Carrie Underwood, “Good Girl”

To say that the new single from Carrie Underwood was highly anticipated would be an understatement. I don’t remember a single ever generating as much hype and buzz than this. The fires began late last year when we got word that a new album would be released from the country superstar this year. Fuel was added to the flame a few weeks ago when we learned the release date for the single. The flames reached an all time high days ago when Carrie released a behind-the-scenes video of her in the studio listening to “Good Girl.” Now the single is officially released and hitting radio airwaves across the country. So the question is, is the song worth the over 2 year wait to hear new music from Carrie?

“Good Girl” is another one of those man-hating, power anthems we’ve become accustomed to hearing on country radio by artists like Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift, and even Carrie herself. However, neither of them has ever done it in the rock vein that Ms. Underwood presents here. From start to finish, this single has an in-your-face attitude about it that we’ve never heard on country radio before. The loud, over-the-top production is filled with plenty of electric guitars, hand-clapping, and a little auto-tuning on some of the repeating lines found in the song’s verses. Normally I would despise productions like this, but the superstar downright owns it and makes it her own. Clearly her recent taping of CMT Crossroads with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler have rubbed off on the songstress as she tackles a more arena-rock flavored production for her “comeback” single.

The lyrics offer a different take on the theme behind one of Underwood’s smash hits, “Cowboy Casanova.” Basically, the singer offers a girlfriend advice on the guy she is dating. Just like “Casanova,” she basically says that the is absolutely no good for such a “good girl.” From creative lines about the man’s lips “dripping with honey” which will eventually lead to him “sting[ing] her like a bee” to lines about the girl wanting to have a fairytale wedding, but the man’s only good at lying that he’ll never want to take that step with her, Carrie presents her friend with strong evidence to prove why he isn’t “Mr. Right.” The chorus offers a rather catchy melody that is instantly stuck in your head after listening to it:

“Why, why you gotta be so blind, why don’t you open up your eyes, it’s just a matter of time til you find, he’s no good girl, no good for you, you better get to gettin’ on your goodbye shoes, and go, go, go…”

A song of this nature is nothing without a vocal performance to match its intensity. Here, Carrie offers a powerful vocal performance filled with an enormous amount of attitude, sass, and pure meanness that delivers the most vicious lines with strong conviction. Is it her best vocal performance? Not by a long-shot, but it doesn’t take anything away from the song and its message, which should be at the song’s forefront rather than her vocal performance. In fact, her vocal imperfections only add to the emotional aspect of her delivery showing just how mad and angry she is when talking to her friend about being with an up-to-no-good kind of guy.

I can already tell that this song will receive a lot of flack based on the fact that there is absolutely nothing country-sounding about the production and Underwood’s vocal performance. However, I still believe this is a rather strong single to reintroduce Carrie back to country radio after about a year of absence. So with that said, welcome back Carrie Underwood, we’ve missed you.



Filed under Single Reviews

2 responses to “Carrie Underwood, “Good Girl”

  1. rowdyred

    “Sounding country” is a pretty ambiguous concept nowadays, so I’ll just happily welcome this ridiculously enjoyable song to my radio. I’ll second your review and add that there’s nothing remotely as fresh, original or addictive among the current radio tracks. All of those mood changes in the melody and arrangement are my idea of creative license with the genre (rather than done-to-death retro rock, or sullen but simplistic attempts at rap). This song shows some true imagination in a time when there’s a lot of sameness on the radio — same sound and content, the same cliche’d themes. The construction is fresh and surprising, the vocal is a controlled powerhouse. If anything, it reminds me of my first listen to “Gunpowder and Lead” by Miranda — a totally “wow!!” moment that borrowed from nothing else whatsoever. I’m a big fan of moments like that, so I like this, a lot!

  2. Joseph

    ‘Man-hating’ songs used to be shocking in the country music world. I hear them so often, I just turn the dial. We get it, women are tired of men, if they really were though, they would be apathetic like men have come to be.

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