With her ultra-feminine style, marriage to hockey star Mike Fisher and a career studded with tender chart-topping ballads including “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” “Mama’s Song” and “Temporary Home,” it’s easy to imagine Carrie Underwood doodling hearts on notebook paper while curled up on her couch watching Jennifer Aniston’s latest romantic comedy.
That scenario isn’t going to play out in this lifetime.
“Somebody help me, I don’t relate,” says Underwood, seated in a hotel room at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas the day before theAcademy of Country Music Awards. “I’m not into the mushy-gushy, cheesy love stuff.”
“She’s imminently more complex than most people give her credit for,” adds Underwood’s friend and longtime producer, Mark Bright. “Her taste runs very opposite of that beautiful and real sweet exterior that she has.”
She doesn’t even like songs about love.
“When you get one of those songs that’s absolutely amazing, then you should sing about love,” she says. “But 95 percent of love songs to me, I’m like, ‘It’s a chick flick in song form.’ ”
In reality, her personality is more in line with her sassy Grammy-nominated “Before He Cheats” and her latest anti-love up-tempo “Good Girl” from her new album, Blown Away, which hits stores Tuesday.
“The problem is people think they do know what you would like … and it’s like, ‘No, you don’t know me at all,’ ” Underwood says. “But it’s nice to surprise people and do things people wouldn’t expect you to do. Who wants to be predictable?”
Album showcases songwriting
Underwood eschews the expected on the wildly diverse Blown Away and early on displays her affection for what Bright calls “unusual, weird twists.”
The album’s title track is a dramatic, highly produced, up-tempo number about a daughter who locks herself in the cellar, leaving her drunken, abusive father on the couch to be swept away by a tornado. “Two Black Cadillacs” unveils the story of two women — a wife and a mistress — who secretly work together to end the life of their cheating man.
“Before you knew it, we had this soap opera going on,” Underwood recalls of writing the song with Josh Kearand Hillary Lindsey. “We don’t really say how they do it. It still leaves a lot to the imagination. And they meet for the first time at the funeral. It was hard. It was like, how do they meet? How do they know about each other? How do they kill him? Working all of that out was really fun.”
Bright says “Two Black Cadillacs” “put me on the floor the second I heard it.” He describes Underwood as “a very accomplished songwriter,” a skill he feels is showcased on Blown Away.
“She’s just very, very deep musically,” Bright says. “On this album, she was able to musically convey that. We just had the time to look under every rock and pull those ideas out. It made for a much more complete, honest, real record.”
Underwood co-wrote eight of the 14 songs on the album, including current single “Good Girl,” the “Unanswered Prayers”-type song “Good in Goodbye,” which she wrote with Ryan Tedder and Lindsey, and the driving country jam “Cupid’s Got a Shotgun,” which she wrote with Kear and Chris Tompkins, and that unofficially features Brad Paisley on guitar.
“She texted and said, ‘Will you play guitar on a song?’ and I said, ‘I’ll do my best,’ ” Paisley recalls. “They came over and I sat there and played a couple of guitar solos in the song. I had a ball and played some really crazy stuff, and I said, ‘Well, I just killed this song’s chances of being a single.’ ”
Credit – The Tennessean
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