Carrie Underwood – “Last Name”

Brady Vercher | March 13th, 2008

Carrie Underwood Songwriters: Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey, and Carrie Underwood

Suprise, suprise. Carrie Underwood’s third single, “Last Name,” from Carnival Ride is being released and it’s the third straight co-write by Miss Underwood and she only shares four on the album. It’s a maneuver most likely meant to boost her confidence as a songwriter and establish her songwriting credibility, despite her inexperience. The overly cautious attempt to prevent Carrie from becoming pigeonholed by releasing a song with a “bad girl” image that’s completely different in theme to the first two singles, the focus on the vocal, and the songwriting credit all have the aura of being overly calculated.

The song is similar in theme to Alan Jackson’s “I Don’t Even Know Your Name,” but this time, the roles are reversed and it’s from the perspective of the woman. It’s obviously supposed to be humorous, but nothing about the performance or lyric suggest as much or attempts to accentuate the humor. The vocal sounds fine, technically, but we already know Carrie can sing. The problem is with the glaring lack of interpretation that finds her singing through a song like it’s standard procedure. The straight-laced performance and arrangement actually places the focus on the vocal, and I don’t know that I’ve ever heard a novelty song do that before.

The song is exactly what radio wants and will undoubtedly go to number one, but it’s really just a novelty song robbed of it’s wink.

Thumbs Down

3 Pings

  1. [...] Hey, I’ve heard that before! The 9513 notes in its review of the new Carrie Underwood single, “Last Name”: The song is similar in theme to Alan [...]
  2. [...] Ashley Monroe is among the six finalists for A Prairie Home Companion talent contest. The contest will air at 5pm this Saturday and you’ll be able to vote for your favorite performer online from around 6pm to 6:30pm. Visit the website to find out what stations the show airs on. (via The 9513 regular, Rick) [...]
  3. [...] be getting an overdose of lackluster performances. Are “She’s A Hottie,” “Last Name,” “Every Day“, “Back When I Knew It All,” “Put A Girl In [...]
  1. Matt C.
    March 13, 2008 at 11:35 am

    My only gripe about this song is that it’s a pretty formulaic attempt to recreate “Before He Cheats.” Beyond that, I don’t hear anything wrong with it. It’s the best single so far off of Carnival Ride.

  2. bobby
    March 13, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    i agree that it’s the best single from carnival ride so far, but there are far more substantial substantial songs. as long as they release “just a dream next” i wont be too disappointed.

  3. Jordan Stacey
    March 13, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    Being the best single off of Carnival Ride isn’t much of an accomplishment. “So Small” was okay, but “All American Girl” was horrid (And no not because of alleged sexism in the song). “Last Name” is just trying to recreate “Before He Cheats” but isn’t as good of a song. I was hoping for “Just A Dream” to be released as it’s the only song that is worth hearing on the album. Maybe “Flat On The Floor” as well but the lyrics are weird.

  4. Brady Vercher
    March 13, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    I agree that this is the best single so far. Despite giving “So Small” a thumbs up when it came out, it’s kinda gone sour on me since then.

    I also agree that there isn’t technically anything wrong with this single, but there isn’t anything compelling about it, either. She sings straight through it like she could do with any song and never acknowledges the humor. That it is formulaic plays into the mention about it being overly calculated.

    I’m mostly ambivalent, but I don’t think it matches the quality of the singles on Some Hearts, which played a factor in the thumbs down.

  5. Katie
    March 13, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    I thought this was easily the best original song on the album. (The Randy Travis cover is my favorite track.) Although “Flat on the Floor” is great, too.

  6. Leeann
    March 13, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    I’m a huge Randy Travis fan, but I could never really get into “I Told You So.” It always bored me to death. I haven’t heard Carrie’s version though. If Randy couldn’t do it for me, I doubt that Carrie can…no offense to Carie, by the way. I respect her talent and I recently finally bought her first album.

  7. Jobi
    March 13, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I like Carrie, but I can’t put my finger on what bothers me about her songs!! They are all sung the same way, with the same music..practically!! Nothing, well maybe BEFORE HE CHEATS, gets me excited and can’t wait to hear it again. Her songs seem too old for her!

  8. Chris N.
    March 13, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Definitely one of my favorite songs on the record. I love the way she leans into the chorus. Call me a fool if you must.

  9. mikeky
    March 13, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    i have no idea if this is a good song or not. i fell asleep half way through.

  10. Rick
    March 13, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Not surprisingly I don’t give a rip about Carrie or anything she sings or does. On the other hand I do really like Ashley Monroe who will be competing on Prairie Home Companion this Saturday in a talent contest! I apologize for the off topic shameless plug, but Ashley’s career needs all the help it can get these days since she was foolishly dropped by Sony-BMG Nashville.

    Here are the details from Ashley’s MySpace website:
    “Ashley Monroe Live on NPR
    March, 15 2008 on Prairie Home Companion Radio Show, Live from the Fitzgerald Theatre in Minneapolis, MN

    This is a long running “live radio” show on Public Radio and I’m a finalist in their “Talent Showcase” for people in their 20’s. Please listen in between 5-6 PM CST (Nashville Time) and vote for me!!! You can listen online at

    Carrie has already conquered mainstream country radio, its true singer/songwriter talents like Ashley that really need the publicity these days…..

    PS – Forgive me for being off topic here, but how else could I let you 9513 Ashley fans know about this since it’s so last minute…..

  11. Brady Vercher
    March 13, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Chris, I wouldn’t consider anyone a fool for liking the song.

    MikeKY, it’s not the best song, but it’s kinda hard to accuse it of being yawn worthy.

    Rick, send us an email and we can add it to one of the news roundups.

  12. Jack
    March 13, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    “So Small” spent 3 weeks @ #1 on the BILBOARD HOT COUNTRY SONGS CHART.
    “All-American Girl” spent it’s 2nd week @ #1 this week.

    Both are impressive but it was obvious both were going to #1 because it’s CARRIE! But I think with “Last Name” it will go to #1 for 2 reasons:
    It’s CARRIE! and IT HAS POTENTIAL!!!!! I expect it to spend a while @ #1. It’s ALREADY #64 on Country Mediabase w/ 51 spins and it doesn’t even go for adds until APRIL 7th. THIS HAS “BHC” sucess written aall over it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This will most likely cross over to TOP 40!!!!!!!!!!! and be HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LUV this song and I think this will be huge and she deserves it after SS and AAG only spent radio time on Country! GO CARRIE!!

  13. ccf
    March 13, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    No wonder I’m not a Carrie fan this is an awful song.

  14. Tig
    March 13, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    she will release Just a Dream after the Summer and it has grammy potential but it’s NOT a summer type of song, Last Name is

    JAD is very good but it’s also very sad so releasing it in the summer would not be smart.
    Upbeat is what they are going for and it’s going to be number 1 as will Last name

  15. Chris N.
    March 13, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Dude, save some exclamation points for the rest of us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Heidi
    March 13, 2008 at 6:01 pm

    This is my least favorite on Carnival Ride. The song is a discount brand of Before He Cheats. It’s odd that they tapped this one for the next single.

    I am going to step away from the song for a moment and make a general comment in regards to most of the message boards. It seems to me that many of you posting on here are not too keen on mainstream country singers. Is it because these particular singers are overrated (as in constant rotation amongst radio) or because their songs have little integrity (as in the songs just suck)? Something to think about.

  17. Leeann
    March 13, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Isn’t it Carrie’s intention to be played on country radio? If so, why is it bad that “SS and AAG were only played on country?”

  18. Brady Vercher
    March 13, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Leeann, I figure it’s kinda like John Rich and his unfathomable love for country music that causes him to want to expand it and take it to the world even at the cost of redefining the genre and making it something that is no longer country. A lot of Carrie’s fans are American Idol holdovers and don’t care about country music. They just want as much success for Carrie as possible.

  19. Tony Nowobielski
    March 13, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    I would call it a calculated (and financially savvy move on her part). Money is in publishing and the current market clout she has permits to dump pretty much anything into the marketplace and it will get played. She’s boring but seems to have generated a pretty hefty amount of goodwill amongst her fan base.

    Dull, dull, dull. And I like a lot of mainstream female county that does take some chances(Faith Hill/Fireflies).

    I do recognize the need to appeal to your bread and butter but this is pretty uninspired.

  20. Leeann
    March 13, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Point taken, Brady.

  21. Cindy2
    March 13, 2008 at 8:06 pm

    Reading this review, I thought of Chris Cagle’s comments about writing all of his stuff so the really good writers didn’t give him songs that would be nothing but album fodder. Carrie better be careful, and just worry about good songs, not who gets the royalties. Tables turn on everyone, eventually.
    This song is way too calculated.

    I don’t like Just a Dream either. It’s all about the girl “Why’s this happening to me?” No thought of the soldier that died. Very self-centered, play for sympathy for the girl. Poor Carrie!

    A terrific, non-political song that should be looked up is Brandon Rhyder’s Mr. Soldier. Carrie, I’d love to hear you sing that with just an acoustic guitar.

  22. Marcus
    March 13, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    CCF….no wonder you’re not a Carrie fan, you’re an idiot.

    [Brady: There’s no need for that. Anything else will be removed.]

  23. ccf
    March 13, 2008 at 8:12 pm


    I like real music. Carrie’s is overproduced,slicked up.

  24. Brady Vercher
    March 13, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Cindy2, At the same time, songwriters will be clamoring for a co-write credit because it almost guarantees royalties for themselves.

  25. TJK
    March 13, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Say all you want. This is a good song and people will love it and it will go straight to #1 where all her songs go so bash on and she will be laughing all the way to the top.

  26. Casey
    March 13, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Last Name is a great song and folks will love it. Don’t know why people can’t allow different flavors in the country genre.

  27. Jason
    March 13, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    I completely disagree with everything on this site…the song is not RECREATING before he cheats…it’s completely different…and she does acknowledge the humor…if you actually listen to it…and correct me if i’m wrong but all american girl did make it to number 1 and is still there…and i don’t see sexism in it at all…that’s just dumb…all of her singles from the album so far are amazing…as well as every song on there..i guess you just have to have good taste in music to understand

  28. Stephen H.
    March 14, 2008 at 1:33 am


    A #1 ranking, on any chart, does NOT attest to artistic integrity or talent at all, but in how much clout the artist or their label has with radio. Last summer was the exception, when anomalies like “Good Directions,” “Moments,” “Lost in This Moment,” and “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” (though only because of Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney) made it to the top. Basically, if a song reaches #1 within its first twenty weeks, it’s a sign radio is in love with the artist, not the song, so the ranking is by no means a good indicator of the song’s actual quality.

    I say this being somewhat of a Carrie fan, and somewhat a fan of this song. But when it hits #1, it won’t be because it’s a good song. It’s because it’s Carrie Underwood, who can chart higher with an iTunes charity single that wasn’t officially released to radio, than the most recent singles by Big & Rich, Tracy Lawrence, Clay Walker, Terri Clark, and many others.

  29. Lynn
    March 14, 2008 at 2:17 am

    I’m so glad this post went up today. I just came back from a Carrie/Keith Urban concert. (I’d heard so much about Keith Urban being a great entertainer that I thought I’d give it a shot.) Sitting through the first hour of Carrie may be one of my biggest regrets in life – a painful hour I won’t get back. She SCREAMED her way through an hour of mediocre songs. No exaggeration. My ears are still ringing. I know she has a nice voice, but she doesn’t know how to use it. Even her quiet songs ended up being Christina Aguilera-esque – composed of long loud screaming, over-dramatized runs. I was HORRIFIED (as was everyone around me).

    She sang “Last Name” tonight. If possible, it was one of her worst songs. Live, like on her album, she throws in those lame “woos.” I’m embarrassed for her when she does those (anyone else?). The song as a whole just doesn’t work – it doesn’t fit her personality and she puts none into it.

    Oh wow…it is going to take me awhile to get over how bad that was (and I went in open-minded, I swear).

  30. ihatebashers
    March 14, 2008 at 2:56 am

    i love all of Carrie’s singles.yes,her songs are country and i know some people hate country music but her songs are meaningful.jesus take the wheel and so small are really inspiring songs.Dont forget to remember me and All American Girl are songs about family which also are inspiring.Before He Cheats,Wasted,and Last Name are about relationships and i think most people can relate to those songs.

    and to those people who bash Carrie,her songs and country music,well please try to be more respectful.thank you.:)

  31. ihatebashers
    March 14, 2008 at 3:01 am

    lynn,sorry to say this but you’re one of the people who i wont believe.i have read reviews but never did i read something like “Carrie’s screaming”.sorry but yeah,you are exaggerating so much.
    really,everyone around you was horrified??!!!!hmmmm….try opening your eyes.maybe you will see the light.thank you.;)

  32. Betty
    March 14, 2008 at 4:09 am

    Carnival Ride is an awesome Cd. I would like to see Just a Dream released right now, but Last Name is a very good country song. Country Radio plays country mainstream songs and Carrie will probably get another number one. If it ain’t mainstream you better make it maintrearm if you want to sell CD. People need to know their audience. and Carrie knows her audience. Other types of country such as outlaw, Texas, BlueGrass are not in the mainstrem and never have been. Country music came from the hills of West Virginia, Tennessee and spread out to country towns. At one time it was called Country and Western but Western was not as well liked a pure country. It is funny now how the hard core western acts say they are country. George Strait is country but Miranda is outlaw western. I think that is why she doesn’t have an audience. You have to play to the real country people in small town american. Not just in Texas.

  33. Brady Vercher
    March 14, 2008 at 7:10 am

    Casey: No one said the song wasn’t country.

    Jason: Ummm, ok?


    Betty: You make it sound like Carrie only records songs to sell CDs.

    Other types of country such as outlaw, Texas, BlueGrass are not in the mainstream and never have been.

    Do you know what the first platinum selling album in country music was? I’ll give you a hint: It had the word “Outlaw” in the title.

    It is funny now how the hard core western acts say they are country.

    It’s funny now how some country acts say they are country. Funny how that works, eh?

  34. ccf
    March 14, 2008 at 9:41 am

    I think the country music genre was born out of the Bristol Sessions in the 20s.

  35. Lynn
    March 14, 2008 at 10:26 am

    You may choose not to believe me, but it’s true, and honestly, you weren’t there, were you? Part of it may have been the fact that the music was so loud that she had to scream to be heard over it. If so, that’s the fault of her sound people.

    My favorite moments of the night were when Keith Urban quieted it down with acoustic guitars. Then you could actually hear and appreciate the song. Carrie never did that and she was nearly always unintelligible. For those who know every word to her songs, that may not have been a problem, but for someone who sort-of knows her radio hits, it was annoying.

    As for the people around me, people stopped clapping altogether after a few songs (that’s not normal) and began looking at each other throughout the performances. It became monotonous screaming. Maybe if she had changed it up…?

    I’m not looking to make enemies. I’m just putting out there what I saw and heard. As for “Last Name,” it was one of the weaker ones of a weak set.

  36. Bob
    March 14, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Lynn, I have yet to find a single negative newspaper review from any city where she’s had a concert this year so I find your remarks very suspicious. In fact, the reviews have been exceptional, here’s a recent one from Omaha:

    The lucky 16,000 fans at the sold-out Qwest Center this last Friday got to see two of the hottest acts on the country scene today. Underwood opened the stage clad in a gorgeous blue ball gown to a screaming crowd. A quarter of the way through the performance, Underwood slipped out of her formal number into a more revealing mini skirt, later as her band played on, as Underwood changed into jeans, a t-shirt, and a sparking vest.

    Towards the end of her set Underwood sunk below the stage, and rose again in a silver jacket to sing the Gun’s N’ Roses hit- Paradise City. Underwood sang this number as well, if not better than Axl himself. If Underwood returns in the future, it is a show not to be missed, if not for the light and laser show alone. This country princes is a package deal- beautiful body, great voice, and an amazing show.

  37. Brody Vercher
    March 14, 2008 at 11:27 am

    A review sends up all kinds of flags when it focuses more on the performer’s attire than it does the music. Besides, how many country singers change several times throughout a performance.

  38. Kelly
    March 14, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Celine Dion does that, she’s hard-core country right??

  39. ccf
    March 14, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Good point Brody,
    I’ve yet to see George Jones, Merle Haggard change thier stage clothes during a show. I’ve never understood why artist do that. Can’t they sing the songs with the same outfit on?

  40. Bob
    March 14, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    OK, here’s one from Albany NY:

    Underwood just won her third Grammy Award, for best female vocal country performance for her smash hit “Before He Cheats.” She took a breather from her co-headlining tour with Keith Urban to perform on the Grammy Award show.

    And she’s cut away again, this time to headline her own “Carnival Ride” tour, which rolled into the Times Union Center for a sellout show on Tuesday night. It was technically a sellout; the venue’s top tier was curtained off.

    It didn’t matter, because the 6,500 or so fans that came out were loud and delighted to catch Carrie live.

    Underwood owned the place, from the last second of the pre-show digital countdown until she finished up about 90 minutes later. Fans screamed, cheered and attempted to sing along with Underwood, which was no easy task.

    Underwood was amazing, her soaring voice growing stronger with every minute. Tottering out in 4-inch high heels, Underwood sounded as if she was straining a bit vocally at first, fighting the volume of her band

  41. Lanibug65
    March 14, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Bob – I think you need to read the review of her concert from I believe it was Cleveland or one of her other shows in Ohio, where they basically said exactly what Lynn is saying…that all Carrie does is scream her music.

    And to compare Carrie to Patsy Cline — dont even get me started….

    I have never been a fan of Carrie, but I gave this a song a listen when it came on XM the other day and it sounds like every other song she has put out — sorry, but then again that is what this discussion is for MY OPINION!!!!!

  42. Lanibug65
    March 14, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    I should say for me to express my opinion….hit send to quickly….

  43. Bob
    March 14, 2008 at 2:52 pm


    I respect your opinion, after all you can’t please everyone. It’s the mindless bashing (with an agenda) by some folks that gets to me.

    Although I may not always agree with them I also respect Matt C. & Brady Vercher’s opinions so I’d like to ask them this: Has Carrie been good or bad for country music??

    Personally, it’s been twenty years since I’ve paid any attention to country music but because of AI and Carrie I now am a regular listener of Dallas KSCS 96.3 instead of the soft rock station I use to listen to. When I finally got around to buying ‘Carnival Ride’ I also picked up the latest CD’s by Miranda Lambert & Alan Jackson…artist’s I would have never been exposed to if not for Carrie. Wonder how many other folks she has brought over to country?

  44. Bob
    March 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    “And to compare Carrie to Patsy Cline — dont even get me started

  45. Bob
    March 14, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    “I don’t like Just a Dream either. It’s all about the girl “Why’s this happening to me?” No thought of the soldier that died. Very self-centered, play for sympathy for the girl. Poor Carrie!”

    The brother of my son-in-law was recently killed in Iraq leaving a wife and two kids…I think that the one’s that are left behind also deserve to have their story told. Give a listen to the acoustic version of JAD on youtube.

  46. Cindy2
    March 14, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    I don’t deny that the families of the military suffer greatly and deserve our support. Heck, my husband is a tractor trailer driver, gone for a week at a time. I couldn’t do what those families do. Absolutely, they deserve a voice.

    My point is that I think the song is very calculated. I think SheDaisy’s song of a few years ago “Come Home Soon” was far more sensitive. And they don’t shout it.

    Brandon Rhyder’s song Mr. Soldier contains the following verse where the families are remembered–Brandon says it far better than I could, and better than I think Carrie does:

    I pray for your strength, I pray for your safety
    I pray for your momma, I pray for your daddy
    I pray for your sisters, I pray for your brothers
    I pray for your wife, your husband your sons and your daughters
    You may not come home to accolades, you may not come home to parades
    But just the same, mr. Soldier, I have a prayer for you

  47. Chris N.
    March 15, 2008 at 10:20 am

    The pain of a soldier’s widow isn’t worth dwelling on for four lousy minutes?

  48. Cindy2
    March 15, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    Of course it is. Please read my post.

    In the same way, we all care about child abuse victims, cancer patients, etc. many of us here roll our eyes I the thought of another cancer/child abuse song that doesn’t bring any new perspective on the patient
    s/victim’s plight. It all comes across very surface level, and very repetitive of a message that has been heard before. It sounds like a ploy for the soccer moms, without any lyrical depth.

    My issue isn’t the subject matter, my issue is that lyrically, the song is like a sledge hammer when a more gentle touch would have a deeper impact.

    For Bob, you are probably right–I’d probably feel less strongly about an acoustic version of the song with just Carrie and a guitar. The over production adds to the perception of melodrama. I just wish they would have had the guts to focus on a quieter version of the song.

  49. Bob
    March 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    Cindy2…here’s a link to the acoustic version:

  50. Bob
    March 15, 2008 at 5:49 pm
  51. ccf
    March 15, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    I don’t care who Loretta Lynn likes that doesn’t mean I have to like them also.

  52. Bob
    March 15, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    CCF…Conversely just because your website promotes ‘classic country’ doesn’t mean I have to like it. Actually I do since I grew listening to Don Gibson, Marty Robbins & Johnny Cash. Don Gibson’s “Oh Lonesome Me” is still one of my all time favorites.

    On Opry life tonight Randy Travis invited Carrie to become the Opry’s newest member.

  53. ccf
    March 16, 2008 at 6:29 am

    What a sad day for the Opry. I guess that rumbling sound is Hank Sr and others spinnings in their graves.

    Actually the site promotes more classic country. We support music from the 20’s to the artist of today who still make real music.

  54. Jarheaddad
    March 16, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    Interesting Cindy. I get the exact opposite reaction from Just A Dream. But then I’ve held too many young widows while they tried to figure out just exactly what the lyrics in JAD say:

    Baby why’d you leave me
    Why’d you have to go?
    I was counting on forever, now I’ll never know
    I can’t even breathe
    It’s like I’m looking from a distance
    Standing in the background
    Everybody’s saying, he’s not coming home now
    This can’t be happening to me
    This is just a dream

    At first they are shocked and “can’t even breathe”. It’s all “just a dream”. The ceremonies end, people leave, and they are alone. Who holds them then? Who pays attention to them then? Who brings them back from that “looking from a distance” surrealness? We do. Their families do. Forever. Funny how that works. While America is shopping at the mall. I for one appreciate Carrie’s take on a tough sitrep. It takes years of help and support for these young widows to heal. I bet they “get it”. Love the song, love the lyrics.

    This JAD is actually quite explicit in it’s understanding and comes from a been there done that point of view lyrically. But I guess Lynn’s screamer could never be sensitive enough to deliver such a poignant song although she nails the feelings and functions to a T. Just another calculated money maker from a non-talented unethical (and that’s what you are calling her – unethical) Nashville Row chosen one eh? Good thing the guys and gals in Iraq didn’t feel that way when she calculatingly went there with the USO. With no press or fanfare. Just went ’cause By God it was the thing to do. But then they were a captive audience eh? They lined up for hours to meet & greet ’cause there just wasn’t anything else to do, right? And what can you say about Africa with the whole Idol Gives back calculation. $78 million raised in that one. For charity. I say string her up by her toes. Imagine the gall of doing all these calculating things. For free even. That’s some serious calculatin’. What a phoney!

    Guess lyrical depth is in the eye of the beholder huh? Kinda’ hard to figure out how I could possibly understand this song since I’m not a soccer mom but there ya’ go!

    Man! y’all are really getting predictable in these comment threads!

  55. Brady Vercher
    March 16, 2008 at 9:17 pm

    Bob, in regards to your question about Carrie Underwood being good for country music or not, I’d have to say she is. I think she embodies contemporary country music and isn’t an egregious offender of traditional senses in the way that other contemporary artists are, and given the opportunity (and maybe a boost of confidence), I think she would make a good representative and gateway to country music for people not interested in the genre. For now, I think too many people rely on her for their paycheck for her to do anything drastic, but when he career is past it’s prime and she gains the needed confidence, I think she could create some compelling country music. I definitely don’t have any biases against her for her ties to American Idol and try to approach all of her music with an open mind. And another thing I don’t really understand is why she seems to be such a polarizing figure.


    Jarheaddad, I agree with your sentiments on “Just A Dream,” but I think your responses are just as predictable as anyone else’s, so I don’t know that I’d use that as a knock against anyone.

    On a related note, though, I don’t know that a song can be over the top in attempting to capture the emotional impact that “Just A Dream” covers. Here’s a series of photos that won a Pulitzer Prize for attempting to convey that emotional impact.

  56. Jarheaddad
    March 16, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Am I predictable Brady? Ya’ think? Heh! Now you know why I usually only read the posts and don’t bother to venture into the comments. I’m hell to argue with though! ;-)

    I know a couple of those photos well Brady. They were from when the boys brought home 2dLt Cathey. The one of the young Marines draping Old Glory on the casket outside an airplane while passengers watch is one of them. My son was with him (literally) when he was KIA (2d Battalion 2d Marines – OIF3). He was killed kicking in a booby trapped door on a kick & search but managed to use his body to shield two of his Marines from most of the blast. I could give you a link to the “unofficial” website I kept for four years or so with the history of the 2d Lt’s platoon/battalion and the birth (after his being KIA) of his newborn son but you know it wouldn’t sit well with some folks around here. All that blood and dying for oil and stuff. You can e-mail me and I’ll give you the link and you can follow the stories of some real American heroes if you’re into that sort of thing. Did you happen to read the story that went with those photogs? He was one hellova’ Marine that one was. One of 26 the battalion lost during that stretch. *sigh*

    The 2d Lt’s Lovely Bride is the epitome of JAD. She just ripped my heart out but she found her inner strength. You just wish you could carry the pain for them if you can understand that. What a wonderfully strong young lady she turned out to be and her beautiful son is the spitting image of his daddy!

    Here’s a poem written by Butch Howard about that Pulitzer Prize photo’s subject. Let the bashers go after these lyrics! Just how off topic shall we go? :-o

    For 2nd Lt. James Cathey, Katherine and their unborn child. – Butch Howard

    The plane touches down from a land far away.
    The flag draped coffin moved from the cargo bay.
    Handled with more than loving care,
    Six of his brothers in arms are there.

    Waiting nearby, his young wife feels
    The new life inside her turn.
    She never wanted a reunion like this.
    Her young heart now broken and churned.

    In his letter he said he would be home soon.
    Their baby was due by the first New Year’s moon.
    What a beautiful time it was going to be.
    Their family of two was about to be three.

    As his body lay in state upon the funeral bier,
    She asked to spend this last night with him there.
    The Marines made a bed for her right next to him.
    She played some music, his favorite hymns.

    A young Marine stands watch over his fallen brother.
    An unborn child waits in the womb of his mother.
    In the church where they married, a short time ago,
    Mother, child and the father he will never know.

    The men who serve their country with honor
    And face death every day for years,
    Are not alone in their suffering and pain.
    Their families will pay with a lifetime of tears.

    April 10, 2006

  57. Brady Vercher
    March 16, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Heh, I don’t doubt that you’re hell to argue with.

  58. Leeann
    March 19, 2008 at 5:57 am

    Just to put my two sense worth in, which isn’t worth much, I bought Carries Carnival Ride album last night. I know, it took me long enough, huh? Anyway, I flipped to Just A Dream, because I was curious about the controversy on this thread about it. I’m gonna have to say that this song makes perfect sense to me. I know for a fact that if I was in that situation, I would feel exactly like the woman in the song. We don’t focus on the families of the soldiers nearly enough. Of course, losing our soldiers is extremely heartbreaking, but the story doesn’t end after their deaths. It continues with their families who should not be expected to suffer in silence.

  59. Patti
    April 30, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    Personally I think anyone who dumps on it just doesn’t have any else better to do with their time. They live their life to put others down. The song Last name is great, but I think Flat on the Floor is the next “Before He Cheats”. Last name is just the warm up. I think you all wish you could have every single one of your songs go number 1. Hmmmmmm

  60. mike b
    May 3, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Carrie Underwood should have Her JUNK on some Pop station …She sure ain’t COUNTRY…She sounds like an OLD DRUNKEN BAR-FLY !!! AND I’llBET SHE DON’T EVEN KNOW HER OWN NAME !!! PATHETIC !! “AMERICAN IDOL MY A..

  61. carrie
    May 5, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    STOP BASHING CARRIE! she is one of the greatest singers in country music and on the charts right now all of her songs are amazing and her voice is better than any artist out there. I ve been to 5 of her conerts and she DEFFINATLEY DIOES NOT SCREAM HER SONGS AT ALL!

  62. Lanibug
    May 5, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Hey, my dear, this place is all about our opinions, so if we do not like Carrie we are more than able to express our opinions, so get over it –

  63. Merle
    May 9, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    I am completely amazed by the subjectivity & outright cynicism in this thread. Some of you folks remind me of my parents’ view of that “devil music,” rock & roll, which I used to play back in the 70’s. Even they are accepting of that music now.

    Things change. Get used to it. And try to give the young Miss Underwood a break. She’s just getting started, she’s got a great set of pipes and, if the “business” (including all of the cynics) doesn’t burn her out prematurely, she’ll be around for a very long time.

  64. hairandtoenails
    May 9, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    I think last name is a decent song, but the punchline to the joke is the same as that in “I Don’t Even Know Your Name” by A. Jackson. So the humor is a bit worn out for me.

    As Brady points out, Carrie seems unaware that she’s telling a joke. It doesn’t quite work.

    But in some cases, a singer being ignorant that he/she is singing a novelty song can work. Consider the hilarious “She Left Me for Jesus” by Hayes Carll. In that song, the humor comes from the fact that the audience knows something Carll doesn’t know. But Carll doesn’t sing it completely straight, either; the lyrics suggest the narrator is ignorant of Jesus, but Carll’s delivery suggests to me that he is faking ignorance of Jesus, perhaps as a defense mechanism. That song as a “is he putting us on, or not” vibe, wheras the Carrie song comes across flat.

    And that’s the sad thing: Carrie has 5 times the innate vocal ability that Carll has, but Carll seems to use what he has to much better effect. If Carrie can somehow improve her interpretive skills, she could become an outstanding artist.

  65. Funk
    May 9, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    I think Carrie is using exactly what she has to great effect.

    And people, that line about not knowing my name is crap. She screamed my name at least 8 times that night.

  66. Razor X
    May 20, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Carrie is not a country singer. She’s a pop singet and an overrated one at that. She has not been good for country music, because the AI fans that she has “brought over” don’t know the difference between pop and country and that will only further weaken the genre. Artists like this are the reason I no loner listen to mainstream country radio. I did catch her performance of “Last Name” on the ACMs the other night and thought both the song and her performance of it were abysmal. Why does she have to scream her way through every song and why is she singing pop songs on a country awards show?

  67. Stormy
    May 20, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    The point of it is to be like Before He Cheats. Before He Cheats was the most played single off of Some Hearts, both in country and on Top 40 stations. Carnival Ride has kind of stalled out at about 33% of the sales of So Small so they are probably hoping for another big crossover hit to jump start sales.

  68. Razor X
    May 20, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    It won’t happen with “Last Name”. It lost the bullet at #9 on the country singles chart. That’s got to be her lowest-charting single to date.

  69. anna
    May 22, 2008 at 9:31 pm


    its actually the number one song on itunes country chart. it set to crossover on june 16th. and for all you naysaying her acm performance, that caused it to rise 20 spots overnight. its overall the 10th song on itunes, her video is at number one. her album is now number 4 on the country chart.

    so not really biting the bullet…

  70. Razor X
    May 22, 2008 at 10:15 pm

    Good. I’m glad to hear that “Last Name” will soon be on the pop charts where it belongs. It certainly never belonged on the country chart – or the ACM show, for that matter.

  71. anna
    May 22, 2008 at 10:48 pm


    if you hate modern country music don’t listen to it. You can call it not pure or be traditionalist all you want. It doesn’t really matter. Last name certainly is a country song, its obvious on the first listen.

  72. Stormy
    May 23, 2008 at 7:00 am

    Anna: Is that rise a sustainable one or a bump? Because with a 60 percent sales drop from her last album she is going to be hard pressed to convince her label to put too much more money behind this one.

  73. Chris N.
    May 23, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Yeah, it’s only the best-selling album the label is working right now, and (someone correct me if I’m wrong) the best-selling country album of the year so far. Why would they bother with it?

  74. Razor X
    May 23, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Garth, the Eagles and Taylor have all outsold Carrie this year, just based on a quick review of the current Billboard chart.

  75. Chris N.
    May 23, 2008 at 9:06 am

    I’ll stipulate that. Still, why would Sony BMG abandon the hottest album they have right now just because it hasn’t sold as much in a few months as the previous album has in almost three years?

  76. Stormy
    May 23, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Because the industry took another 16.25 percent loss last year and they don’t have a lot of extra money laying around. And they have to really look at whether or not this album would return another million dollars spent on its promotion.

  77. Chris N.
    May 23, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Please, could all you brilliant business minds come to Nashville and rescue us?

  78. Stormy
    May 23, 2008 at 9:38 am

    I’m not a business genius but if I managed money the way that Nashville does I wouldn’t even be able to afford the big box on the in the good alley.

  79. Chris N.
    May 23, 2008 at 9:55 am

    I did not follow that last part of the sentence, I have to admit.

  80. Matt B.
    May 23, 2008 at 10:57 am


    “Stormy” is just a fool. They don’t understand true economics of the music business and when you give them good facts (about the time difference adding to sales equasions), they use their ‘hatred’ for an artist to try and shoot down your responses.

    Oh, and I didn’t follow the last sentence either.

  81. Razor X
    May 23, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Her last sentence was perfectly clear to me. Let me spell it out for you. She’s saying that if she managed money the way the label execs in Nashville do, she’d be homeless and living in a cardboard box in an alley.

    It’s true that “Carnival Ride” may sell more over the next several months, but no matter how you slice and dice things, it’s not selling as well as her first CD did. “Some Hearts” was at #1 or very near it for months. “Carnival Ride” is not selling as quickly. Its sales are respectable, but Carrie hasn’t been able to sustain the sales of her first CD. And because of that, it may not make good business sense for her label to spend another million dollars to promote her single to pop radio.

  82. Stormy
    May 23, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    Matt: I don’t need to understand, I just need to be old enough to remember back to a the year 1994 when TLC released an album called Crazysexycool which spawned 3 top 10 hits and sold 11 million copies. However, as a result of the massive publicity budget on that album, TLC filed for bankruptcy a year later.

  83. Chris N.
    May 23, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    Why would anyone even care about this, outside of an irrational hatred of Carrie Underwood?

  84. Razor X
    May 23, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    What’s irrational is the way Underwood fans circle the wagons and try to discredit anyone who refuses to bow and worship at the altar of Carrie.

  85. Chris N.
    May 23, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    That’s actually a good point. Let me rephrase: Why would anyone even care about this, outside of an irrational hatred of, or an irrational devotion to, Carrie Underwood?

  86. Stormy
    May 23, 2008 at 9:52 pm

    Chris N. Because the story of Carrie Underwood is the story of mainstream country in its entirity.

  87. Chris N.
    May 23, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    Intriguing! How so?

  88. Jack
    May 30, 2008 at 9:10 am

    The reason Carrie is so polarizing is because she is so successful. If Carrie was not selling out every venue she plays, if she was not selling millions of CDs, and if she was not winning every music award in sight, nobody would be talking about her on these boards. The irony is that if Carrie was just another low-profile female country singer, she would have few detractors. The fact is that Carrie is an extraordinary talent, singers like her don’t come along very often and country music is lucky to have her.

  89. Razor X
    May 30, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Jack, she is the most overrated female singer to come along in recent memory. What makes you think she’s so extraordinary? Anyone can scream their way through a song; it doesn’t make her anything special.

  90. Mike Parker
    May 30, 2008 at 10:00 am

    RazorX… gotta disagree. She is an amazing vocalist. There are some songs she screams on a bit, but she hits her notes and has a great emotional and vocal range. I’m not crazy about most of her songs, but I do think she is something special as a pure singer.

  91. northtexas
    May 30, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    “Jack, she is the most overrated female singer to come along in recent memory.”

    Apparently the word hastn’t gotten around to her fans yet.

    Billboard top concert tours:

    (From Billboard magazine May 29,2008)
    Artists are ranked by average box-office gross per city.

    1. Bon Jovi; $2,083,402

    2. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band; $1,436,275

    3. Jay-Z/Mary J. Blige; $1,413,157

    4. Rascal Flatts; $811,430

    5. Keith Urban/Carrie Underwood; $746,530

  92. Razor X
    May 30, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    North Texas: Since when does commercial success attest to quality?

  93. northtexas
    May 30, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    “North Texas: Since when does commercial success attest to quality?”

    And why is your opinion of what is quality any more valid then the millions of fans who buy her CD’s and attend her concerts?

    “She has not been good for country music, because the AI fans that she has “brought over” don’t know the difference between pop and country and that will only further weaken the genre.”

    What an elitist comment!!!

  94. Razor X
    May 30, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    NorthTexas, by your definition, everything played on country radio today is quality music. Taking things one step further, other genres of music are better than country because more people listen to them. Right?

    Call it elitist if you want, but people who are just getting interested in country music because of artists like Carrie have no clue what country music is all about — not through any fault of their own, but because there really isn’t any place they can go to hear real country music. They tune into a “today’s country” radio station and think they’re getting the real deal, when nothing could be further than the truth. This blurring of the lines between genres is not a good thing!

  95. northtexas
    May 30, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Bullfeathers!! There are plenty of stations here in Texas that play traditional country music mostly from the Texas Music Chart and I guarantee you that Underwood, Swift and the Flatt boys will never appear on their playlists but neither will Ashton Shepherd or Crystal Shawanda. In the latest Texas Music Chart’s Top 40 there’s only two women listed…Miranda Lambert (23) & Sunny Sweeney (37) so I guess if a female country artist wants to be heard they have to go pop-country.

  96. northtexas
    May 30, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    “This blurring of the lines between genres is not a good thing!”

    Bet folks said the same thing when Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire” crossed over to the pop charts back in 1956!

  97. Razor X
    May 30, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    NorthTexas said: “Bet folks said the same thing when Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire” crossed over to the pop charts back in 1956!”

    We’re not talking about country records crossing over onto the pop charts. We’re talking about pop records being marketed as country. And “Ring of Fire” came out in 1963, not 1956.

    NorthTexas said: “Bullfeathers!! There are plenty of stations here in Texas that play traditional country music mostly from the Texas Music Chart and I guarantee you that Underwood, Swift and the Flatt boys will never appear on their playlists but neither will Ashton Shepherd or Crystal Shawanda. In the latest Texas Music Chart’s Top 40 there’s only two women listed

  98. Brady Vercher
    May 30, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    In the latest Texas Music Chart’s Top 40 there’s only two women listed…

    I though I’d clarify that there are actually three; Maren Morris registers at #19 with “All That It Takes.”

  99. northtexas
    May 30, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    “We’re not talking about country records crossing over onto the pop charts. We’re talking about pop records being marketed as country. And “Ring of Fire” came out in 1963, not 1956.’

    I meant “I Walk The Line”…I’m old and it’s pass my bedtime! LOL!!!

  100. northtexas
    May 30, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    “And why won’t those stations play female artists? Is it because of the shortage of females who are currently doing real country music or is there some other reason?”

    Here’s a quote from Lon Helton, editor and publisher of the trade publication Country Aircheck:
    “The country music audience used to be split 51 to 49 female to male, and now it’s skewing about 57 percent female. There’s a theory that women really like to see male artists,”

    The fact is that the majority of the country radio listeners are female and they overwhelmingly buy and request songs by male artists.

  101. Razor X
    May 30, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    NorthTexas, is that quote from Lon Helton about country radio in general or the traditional country stations in Texas that you posted about?

    No doubt, the market research about the demographics of country radio listeners is extensive, but I find it hard to believe that female listeners only want to hear male artists. In the pop world, who do they think is buying all those Celine Dion CDs? It’s not the men. Why would women who listen to country be different from women who listen to other kinds of music? I’m not trying to argue the point with you, but it just seems odd, don’t you think?

  102. northtexas
    May 30, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    “NorthTexas, is that quote from Lon Helton about country radio in general”

    Don’t know but I’d guess in general.

    “In the pop world, who do they think is buying all those Celine Dion CDs?”

    Gay men?

    Razor, when it comes Underwood we will just have to agree to disagree.
    If she had came along 30-40 years ago I bet she would have been an outstanding traditional country singer.

  103. northtexas
    June 9, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Another number one for Miss Carrie who is on quite a roll! Guess this is her 7th straight.

    R& : Issue Date: June 13, 2008

    *** No. 1 *** #1 Carrie Underwood Last Name (Arista/Arista Nashville)
    Breaker/Most Increased Audience #29 Keith Urban You Look Good In My Shirt (Capitol Nashville)
    Breaker #34 George Strait Troubadour (MCA Nashville)
    Breaker #49 Bucky Covington I’ll Walk (Lyric Street)
    Debut #56 Randy Houser Anything Goes (Universal South)
    Debut #57 One Flew South My Kind Of Beautiful (Decca)
    Re-Entry #58 Kid Rock All Summer Long (Top Dog/Atlantic)
    Debut #60 Lady Antebellum Lookin’ For A Good Time (Capitol Nashville)

  104. Dan
    September 19, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    Carrie Underwood is on a roll and it doesn’t look like she’s going to take a break any time soon!

  105. Dan
    September 30, 2009 at 10:25 am

    “Last Name” will be featured on the show GLEE tonight on Fox!

  106. Jake
    June 6, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Ok first off Carrie Underwood is amazing and she is great for country! She has brought so many new people to country. Some of you are saying Last Name isn’t country?? WHAT!! One of my best friends doesn’t like the song at all because she thinks it’s too country. (my friend hates country music). In fact I think it’s one of her most country sounding songs. But eh my opinion I guess.

    As for her “screaming” all of her songs. I don’t know what that’s about. I’ve been to two of her concerts and am going to another one soon. It’s not screaming that she’s doing. It’s her having a powerhouse voice. I bet everyone on here bashing Carrie is probably a Taylor Swift fan anyways. All they know how to do is bash Carrie for some strange reason. (that isn’t meant as a bash towards Taylor Swift though.. even though I personally don’t like her songs)

  107. Stormy
    June 6, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Actually, I think you will find quite a lot of us are fans of Kasey, Eliazabeth, Miranda and Tift.

  108. Steve M.
    June 6, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    I heart Elizabeth Cook.

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