Country music has in modern times been at home in the USA, with a wide range of women creating great country, from Dolly Parton to Miranda Lambert – and in the UK it’s gaining popularity with acts like The Shires gaining attention. Carrie Underwood is a huge star of country and her new album, Storyteller came out last week.
In some ways it can sound in place a little corny, opening with tracks like Renegade Runaway which must have every country town stereotype in one song, which is quite unique. However when it comes to the writing Underwood certainly lives up to the name of the record, the songs really build a story, with every word you can build an image of what’s going on in every track. and that’s not a very easy thing to do.
Country has often added a social commentary on the lives of people, tracks such as Smoke Break and Chocktaw Country Affair, the first Underwood helped write on this record is an incredibly interesting song as it talks about the lives of people and the changing society which she sees, from overburdened mothers to first generation college students, it does give an interesting insight to American life she gets to see – I think country is unique in how it can do this.
Carrie Underwood brings together the acoustic melodies that country has really always been known for, but there is certainly a bringing of a more modern twist to the sound and it makes for a very accessible record and in some places it doesn’t feel that sincere, that could be due to her only writing six of the songs on the album. The use of synth is used well, tracks such as Relapse have drama and great melodies due the big sound created on the track.
Storyteller is a good record, Underwood and her writers have really taken the theme of Storyteller and run with it, with some really beautiful writing in places, tracks like Clock Don’t Stop and The Girl You Think I Am really display that beautifully and with her vocals it’s perfection. This album in places melodically is a little cliche, but sometimes it gets it some right, Smoke Break and Mexico, it’s a mixed record and if you like country or need a good driving record, Storyteller is the album for you. Highlights for me are Smoke Break, Chocktaw Country Affair and Mexico.