This is a hard article for me to write. On one hand, as a Carrie Underwood fan, I’m so excited to be given the chance to review the new single from her upcoming album, Greatest Hits: Decade #1. On the other, I am faced with the unsettling fact that it has been almost 10 years since Carrie Underwood was crowned winner of American Idol 2005. I am forced to admit that I remember it well, the gorgeous blonde Oklahoma native who took the world by storm with her girl next door attitude and powerhouse voice. She rode the idol wave better than anyone, all the way to her smash hit single Jesus Take The Wheel. The song spent 6 weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and was certified 2x platinum by April 2006. It even reached number 4 on CMT’s 40 Greatest Songs Of The Decade. It was the track that made a superstar and catapulted Underwood from country songstress to worldwide phenomenon.
Since then, Underwood has gone on to receive over 95 major accolades, including 6 Grammy’s, 2 CMT Artist of the Year awards and the 2014 Billboard Milestone award. A decade later, the country princess is pregnant with her first child, a fact that may explain the two year wait for fans, only to receive a “best of” album. Without the time to promote a new record, it’s reported exec’s behind the scenes made the choice to go with Greatest Hits: Decade #1 and release only a choice selection of new music, one of those being the new single Something In The Water.
Rather than being a radical change in direction, as many successful country crossover artists seem to be drawn to (a quick nod of total respect to Swifty’s classic pop and country-free Shake It Off), Underwood seems to be drawing on her roots, with a sound and message closer to her early work on Jesus Take The Wheel than we’ve seen ever since. Her intention is clear – to portray a story about trusting in and leaning on her faith. Never one to shy away from her dedication to Christianity, Underwood uses the song to pass on her message of belief, and a feeling that everything is going to be alright.
The light Christian country track is an inspirational, up-tempo ballad with a build and vocal so powerful that, religious or not, you can’t help but be infected by it’s message. With an almost spoken aspect to the vocal is the verses, building to a huge chorus the song has all the makings of a sure-fire hit. It falls somewhere close to Ella Henderson’s Ghost, or Taylor Swift’s The Way I Loved You with loads of lyrics and emotion packed into a gorgeous melody with a message, but Underwood’s unrivalled vocal ability elevates this track to the next level. Something In The Water samples Amazing Grace in a moving tribute to one of Underwood’s favourite songs. Not only is it mentioned in the lyrics And now I’m singing along to Amazing Grace / Can’t nobody wipe this smile off my face / Got joy in my heart, angels on my side / Thinking about it I saw the light, but introduced into the song by a stunning backing chorus of singers before Underwood takes over at the end in a version that doesn’t stray from the original, even though she has the vocal ability to do so.
Something In The Water is a stunning single from a stunning vocalist. And while it’s uplifting, hopeful message makes me feel great, I am also extremely upset that it will be at home on a Greatest Hit’s record and not a brand spanking new list of hits from Carrie Underwood. So my message to Carrie, thank you and congratulations, but please stop having babies so you can make more music. Am I allowed to say that?