Carrie Underwood – “Last Name”
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.
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