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STARific Review: Carrie Underwood - Some Hearts

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About this time last year, Carrie Underwood had just been granted entrance to popular show American Idol, on which she poured her heart and soul into song weekly. At the time, having never won the top prize in any contest before, this Checotah, Oklahoma native didn’t foresee breezing through pre-show auditions, let alone becoming the fourth American Idol. What a world of difference a year can make! This album is the result of the hard work that followed the show. From the start, she made it clear that country music was her chosen path, and Carrie does the genre proud with her impressive debut Some Hearts!

The album kicks off with WASTED, in which the man and woman each take a stand to change their seemingly doomed predicaments. DON'T FORGET TO REMEMBER ME is a gorgeous ballad that is perfect for Carrie; having been off to college herself not that long ago, she knows exactly how to convey the homesickness felt when away from family. If you can get over the unusual melodic phrasing that starts out SOME HEARTS, this enjoyable Diane Warren-penned tune plays out like the happy ending to a blooming love story. JESUS, TAKE THE WHEEL, Carrie’s first country single, is heavy on the heart. Listen as she effectively narrates the story of a woman who meets her saving grace. I dare you to get through the whole song without shedding a tear! Next, teen lovebirds hit a fork in the road as they realize life is about to take each on very different journeys, and they try to hang on to that blissful yet bittersweet place THE NIGHT BEFORE (LIFE GOES ON). At some point in our lives, we come to appreciate valuable LESSONS LEARNED as stepping stones for future trials. Sonically enticing, BEFORE HE CHEATS is bound to be a fan favorite! It's hard to imagine sweet-faced Carrie taking a "Louisville slugger to both headlights" along with other angst-inspired antics mentioned in the song. But her smoke-edged vocals embrace the lyrics so effortlessly that we can forgive her for not actually having an evil spirit! Taking a leap of faith into the unknown is the heart of STARTS WITH GOODBYE. Then, after contemplating pros and cons of her current situation, the woman in the song ultimately decides I JUST CAN'T LIVE A LIE. While the foot-stomping WE'RE YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL celebrates living it up in the present moment, THAT'S WHERE IT IS expresses gratification for finding true love. WHENEVER YOU REMEMBER is another Diane Warren contribution. Diane, who is known for penning numerous movie theme songs, shines radiantly again here, and Carrie brings out the best in an already lovely gem. I AIN'T IN CHECOTAH ANYMORE – a tune Carrie helped to write – she gives fans a taste of her one stoplight town. It's in the scenic-driven lyrics that we can appreciate just how far this songstress has come. The message is clear: If you have a dream, pursue it with all your heart and hard work and it will come true! INSIDE YOUR HEAVEN rounds out the album. This was the tune that Carrie sang after hearing her name called as the winner of American Idol. It is only appropriate that she pay tribute to the fans and the song that helped her live her dream.

Though Carrie Underwood has become a household name, it may be easy for some to group her with others who got their 15 seconds of fame from reality television shows. But then, there's this album, which is proof that you'd be highly remiss if you chose to underestimate Carrie's potential. At 22, she already possesses the vocal chops and stage presence of a seasoned entertainer – don't count her out of the running in attaining success with future projects!

CD INFO:

Carrie Underwood
Some Hearts
19 Records/Arista Nashville
Released November 15, 2005

Carrie Underwood

TRACK LISTING:

1. Wasted
2. Don't Forget to Remember Me
3. Some Hearts
4. Jesus, Take the Wheel
5. The Night Before (Life Goes On)
6. Lessons Learned
7. Before He Cheats
8. Starts With Goodbye
9. I Just Can't Live a Lie
10. We're Young and Beautiful
11. That's Where It Is
12. Whenever You Remember
13. I Ain't in Checotah Anymore
14. Bonus Track: Inside Your Heaven




Reviewed by: Estella Pan

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