Cry Pretty

Cry Pretty

by Carrie UnderwoodCarrie Underwood


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Ever since she walked away with the fourth season of American Idol in 2005, Carrie Underwood's strength has been her steeliness. Even at her tenderest moments, there was a sense of remove, as if Underwood were reluctant to let her guard slip, which is what makes the emotional frankness of 2018's Cry Pretty startling. Underwood is self-aware enough to address this shift at the very beginning of the record, which opens with a title track containing the confession that she's "not usually the kind to show my heart to the world," and then she proceeds to spend the next 50 minutes allowing herself to open up to emotions she has usually kept in reserve. "Cry Pretty" is the rallying call for the album, a cry of confidence that can be heard not just in the lyrics but also within the album's musical ambition. Without abandoning the sweeping, cinematic diva-pop that's her signature, Underwood buttresses her country roots while fearlessly threading hip-hop and R&B within her music, going as far as to invite Ludacris in for a verse on the triumphant closer, "The Champion." Perhaps this fist-pumping affirmation isn't as successful as the smooth R&B rhythms holding "Backsliding" together or the rapid rhyming on "That Song That We Used to Make Love To," but the audacity of the Ludacris guest spot underscores how Underwood is taking risks for the first time. Nearly all of them pay off. "The Bullet," an anti-gun-violence ballad that feels especially potent and poignant in the wake of the 2017 Route 91 Harvest shooting, is nervy and affecting in a way Underwood never has been, and it finds a counterpart in "Southbound," a party tune that's as effervescent as anything she's ever cut. These two songs show how Underwood's deliberate maturation doesn't come at the expense of what she's done before. Instead, it deepens and enriches what was already there -- as any good maturation would -- and the result is an album as satisfying as it is surprising.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/14/2018
Label: Capitol Nashville
UPC: 0602567673354
catalogNumber: 002855702
Rank: 1798

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Carrie Underwood   Primary Artist,Percussion,Background Vocals
David Angell   Violin
David Davidson   Violin
Dan Dugmore   Pedal Steel Guitar
Steve Hinson   Pedal Steel Guitar
McCrary Sisters   Background Vocals
Chris McHugh   Percussion,Drums
Wendy Moten   Background Vocals
Jimmie Lee Sloas   Bass
Kris Wilkinson   Viola
Brett James   Background Vocals
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar
Perry Coleman   Background Vocals
Tom Bukovac   Electric Guitar
Josh Miller   Background Vocals
Hillary Lindsey   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals
Rob McNelley   Electric Guitar
Holly Williams   Background Vocals
Dave Barnes   Background Vocals
Austin Hoke   Cello
Carole Rabinowitz   Cello
Robert Dante   Piano,Keyboards
Danny Rader   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Electric Guitar
Charlie Judge   Keyboards
Ben Haggard   Acoustic Guitar
Ilya Toshinskiy   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Bouzouki,Dobro,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Resonator
Dave Cohen   Keyboards
Will Weatherly   Keyboards
David Garcia   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Michael Burman   Guitar
Bones Owens   Guitar
Nir Z   Drums
Vicky Hampton   Background Vocals
Jenni Fairbanks   Background Vocals
Ivey Childers   Background Vocals
Amanda Lufburrow   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Joe Baldridge   Engineer
Marc Beeson   Composer
David Davidson   String Arrangements
Allen Shamblin   Composer
Brett James   Composer
Andrew Dorff   Composer
Lori McKenna   Composer
Bobby Shin   Engineer
Josh Miller   Composer
John Hanes   Engineer
Niko Marzouca   Engineer
Jim Jonsin   Producer
Joshua Sage Newman   Art Direction
Bethany Newman   Art Direction
Hillary Lindsey   Composer
Chris DeStefano   Composer
Dave Barnes   Composer
Carrie Underwood   Composer,Producer
Liz Rose   Composer
Andy Albert   Composer
Tom Douglas   Composer
Ann Edelblute   Management
Jason Evigan   Composer,Programming
Christopher Bridges   Composer
Charlie Judge   Programming
Joe Corey   Engineer
Dave Cohen   Programming
Fred Williams   Programming
Will Weatherly   Composer,Programming
David Garcia   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer
Brett McLaughlin   Composer
Adam Chagnon   Engineer
Sarah Emily Berrios   Programming

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