by Carrie UnderwoodCarrie Underwood


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"Something in the Water," the new single tacked onto Carrie Underwood's 2014 compilation Greatest Hits: Decade #1, was an operatic blowout on par with her 2012 smash "Blown Away" -- something grand and melodramatic, suggesting Vegas as much as it suggested inspirational music. Storyteller, her fifth album and first since her career recap, certainly contains cinematic elements -- Underwood has been proud to be a diva ever since she prowled the stages of American Idol a decade prior -- but the title isn't a feint; she spends a good chunk of the album reiterating, singing about heartbreak, hair triggers, red wine, dirty laundry, and smoke breaks, the mundane details that turn life so joyous and tragic. Subtlety isn't Underwood's strong suit so the songs tend to be a bit on the nose, whether she's pledging devotion to her newborn son on the sweet closer "What I Never Knew I Always Wanted" or streamlining Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billy Joe" via the stomping "Choctaw County Affair," but that directness is key to her appeal: there are no greys in Carrie's music, only blazing primary colors. Appropriately enough, Storyteller gleams with steely assurance, perhaps the toughest and boldest record yet but one that hardly soft-pedals her softer side. Carrie isn't an unapologetic spitfire like her "Something Bad" duet partner Miranda Lambert. She is, as she says in her album title, a Storyteller, and there's an unmistakable distance between her theatrics and the subjects of her tunes; she isn't living these songs, she's performing them. Like a skilled actor, Underwood chooses her roles wisely -- she's comfortable swaggering through the leadoff pair of "Renegade Runaway" and "Dirty Laundry," while she eases into the comforting melancholy of "The Girl You Think I Am" -- and she knows how to deliver the essence of each song, modulating her performances not only so they match the grand productions of Jay Joyce, Mark Bright, and Zach Crowell but so they always are the focal point. That's no small feat and Storyteller is no small album: it demands attention and it deserves it, too.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/23/2015
Label: Arista
UPC: 0888751053922
catalogNumber: 510539
Rank: 12538


  1. Renegade Runaway
  2. Dirty Laundry
  3. Church Bells
  4. Heartbeat
  5. Smoke Break
  6. Choctaw County Affair
  7. Like I'll Never Love You Again
  8. Chaser
  9. Relapse
  10. Clock Don't Stop
  11. The Girl You Think I Am
  12. Mexico
  13. What I Never Knew I Always Wanted

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Carrie Underwood   Primary Artist,Background Vocals
Eric Darken   Percussion
Kenny Greenberg   Electric Guitar
Jay Joyce   Bass,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Synthesizer Pads
McCrary Sisters   Background Vocals
Chris McHugh   Bass,Drums
Michael Rhodes   Bass
Jimmie Lee Sloas   Bass
Jimmy Nichols   Piano
Fred Eltringham   Percussion,Drums
Derek Wells   Electric Guitar
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar
Jerry Flowers   Bass,Background Vocals
Perry Coleman   Background Vocals
John Deaderick   Keyboards
Tom Bukovac   Electric Guitar
James Moore   Background Vocals
Ilya Toshinsky   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin
Hillary Lindsey   Background Vocals
Chris DeStefano   Background Vocals
Rob McNelley   Electric Guitar
Travis Meadows   Harmonica
Devin Malone   Pedal Steel Guitar,Cello,Electric Guitar
Patrick McGrath   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Mandolin
Dave Roe   Bass
Charlie Judge   Synthesizer,Accordion
Adam Ollendorff   Dobro
Zach Crowell   Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Sam Hunt   Background Vocals
Forest Glen Whitehead   Acoustic Guitar
Gave Roe   Bass

Technical Credits

Derek Bason   Engineer
Jay Joyce   Programming,Producer
Mark Bright   Producer
Brett James   Composer
Mike Elizondo   Composer
Blair Daly   Composer
Lori McKenna   Composer
Jamie Moore   Composer
Jason Hall   Engineer
Hillary Lindsey   Composer
Chris DeStefano   Composer
David Hodges   Composer
Carrie Underwood   Composer,Liner Notes
Ashley Gorley   Composer
Liz Rose   Composer
Sara Haze   Composer
Andrew Schubert   Engineer
Kat Higgins   Composer
Charlie Judge   Programming
Nick Autry   Engineer
Ben Caver   Composer
Zach Crowell   Composer,Programming,Producer
Derrick Southerland   Composer
Adam Chagnon   Engineer
Jason White   Composer

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