Spinning Tales: Carrie Underwood shatters new album expectations


By Dustin Shrader

Carrie-Underwood-Storyteller2The reigning queen of Country Carrie Underwood dropped her fifth full studio album Storyteller on Oct. 23, and the epic record lives up to the hype. Underwood also announced The Storyteller Tour: Stories in the Round, a 360-degree arena tour with audiences sitting on all sides of the stage. Yes, fans. Atlantas Carrie moment is coming.

Storyteller is the first complete compilation of music from the blonde siren since her stormy, platinum-selling Blown Away cycloned up the charts in 2012. Originally planned for a 2014 release, it was delayed due to Underwoods pregnancy.

Never one to disappoint her CareBears, the singer tided everyone over by releasing a greatest hits album, featuring her plethora of No. 1 singles in addition to two chart-toppers, the inspiring, faith-based Something in the Water,and the rocker-ballad Little Toy Guns.It was just enough to quench the thirst of this years most anticipated album in Country music.

Like any good tale, Storyteller could be divided into two acts. The first six tracks are edgy and smokey, a set of stories that Underwood describes herself as dirty,a careening departure from her past Country-Pop straddlers. The second half tells Underwoods most personal tales yet in her signature style.

The album opens as strong as youd expect with the gritty outlaw-ish Renegade Runawayan uptempo number picture-perfect for Underwoods magnanimous vocals. As the stage is set, the singer takes you along through her next couple of revenge dramas with the metaphorical Dirty Laundryand the seedy Church Bells.In the former, Underwood plays the scorned wife, airing her husbands cheating discretions out to dry, clothes-pinning his secrets to the line.

The latter recalls the story of the beautiful Jenny who strikes it rich when she marries a wealthy, abusive oilman. Multiple bruises and dark sunglasses later, Jenny plots her freedom, praying in the back pew with the Baptists. Dear husband is deader than a doornail before those poignant church bells ring for the last time.

carrie-underwoodThe cornerstone of the album, Choctaw County Affairis quite possibly a career-defining moment for Underwood. This swampy, blues rendition of a Bonnie and Clyde love-story takes you to the highest highs and the lowest of lows with one kick-ass harmonica solo courtesy of Travis Meadows.

Turning down the temperature for Storytellers final act, Carrie undeniably proves this is her most personal album yet. Die-hard fans will recognize the American Idol winners sound that they have come to cherish over the years. Chaser,” “Relapseand Clock Dont Stoppush Underwoods limits, while still remaining true to her signatures. Sweet ballads, Heartbeat,” “Like Ill Never Love You Againand What I Never Knew I Always Wantedopen the doors into the her intimate world, lamenting her feelings about her own life, love and happiness.

All in all, Storyteller is a successful result of immaculate writing and commanding vocals, a balance most of Carries peers fail to strike. She bridges the gap between Countrys past and present, keeping one eye on going big and the other on finessing the fine, musical arrangements and depth Storyteller encompasses. Five stars all the way.

Underwood brings her Stories in the Roundtour to the Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, Ga., on Feb. 1, 2016. David Atlanta caught a sneak peak of what the superstar has in store during her surprise pop-up concert at the Variety Playhouse in September.

635805060260293971-XXX-STORYTELLER-A7-USA-TODAY-EXCLUSIVE-76748950CMT was on hand to film the private performance for the networks Instant Jams Concert Series. Our girl did not let us down. In addition to Storyteller hits like Smoke Break,Underwood crooned out her classics and took a couple of breaks to slow things down and chat with the audience. She was blown away by the response, which far exceeded her expectations. Underwood told us that she couldn’t be more blessed to do what she does and cant wait to come back to Atlanta and bring all the stories of Storyteller with her.

Visit for a chance to win a free digital copy of Storyteller.

Visit for more information on the album and tour.

1 Comment

    1. Excellent review! There’s not a single song on this album that I’d skip over.

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