Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Oh, There's Nothing Like Oklahoma

Some Hearts - Carrie Underwood

Due to my morals, I try to avoid anything that is on Fox. Plus I prefer my karaoke to be performed by people with little to none talent much like Larry Holmes on But Can They Sing? So needless to say I have missed all but a couple of seconds of American Karaoke aside from some big black dude butchering one of my favorite songs of all time, Smokey Robinson’s The Tracks of My Tears. And it’s not like the American Karaoke champions have had much staying power aside from Kelly Clarkson even though many people will classify her only as a guilty pleasure.

But the latest queen of karaoke, Some Hearts - Carrie Underwood, shares the same qualities that has helped Clarkson to the top while the other champions in between have lacked, Underwood and Clarkson are both have the cute, down home, girl next door appeal. Just look at Underwood’s album cover with the playing in the field feel to it. She could sound like Biz Markie and still be able to sell some records on charm alone. And that charm went along way because, even though she has a decent voice, it’s doubtful she would have won if American Karaoke was a radio contest instead of on TV.

The songs on Underwood’s first album, Some Hearts, can be divided into two different camps, the one’s that will be marketed to the pop audience and those that will appeal more to country fans. Those songs even seem to alternate every other one to mix things up. The standout “pop” song is the album opener, Wasted, a nice little ditty about making sure you get the most out of life.

As for the “country” songs, there is nothing more entertaining on this album than Before He Cheats which takes a page out of the Goodbye Earl handbook about how to deal with a bad boyfriend. “And he don't know that I dug my key into the side of his pretty little suped up 4 wheel drive, carved my name into his leather seat, I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights, slashed a hole in all 4 tires.” Now I’m pretty sure if you carve your name into the seats, he may have a premonition that it was you that did it, but in no way ruins the entertainment value of the song. And you also have to give Underwood, a glorified karaoke queen, props for throwing in the line, “Right now, she's probably up singing some white-trash version of Shania karaoke.” That takes a pair, even for a girl. Also in the song she sings about the girl in question, “right now, he's probably buying her some fruity little drink cause she can't shoot whiskey.” Now is Underwood is able to do this, I totally want to hang out with this chick.

Even the other “country” song avoids the pitfall of many current country hits of insulting my intelligent. Seriously, She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy? I could actually feel my IQ drop when I heard that song. But anyways. Aside from wondering where Walmart is during the country girl in the big city tale of I Ain't in Checotah Anymore she sticks with classic country model of good storytelling. Night Before (Life Goes On) almost plays like a southern version of Fast Car with two young kids in love looking for a better life out of town but for now, “He’s got a Friday paycheck lined up down the block at daddy’s shop it ain’t much but its a job.”

There are quite a few songs that are filled with more cheese than most McDonald stores most notable the Jesus Take the Wheel. The song is just bogged down in over the top melodrama. Other songs are mired with clichés like, “Some pages turned, some bridges burned, but there were lessons learned” (Lessons Learned) and “I guess it’s gonna hurt to hurt” (Starts with Goodbye). If she can get ride of these types of overused devises, she may just yet live up to the title of American Idol.

Song to Download – (If you’re a little bit country) Before He Cheats; (If you a little bit rock n roll) Wasted

Some Hearts gets a Terror Alert Level: Elevated [YELLOW] on my Terror Alert Scale.

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