Album Review: Carrie Underwood, “Storyteller”

Rating: B+

Carrie Underwood has been in the country music scene for nearly a decade now. After winning season four of “American Idol,” Underwood has taken her music career by storm, and is still continuing to release music even after major life events. After the birth of her first child, Underwood is back on the music train with the release of her fifth studio album, “Storyteller.”

“Storyteller” is Underwood’s first musical effort in a long time. The last time fans heard new music from Underwood was in 2012 with her fourth studio album, “Blown Away.” It’s been nearly three years since hearing Underwood’s beautiful voice in new music. To keep fans from being disappointed during her time of absence, Underwood put out a greatest hits album just last year. She did feature two newly recorded songs on the greatest hits album, but usually fans anticipate a release of a full-length album after two years.

With a strong anticipation of new music from fans, it makes sense that “Storyteller” is filled with plenty of hits. Critics are giving the album positive reviews, with a few saying that it is Underwood’s “best album yet.”

The intro track of the new album, “Renegade Runaway,” immediately captures the audience’s attention. At first the listener may find that the song gives off too much of a pop vibe, but as soon as Underwood starts her vocals, fans can immediately tell that Underwood has not left her country roots.

Other songs on the album will sound familiar to fans, such as the single, “Smoke Break.” The song definitely shows how powerful Underwood’s voice is when Underwood belts out lyrics. The lyrics of the song deal with working hard and needing to take a break once and awhile.

“The song itself is just kind of one of those story songs that I feel like everybody can relate to, about how life is so hectic and it’s so nice when, if and when, you actually get to kind of step away for a second,” Underwood said in a video posted to her Facebook page.

This could possibly show where Underwood has been since 2012. With giving birth to her first child, maybe she just needed a break from producing, recording and touring before returning to music.

Underwood also includes a few ballads on her new album, such as the song, “Like I’ll Never Love You Again.” Fans saw a good amount of ballads and slower songs with “Blown Away,” so it was nice for Underwood to include a couple on “Storyteller.”

By placing “Like I’ll Never Love You Again,” in the middle of the album it shows a nice contrast between the strong anthems in the beginning of the album, and gives the chance for the record to slow things down a bit.

Overall, “Storyteller,” is a decent album.  It shows that Underwood was working hard during her time away from music.  Long-time fans of Underwood will be pleased with the sound on the new album.  Fans of country music in general will also find something they enjoy in “Storyteller.”  Underwood plans to tour in early 2016 to promote the release of the new album.

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