American Idol

carrie underwood blown away

Carrie Underwood certainly didn’t disappoint with her latest album, Blown Away.  Released on Tuesday May 1, Blown Away is Underwood’s fourth studio album and features much darker songs than her previous music, which focused heavily on the love of family and the idea of happily ever after. The transformation is evident with the cover art displayed on the album, where Underwood is shown looking tan and tone in a beautiful gown of dark gray and silver that would make any girl envious of her wardrobe. The storm clouds in the background are an ominous clue as to the types of songs a listener can expect from the music.

Blown Away is not only the album’s name, but also the title of the second track. The song shows a small peek into a young girl’s abusive home life and the feeling of being caught in a dangerous storm. “Two Black Cadillacs” immediately follows, describing how two women brought fatal revenge upon a man who was cheating on them both.

The album isn’t all gloom, though! “Good Girl,” the single that was released on February 23, is an anthem for female empowerment and independence, where the singer is convincing a girl to recognize when her boy is just “no good for you.” Then there are Underwood’s standard country tunes, like “Cupid’s Got a Shotgun,” which uses just about every line of shooting and hunting clichés that exists in the English language, and “Thank God for Hometowns.” This song is a bit more religious, like the last track on the album, “Who Are You,” but it can make anyone nostalgic for their own hometown, even those who hated it when they were stuck there!

There is a tie for best track between “Wine After Whiskey,” which could very easily be the most poetically written of all the songs on the album, and “One Way Ticket,” the happiest of all the songs on the album. “Wine After Whiskey” will make a listener sit back and really absorb the emotions behind the words that Underwood is singing, where “One Way Ticket” will make a listener immediately want to post the link to the music on a stressed-out friend’s Facebook wall during finals week to cheer them up!

Overall, Underwood’s fourth album is deemed a success! While the themes behind her music have certainly matured since her early days fresh off of winning the fourth season of American Idol, what audiences have always enjoyed most about her music, is Underwood’s talent in communicating a great story. Within each individual track, she somehow manages to create new characters and tales that stay with us long after the song is over.

-Amy Lauren

 2011 Amercan Idol, Scotty McCreeryScotty McCreery joins the likes of Jordin Sparks, Carrie Underwood, David Cook and Kris Allen as an American Idol. With a velvety-smooth voice that could send Garth Brooks up the creek, the North Carolina native has ME feeling a little bit country, and loving it! Is it too early to request a duet with Taylor Swift? Here are 10 things you need to know about this year’s American Idol.
1. Scotty is from Garner, NC, a town of 26 thousand people— that’s less than .07% of the population of Los Angeles!
2. His first audition was in Milwaukee and he sang Josh Turner’s “Young Man.”
3. He won BIG. The final showdown between Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina garnered 122 million votes, more than any season in the 10-year-old series!
4. Along with the title of “American Idol,” Scotty earned a record deal with 19 Recordings. His debut single and swoon-worthy ballad, “I Love You This Big” is out now.
5. His favorite quote is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” He always wore the same necklace with a black cross. Look for it next time you see him!

6. Scotty is down-to-earth. His southern charm and grounded demeanor even comes across in his tweets: “Thank yall [sic] so much for keeping me around.”

7. Scotty was protected by the government! Because Scotty and Lauren are minors, they were subject to child labor laws. The Department of Labor has restrictions on the number of hours minors can work in a day.

8. He’s close to his mom.  He admitted to tearing up when Lauren sang “Like My Mother Does,” during part one of the finale. Both of their mothers stayed with them throughout the competition.

9. The American Idol will hit the road with the remaining 10 contestants for the American Idols LIVE! 2011 Tour, starting on July 6, in West Valley City, UT.

10. He wants to go to college, “College is important to me,
he said. He also has his heart set on Nashville. Dear University of Tennessee: That should be music to your ears!
-Ashlyee Hickman

Photo Credit: Frank MIcelotta / FOX

Tell ME: Who did you want to win American Idol?