Carrie Underwood’s fans on American Idol claimed that Ms Underwood, who has the stage presence of a sponge on TV, will sound better in a studio environment. After listening to her debut CD Some Hearts, I find that the songs on this CD don’t help her much when it comes to being a standout country artist, unfortunately. Ms Underwood has a voice that is distinctive in that show but she is lost in the crowd when she has to compete with Martina McBride and other country female vocalists whose styles she imitates unimaginatively. She needs to do something to stand out but Some Hearts is an unimaginative CD filled with formulaic country songs that does her no favors.
From the tedious “Oh, I long for my old simple life” yarnfest in I Ain’t in Checotah Anymore to the utterly typical and dull pop/country Faith Hill-type of ballad Whenever You Remember and it’s all downhill from there. Before He Cheats has Ms Underwood pulling off the saucy and bluesy act very convincingly but I am hard-pressed to remember any of the other tracks on this CD. There is nothing wrong with listenable tracks like Starts with Goodbye and Lessons Learned and I won’t mind listening to them again, but I can’t remember much of them once the songs are over.
Make no mistake, I don’t think that this CD is bad at all. In fact, I think it’s the best debut CD I’ve heard from an American Idol winner in terms of the songs. Some Hearts are put together to appeal to both country and pop fans and the people who put this CD together manage to achieve that delicate balance beautifully. Unfortunately, they do this by making Ms Underwood come off as bland and inoffensive as possible. This CD is fine to listen to but I wish I can remember more about it than the sweet CD cover art when it’s over. This CD is missing an edge, a dash of something that may be called uniquely Ms Underwood’s… something that will make people remember her as Carrie Underwood and not some “Oh, that sweet young lady on American Idol who sings nicely… um, yeah” lady who only registers when people happen to listen to her on radio or see her on TV. Maybe next time, I suppose.