Carrie Underwood’s new album is ‘Storyteller’ arriving with much fanfare and marking the country music superstar’s return to the scene. Now the critics are weighing in on her first album of new music since ‘Blown Away’ of 2012. Here’s a roundup of what they have to say.
With a new album, after a brief hiatus the 33-year-old country music superstar and American Idol winner is back for her second decade of dominance. She has ruled the country music charts throughout the ’00s right up through the mid ’10s, racking up an excess of 15 million record sales worldwide and seven Grammys along the way. And yes, she seems destined to bring us right into the third decade of this century, having already celebrated her own first decade with the pointedly titled, “Greatest Hits: Decade #1″ compilation album.
Now she is back with not just a new album, ‘Storyteller,’ but with it, a massive return to the entertainment world in general, dazzling everyone with a svelte post-baby body, her advocacy for fitness and her new active wear clothing line. Yes, Carrie Underwood is back.
Yes, she sparked social media backlash with ‘Smoke Break,’ being brazenly politically incorrect and advocating tobacco, some detractors thought, and she unapologetic in setting the record straight, so to speak. After all, the lyrics tell quite a story of longing and aspiration which just goes to remind us that the instantaneous social media chatter is sometimes without reflection. Above all, Carrie Underwood has, in her powerhouse voice, told us stories with her music, evoking the country music at its best, as lyrics are often strong with narratives.
So what do the critics think this time around? Here’s a roundup.
“….“Storyteller” is her fifth album, and even though a decade has passed since her debut, Ms. Underwood is still preoccupied with power, not texture or finesse. She largely picks songs that serve as launch platforms for her ballistic-missile voice, but they don’t cohere into a whole identity. He….”– New York Times
“….Underwood likes to sing about women who seem like they’re ready for their own episode of “Snapped,” but her voice doesn’t quite have enough edge or sass to make it believable.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it is a very sharp contrast to the things Underwood does so well on “Storyteller.”….”– Newsday
“…. I was on my third listen to this record before I found the energy to pierce the sheen, to get at the songs underneath. The good news is that those songs are, most of them anyway, pretty great. The leadoff single “Smoke Break” offers an incisive look at small town America a la Miranda Lambert or Kacey Musgraves, and rides a clever lyrical turn through a satisfying chorus….” — Exclaim.ca
“…. Underwood is a mother these days, and Storyteller often feels like the musical equivalent of storytime, shot through with tall tales (and the occasional autobiographical tune) about Wild West women and Bible Belt belles. For the adults among us, there’s also a lot of talk about getting drunk, getting even and getting it on….” — Rolling Stone
The critics, as is often the case, are divided, noting the strengths and the weaknesses. But it’s clear the fans are eager for the new music from their idol and we shouldn’t be surprised to see the album debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. You can see Carrie Underwood’s Storyteller album cover art and ‘Smoke Break’ music video below!
Pictures: PR Photos