It’s time to check in with Carrie Underwood, Idol‘s neverending success story and purveyor of either ballads (extrapolating from “Jesus, Take The Wheel”) or increasingly unsubtle country-rock songs (extrapolating from “Before He Cheats,” which was fairly unsubtle to begin with.) Which of the two will new track “Good Girl” be?
Yeah, that settled that. “Good Girl” is pretty simple: a country karaoke bar anthem for all the good girls watching other good girls go off with bad guys. Other than that, there are a couple ways to place “Good Girl”‘s sound. It’s country, but mostly in name and on the chorus. Otherwise, it’s Southern rock (particularly at the beginning, which could lead into another song entirely) or pop-rock–specifically, the poppier variety by Shania Twain or even Britney and Christina (only the backing vocals, and only circa “Stronger” and “Fighter,” mainly; you could make a cheap analogy to BSB, even.) got mileage out of. People are oh-me-oh-mying already about this, which is–as it always is–a bad look. This isn’t really all that different than the mini-stadium rock other country artists are charting with; any new country song is as likely to sound like crossover rock radio a decade ago.
Carrie Underwood does it as much as anyone, maybe more; her big singles, from “Undo It” and “Cowboy Casanova” on, hammer you more and more forcefully. So it is here; Carrie wields her voice like a club, which’d be impressive if the guitars aren’t clubbing you three times as hard. Mutt Lange would approve. The track’s not completely unsubtle; the choruses trail off softly, even delicately. This is just an intermission; the next blow connects within seconds. And why not? Carrie’s made smithereens of so many sales milestones this way, but there are still plenty more markers–and arenas, and speakers–to go.