Country music is all about emotion and true to life lyrics and it seems that the industry has recycled themes over and over again. They used to do this by simply recording new versions of classic hits over the years but right about the time albums became available on CD, very few songs seemingly got recycled that way. Instead the labels recycled music by borrowing similar melodies and re-writing the same ten, then 5 songs over and over again. It became a copycat industry in many cases, following whatever label hit big with an original artist. While Carrie Underwood started out on American Idol, a show which is all about recycling old songs, she became very much her own; due to her uncanny ear for hit songs. Having sold nearly 10 million albums in only 4 years on the charts, Underwood now has the cache and respect of the radio industry to step-out on a limb to release a song that is a recycled song in the old sense.
Randy Travis’ “I Told You So” was a masterful hit for him in 1988 and Underwood’s slightly altered the song to fit the modern production values but in the end it is basically the same. Backed by solid country fills (the steel guitar and fiddles are not mixed to oblivion –except in the chorus–), the lyric is about telling a long-time love that they can in fact live without them, something that people of all races and economic stature have gone through.
Even though there’ll be some traditionalists out there who will hate the song for the simple fact that it was Underwood and not someone like Josh Turner releasing the single, this song is very much a welcomed addition to the charts. Sure, Carrie does ‘over sing’ the title a bit in the chorus; the rest of the song is no doubt her best and truest country single to date. The girl was flat-out born to sing country songs and only an idiot wouldn’t agree. Hopefully the success of this single at radio (where it should have a great chance at getting to #1 just like all of her other singles) will have Underwood pushing for a few more traditional-leaning tracks on the next record, or at least songs with more fiddle solos and fills and less bombastic production and vocal stretching, something we all agree will make Underwood an even bigger star.
Read the lyrics here.