Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Carrie Underwood – Home Sweet Home

American Idol finds new way to get people off its lawn…

[Video (sort of)][Website]

Alex Wisgard: I don’t know what’s worse: the fact this is a Motley Crue cover, or the fact I wouldn’t have noticed without someone pointing this fact out to me. Vince Neil fucked a girl named Bullwinkle for this?

Frank Kogan: Placid ballad; weightier instrumentation and heavier singing than is good for it, but her voice is warm. At least, that was my first impression. By the sixth or so “placid” turns into “wet blanket,” and the “warm” singing is way strained, which surprises me since this should be an easy glide for an excellent mimic like her. Good song, though, and I say this while having no memory of the original.

Jordan Sargent: As a piano-driven power ballad, “Home Sweet Home” only demonstrates something we already know: Carrie Underwood can really, really sing. And in that sense, it seems like something she might sing on American Idol with the sole purpose of just showing off her pipes. But there’s none of the swagger, snarl or attitude that’s made her the biggest star in country, and so the song drags along, feeling about eight minutes long even before the Fiery Guitar Solo flames out upon ignition.

Martin Kavka: “Home Sweet Home” is about dreams can screw you over, and indeed about how dreams are usually an evasion of our humdrum responsibilities. In other words, 19 Productions is telling each reject – before they are contractually bound to participate in the summer tour – that he or she is an idiot for having auditioned for this program in the first pace. [2]

Joseph McCombs: Couldn’t someone have rewritten the words to reflect the American Idol repurposing? It would have given the song some sensible context, avoided uncomfortable associations of “Sometimes nothing keeps me together at the seams” with the Tatiana Del Toros of the show, and rescued Carrie from lines that only work when the bar’s set low for subliterate goons. But the swelling Michael Kamenesque strings before the last chorus were a nice production touch. [5]

Ian Mathers: By the time the Bon Jovi-level drums kick in, I’m reminded that Ms. Underwood is apparently incapable of anything approaching subtlety (vocally, emotionally, lyrically, or in any other way). This song is yet more proof that country music doesn’t really exist any more, that ‘new country’ is just where MOR and AOR and soft rock went to die, that American Idol is a bankrupt pile of shit, that sometimes those gosh darned rockists have a fucking point. [0]

Additional Scores

Hillary Brown: [4]
Dave Moore: [5]
Al Shipley: [2]
Martin Skidmore: [7]

2 Responses to “Carrie Underwood – Home Sweet Home”

  1. country music doesn’t really exist any more

    This seems like a strange claim. I mean, I’m not sure that this song even trying to be particularly country, despite the fact that Carrie is usually a country music performer. It’s a pretty straightforward remake of the Motley Crue song.

    And if country no longer exists, which seems obviously untrue but let’s go there, when is the last time country “really” existed, then, to get a sense of what’s been lost since then? It seems like there’s tons of country music; I just don’t listen to it.

    And why does the goodbye song (or Carrie Underwood’s alleged lack of subtlety, which I think is unfair to her) have anything to do with whether or not AI is a bankrupt pile of shit?

  2. I get the feeling Mathers was stirring shit up rather than actually making a sincere point, but Dave’s right. If country music doesn’t sound like it did 30 years ago, it’s because the country is not like it was 30 years ago. I prefer a genre that acknowledges its creative origins have evolved rather than one that anachronistically seeks to mimic a culture that no longer exists.