Review of Greatest Hits: Decade #1 Album by Carrie Underwood

Whilst her impact on the UK music market has been limited, Carrie Underwood is an indisputable star in her American homeland. The winner of 'American Idol' in 2005, she has gone on to release four albums and amassed sales figures of 64 million records. Amongst her haul of honours are six Grammys and 16 Billboard Music Awards, so it's safe to say she has avoided being a quickly forgotten talent show product.

Carrie Underwood Greatest Hits: Decade #1 Album

Largely in chronological order, this collection features all of Underwood's singles with a few additional tracks for good measure. Certainly, it cannot be accused of being incomprehensive and is a solid introduction to the country-pop styling of the artist, a blend that has also had crossover success for Taylor Swift and Shania Twain amongst others. The majority of the output here is safe; some would say bland, radio-friendly efforts that showcase Underwood's undeniably impressive vocals.  Unfortunately, it is rare for a track to go by without an apparent need to stretch that voice to higher echelons of warbling - new track 'Something In The Water' is a case in point. As with any competent mainstream pop album, there are songs which are simply infectious, with 'Wasted' being one of the better efforts and 'See You Again' also fitting the bill. When Underwood displays grittier attitude as she does on 'Before He Cheats' the result is actually worthy of further pursuit - the elements of country, soul and rock combining successfully for a number reminiscent of Christina Aguilera at her best. Unfortunately, the opposite end of the spectrum is in evidence more regularly, with 'Last Name'  failing miserably to convince anyone that Underwood is really a bad girl, while 'Just A Dream' is nothing by dreary. There's no doubting her vocal ability talent, but the material representing the first decade of her career rarely excites, even if it has sold in impressive volumes.


Alex Lai

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