album and resonates with the faith Carrie has professed on many occasions.

Blown Away features a set of masterful lyrics, grouped together with chilling composition and extremely well-done production. Carrie’s voice doesn’t fight against the production as in previous albums of hers, it complements the instrumentation and serves to showcase both the songs and her delivery, which has truly matured on Blown Away. There are subtle hints, sprinkled here and there, that turn phrases and add depth and dimensions to lyrics, something Underwood had touched on but never delved in before. She plays with that on Blown Away like childsplay, showing that a good vocal performance isn’t always about reaching the stratosphere notes, something that she took time to learn.

Blown Away is a very cohesive album that’s a collection of fourteen very strong tracks, the only one of those which is reminiscent of Carrie’s previous material being Good Girl. The album spans the gamut themes-wise. It’s dark, mysterious, chilling. And it’s also fun, happy, goofy. Both sides are balanced perfectly. None seem to overtake the other, both working together to elevate the album’s level to places that Underwood hadn’t reached artistically before. Underwood is fierce on Blown Away. She’s unrelenting. She’s gut-wrenching. And she occasionally plays.

Blown Away is an album about a life: the ups and downs, the vacations, the bittersweet memories, the hardships, faith…. It is a collection that is more than worth the wait that brought it here. Carrie Underwood has managed to blow away detractors with her fourth album. Country music, prepare to be blown away by the latest offering of Underwood.

Yes, Underwood is back. To say better than ever with an album like Blown Away would be an understatement. Make sure to grab a copy on May 1st. You won’t be disappointed.

Grade: A+

You can stream the album on iTunes here. You can also check out the lyrics for all the songs here.

All the Lyrics of the album “Blown Away” by Carrie Underwood

You can find all the lyrics for Carrie Underwood’s album “Blown Away” (read my review) here:

Good Girl

Blown Away

Two Black Cadillacs

See You Again

Do You Think About Me

Forever Changed

Nobody Ever Told You

One Way Ticket

Thank God for Hometowns

Good in Goodbye

Leave Love Alone

Cupid’s Got A Shotgun

Wine After Whiskey

Who Are You