Carnival Ride

( 96 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The pivotal American Idol moment for Carrie Underwood was when she teased her hair to the heavens and sang Heart's "Alone," belting out the power ballad with sincerity and a natural flair for drama. It was the surest sign that Carrie wasn't merely the country star the show gladly pigeonholed her as, that she was a pop star by any measure. Of course, the great irony was that Carrie had little interest in being a pop star; she wanted to be a country singer, but the sheer magnitude of American Idol meant that she was already a pop star who needed to cross over to country, a reverse of the usual crossover move. Underwood pulled off that tricky maneuver with a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The pivotal American Idol moment for Carrie Underwood was when she teased her hair to the heavens and sang Heart's "Alone," belting out the power ballad with sincerity and a natural flair for drama. It was the surest sign that Carrie wasn't merely the country star the show gladly pigeonholed her as, that she was a pop star by any measure. Of course, the great irony was that Carrie had little interest in being a pop star; she wanted to be a country singer, but the sheer magnitude of American Idol meant that she was already a pop star who needed to cross over to country, a reverse of the usual crossover move. Underwood pulled off that tricky maneuver with a deceptive ease on her 2005 debut, Some Hearts, which turned into a smash success, turning sextuple platinum at a time when many albums struggle to go gold, even surpassing the sales of the original Idol, Kelly Clarkson. Such success raised the bar for her 2007 follow-up, Carnival Ride. Traditionally, second albums are a place where artists consolidate their strengths or expand their reach, either with an eye toward artistic growth or commercial success, and Carrie chooses the former option, creating a record that is more purely country than her debut. She dials down the pageantry drama that peppered her debut -- there are no Diane Warren songs, for instance -- and plays up her humble, all-American persona, singing songs about small towns and big dreams, even attempting to kick up some dirt and grit on the one-night-stand anthem "Last Name," which is Miranda Lambert filtered through Shania Twain. And one of the striking things about Carnival Ride is how completely Carrie Underwood has stepped into the void that Shania and Faith Hill left behind: the small-town girl made good but who hasn't left her roots behind. In other words, she hasn't made the big pop diva move that Shania did with Up! or Faith with Cry; she's planted herself firmly within country. Now, Carrie's country is hardly traditionalist -- despite the lack of Diane Warren tunes, there are plenty of power ballads here, along with light drum loops that aren't commonly heard in Nashville -- but her approach is completely contemporary country, in how it blurs the borders between country and arena rock, something that's perfect for a girl who made her first big splash singing Heart. Sound and feel do mean a lot, but country records really survive on the strength of their songs, and the remarkable thing about Carnival Ride is that it's stronger song for song than Some Hearts, some of this due to Carrie herself, who bears four songwriting credits here, often in conjunction with some permutation of Steve McEwan and Hillary Lindsey, who pen a bunch of other tunes here. The songs may veer just a bit too close to the big power ballads, but they all work as strong pieces of commercial country, built on surging melodies (all the better for Carrie to belt) and lyrics that play into Underwood's small-town girl persona but are also open-ended enough to be relatable. All this very well may be more calculating than it appears, but the appealing thing about Carnival Ride is that it plays so smoothly and assuredly that you just go along for the ride, especially because Carrie sells these songs completely, making the clichés and cornball phrases believable. It's a gift that Shania had, but she always seemed larger than life. In contrast, Carrie Underwood only sounds larger than life, and she still comes across like the girl next door despite her massive success, and this lingering sense of innocence -- however constructed for stage it may be -- gives an album as big and shiny as Carnival Ride the appearance of a genuine heart, something that no other big country-pop album has had since the glory days of Come on Over.
New York Times - Kelefa Sanneh
It’s a straight-up Carrie Underwood album, and a very good one, with a handful of romps and laments that exist mainly to set the stage for the big-voiced, ’80s-influenced, Southern-accented power ballads she sings so well.
Rolling Stone - Rob Sheffield
Carnival Ride is more country and therefore more confident. She goes for the girl-next-door cred long since given up by Faith Hill in uptempo gems like "The More Boys I Meet" ("The more I love my dog").
Entertainment Weekly - Leah Greenblatt
Carnival Ride covers its bases impeccably, from the roof-raising opener ''Flat on the Floor'' to the gorgeous, torchy ballad ''I Know You Won't'' and the already-massive anthem ''So Small.'' [B+]
Washington Post - Bill Friskies-Warren
As on her previous album, Underwood's voluptuous soprano is the main event.... There's no denying the power and beauty of Underwood's instrument, a strapping and supple voice akin to those of Yearwood and Martina McBride.
Newsday - Glenn Gamboa
[Grade: B] "Carnival Ride" goes down extraordinarily easy - lots of lush, inspirational ballads that make the most of her gorgeous voice and a handful of rock-tinged up-tempo numbers about getting out of town or following your dreams.

Carnival Ride is more country and therefore more confident. She goes for the girl-next-door cred long since given up by Faith Hill in uptempo gems like "The More Boys I Meet" ("The more I love my dog").
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/23/2007
  • Label: Arista
  • UPC: 886971122121
  • Catalog Number: 711221
  • Sales rank: 7,624

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Flat on the Floor (3:21)
  2. 2 All-American Girl (3:33)
  3. 3 So Small (3:46)
  4. 4 Just a Dream (4:46)
  5. 5 Get Out of This Town (3:04)
  6. 6 Crazy Dreams (3:37)
  7. 7 I Know You Won't (4:20)
  8. 8 Last Name (4:03)
  9. 9 You Won't Find This (3:21)
  10. 10 I Told You So (4:19)
  11. 11 The More Boys I Meet (3:34)
  12. 12 Twisted (3:57)
  13. 13 Wheel of the World (4:43)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Carrie Underwood Primary Artist, Background Vocals
Jack Jezzro Bass
Eric Darken Percussion
John Catchings Viola
Matt Chamberlain Drums
Paul Franklin Dobro, Steel Guitar
Vince Gill Background Vocals
Carl Gorodetzky Violin
Jim Grosjean Viola
Charles Judge Organ, Synthesizer, Strings, Hammond Organ, Lap Steel Guitar
Anthony LaMarchina Viola
Chris McHugh Drums
The Nashville String Machine Strings
Craig Nelson Bass
Pamela Sixfin Violin
Jimmie Lee Sloas Bass
Alan Umstead Violin
Catherine Umstead Violin
Gary VanOsdale Viola
Kris Wilkinson Viola
Jonathan Yudkin Bass, Fiddle, Mandolin, Violin, Cello, Viola, Track Performer
Aubrey Haynie Fiddle, Mandolin
Jimmy Nichols Synthesizer, Piano
Lisa Cochran Background Vocals
Keith Nicholas Viola
Gordie Sampson Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Piano
Monisa Angell Viola
Karen Winkelmann Violin
Julie Tanner Viola
Bruce Christensen Viola
Cate Myer Violin
Gerald Greer Violin
Betty Small Violin
Wes Hightower Background Vocals
Tom Bukovac Electric Guitar
Connie Ellison Violin
Carole Rabinowitz-Neuen Viola
Carrie Bailey Violin
Denise Baker Violin
Beverly Drukker Violin
Dave Angell Violin
Ilya Toshinsky Acoustic Guitar, Banjo
Erin Hall Violin
Hillary Lindsey Background Vocals
Sari Reist Viola
Zeneba Bowers Violin
Mike Johnson Steel Guitar
Technical Credits
Randy Travis Composer
Cathy Dennis Composer
Derek Bason Engineer
Barry Dean Composer
Charles Judge Programming, Loop
Gordon Kennedy Composer
Chris McDonald Arranger, Composer
Jonathan Yudkin Arranger, Composer
Mark Bright Producer
Neil Thrasher Composer
Brett James Composer
Tom Shapiro Composer
S. Wade Hunt Art Direction
Wendell Mobley Composer
Gordie Sampson Composer
Chris Lindsey Composer
Kelley Lovelace Composer
Aimee Mayo Composer
Steve McEwan Composer
J.R. Rodriguez Engineer, Digital Editing
Hillary Lindsey Composer
Troy Verges Composer
Carrie Underwood Composer
Ashley Monroe Composer
Judy Forde Blair Liner Notes, Creative Producer
Nathan Dickinson Digital Editing
Ashley Gorley Composer
Luke Laird Composer
Hank Williams Mastering
Hillary Lindsay Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 96 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(76)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 96 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Hurt my ears...

    I think the hit song "So Small" is brilliantly written, and could be a great song if Carrie did not try to "belt it out" in such a high key. At first it was ok, however after awahile it's really tiring to hear her straining her voice like that.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    beautiful music with an uplifting vibe.

    this cd is one of my favorites.carrie underwood is also my biggest role model.if you like danceable music with lots of soul then you will love all of carrie underwoods music.if you are none of the above,and are a dull and boring person,do not buy this cd.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Carnival Ride - Amazing

    Carrie did an amazing job on her second album. Favorite songs are: All-American Girl; Last Name; I Know You Won't; and Just a Dream. If you loved her first cd then you will love this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Another Hit

    I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this album. I listen to it on the way to work, at work and on the way home. I can have my daughter in the car and not worry about changing the dial. Carrie sing funny, serious, bluesy and just great music. A female artist I would mind my daughter and her friends imitating.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Not As Good

    This Album is no where as good as Carrie's first album. I got them both, and don't care for this one. If you don't have the first one get it, Don't waste your money on this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    What A Graet CD

    I loved this CD everyone I know loveed it I think that if you had to choose between any of Carie Underwoods CDs this whould be the best

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    another great album by carrie underwood

    her second studio album is just as good as her first studio album if not better carrie underwood truly has a great singing voice i heard rumors about carrie underwood covering slipknots wait and bleed

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    She is Awesome yet Again

    Carrie succeeds in finding the right way to break the truth in her song &quot Just A Dream&quot and the rest of her album is a delight to listen too as well.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    CARRIE ROCKS AGAIN

    This cd proves that Carrie deserves all those country awards.Her first cd(some hearts)definately showed shes a star,but now this cd(carnival ride) makes her THE STAR THAT SHE IS.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome CD

    I love Carrie Underwood's new CD Carnival Ride. Her vocals are awesome and as usual, her songs are ones you not just hear, but they really touch your heart or make you just want to sing along.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One word: Amazing

    I really love Carrie Underwood. She's so down to earth and her music just takes you to another place. Some Hearts was very good and Carnival Ride is even better! You will not be disappointed.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Best CD of 2007

    I simply love this CD!!! I can't find one bad thing wrong with this CD!!! Recommend to anyone that buys it. Recommend, "Last Name" "I Told You So", "More Boy I Meet"!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Carrie Underwood really impressed me with her first release, Some Hearts, and this CD just continued it for me. With her winning a TV show I was a bit skeptical, but she has shown me with each song on both CD's that she is and deserves to be a star! I think this CD really let her show herself!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    Yeah, did not like this cd at ALL!!!I like country alot it's all I listen to but this really was disappointing!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    I love Carrie Underwood, and I really loved the first C.D. She was fantastic on American Idol, and She is just as good on this C.D. Even if you hate Country music, you will love this C.D.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent songs

    You cannot ask for anything lese except that me the music is excellent.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome

    Some Hearts was the first CD that I ever owned that I loved every single song. I wondered if I would be able to say the same about Carnival Ride. I can and I do! I love every song on this CD too!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    WOW!!! This one word sums up her new CD! She just simply NEVER disappoints! With all the pressure on her with six million copies of "Some Hearts" sold, I believe that this album is ever better than the first!! You are awesome Carrie!!! By far and away the BEST female artist in country music!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ~AMAZING~

    Every song on this CD was just amazing. She stayed true to herself and created some beautiful music. She will definately be around for a long time to come. This CD is now one of my favorites of all time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Can't Stop Listening!

    I loved Carrie Underwood's first CD, and I love this one, too! She has a power in her voice that will undoubtedly keep her on the rise for years to come!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 96 Customer Reviews