Carnival Ride

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This article is about the album by Carrie Underwood. For the structures used in amusement parks and carnivals, see Amusement ride.
Carnival Ride
Studio album by Carrie Underwood
Released October 23, 2007 (2007-10-23)
(see release history)
Recorded 2006-2007; Starstruck Studios (Nashville, TN)
Genre
Length 50:06
Label
Producer Mark Bright
Carrie Underwood chronology
Some Hearts
(2005)
Carnival Ride
(2007)
Play On
(2009)
Singles from Carnival Ride
  1. "So Small"
    Released: August 28, 2007
  2. "All-American Girl"
    Released: December 18, 2007
  3. "Last Name"
    Released: April 8, 2008
  4. "Just a Dream"
    Released: July 21, 2008
  5. "I Told You So"
    Released: February 2, 2009

Carnival Ride is the second studio album by American country artist Carrie Underwood. It was released in the United States on October 23, 2007 by Arista Nashville.[1][2] On this album, Underwood was more involved in the songwriting process; she set up a writers' retreat at Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium to collaborate with such Music Row tunesmiths as Hillary Lindsey, Craig Wiseman, Rivers Rutherford, and Gordie Sampson.[3]

Carnival Ride debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling over 527,000 copies and achieving one of the biggest ever first-week sales by a female artist.[4] It was the singer's first album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 and second to debut atop the Top Country Albums chart. It has sold 3,314,000 copies as of February 2013 in the United States, being certified 3x Platinum by the RIAA.[5][6]

Five singles were released from the album: "So Small", "All-American Girl", "Last Name", "Just a Dream", and "I Told You So". The first four of which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, thus making Underwood the first solo female artist to pull four number one's from one album since Shania Twain did it with The Woman in Me.[7]

The album and its songs were largely praised by music critics. Underwood won two Grammy Awards - one for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for "Last Name", at the 2009 Grammy Awards, and one for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for "I Told You So" (with Randy Travis), at the 2010 Grammy Awards. She was also nominated with "Just a Dream" in the former category, in 2010. Carnival Ride was nominated for Album of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards and Country Music Association Awards and won the American Music Award for Favorite Country Album, in 2008.

Background[edit]

Underwood has explained the meaning behind the album's title and theme, saying:

Two of this album's tracks have been previously recorded by other artists. "Flat on the Floor" was previously cut by singer Katrina Elam on her unreleased 2007 album Turn Me Up, and was a number 52 hit on the country charts for her that year. "I Told You So" is a cover of a song previously cut by Randy Travis on his 1988 number one album Always & Forever. Travis' version of the song was a Number One hit on the country charts that year. Underwood and Travis recently released "I Told You So" as a duet single on iTunes, and they also performed it on the results show of the eighth season of American Idol during the Grand Ole Opry week. The duet later went on to win the 52nd Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 72/100[8]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars [9]
Boston Herald B [10]
The Cincinnati Post B+[11]
Digital Spy 3/5 stars [12]
Entertainment Weekly B+ [13]
Newsday B [14]
PopMatters 7/10 stars [15]
Robert Christgau (1-star Honorable Mention) [16]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars [17]
Slant Magazine 2/5 stars [18]

Reviews of Carnival Ride have been generally positive. Based from the music review aggregator Metacritic, it has received an average score of 72 out of 100.[19]

The first official review of the album from AllMusic gave it 4 out of 5 stars, on par with what they gave her debut. The site classified the album as "completely contemporary country", and said "the remarkable thing about Carnival Ride is that it's stronger song for song than Some Hearts." They also praised the album for having "the appearance of a genuine heart, something that no other big country-pop album has had since the glory days of Come On Over."[9] USA Today also praised the album for its versatility saying "The songs call for vulnerability (You Won’t Find This), urgency (Flat on the Floor), sympathy (Crazy Dreams, her co-written salute to “the hairbrush singers and dashboard drummers” from whose ranks she sprang), humor (The More Boys I Meet, the tag line of which goes “The more I love my dog”) and extreme role-playing (Last Name’s saga of a bar pickup that turns into an impulsive Vegas marriage). She delivers on all counts."[20] The Boston Herald gave the album a B, and claimed, "Underwood manages enough spunk to occasionally avoid the cookie-cutter, especially with the curious beat-box-meets-banjo arrangement of "Get Out of This Town" and "Just a Dream," a bona fide [tearjerker] about a young war widow."[10]

Chart performance[edit]

Carnival Ride became Underwood’s first number-one album on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling 527,000 copies in its first week of release.[21] In its second week the album sold less than 190,000 copies. The album also debuted at number 1 on the Top Digital Albums, Top Country Albums, and Top Canadian Albums charts.

It appeared on the Billboard Year-End Charts for 2009 at number 74.[22]

The album has sold 3,314,000 copies in the U.S.,[6] and has been certified 3× Platinum.

Singles[edit]

"So Small" served as the lead single for the album. It was released on mid-September 2007, two months before the album's official release and debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs at number 20, making it the highest chart debut by a solo country female artist in 43 years of Nielsen BDS history. It eventually held the number one spot for 3 consecutive weeks. It also became her fifth top 20 hit when it peaked at number 17 on U.S. Billboard Hot 100. "So Small" has become a cross-over hit, selling over 1,000,000 downloads, certified Platinum, and managed to be in top 20.

The second single, "All-American Girl", was released around December 2007. It also became a success by hitting number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs where it stayed there for 2 weeks and on the Canadian Country Charts where it stayed there for 5 weeks. It also managed to be a top 30 single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 27, making it her sixth top 30. As of May 2012, 1,548,000 copies of "All-American Girl" were sold in the USA. The song was certified Platinum. "All-American Girl" is the fourth best-selling song of Underwood's career, behind "Before He Cheats" with 3,703,000 copies sold, "Jesus Take The Wheel" with 2,136,000 copies sold, and "Blown Away" with 1,996,000 copies sold.

The third single, "Last Name", became Underwood's fastest single to hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs after only 13 weeks of its official release around April 2008. It stayed there for one week. It is also Underwood's sixth top 20 hit, reaching number 19 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song also won Underwood her third consecutive Grammy award in the Best Female Country Vocal Performance category. As of May 2012 the song has sold 1,078,000 copies. "Last Name' is Underwood's 7th best selling song and also her 6th of 9 to top the 1,000,000 sales mark.

The fourth single, "Just a Dream", reached Number One on the country charts for the chart week of November 8, 2008 and stayed there for 2 weeks, becoming her seventh Number One single on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and eighth Number One country single overall. It also managed to reach number 29 on U.S. Billboard Hot 100, becoming her 10th top 30 there. The song also gave Underwood her fourth consecutive Grammy award nomination in the Best Female Country Vocal Performance category. The song was certified Platinum on the week ending on September 4, 2011,[23] giving Underwood her 7th Platinum hit.

The fifth single, "I Told You So" was officially released on February 2, 2009. This became Underwood's fourth top 10 all-genre hit, charting at number nine on the U.S Billboard Hot 100. On the week of April 10, it climbed up to the top at number one on the Canadian Country Charts and topping there for one week. The song peaked in the Top 2 of the Hot Country Songs chart, making it only her second country single to not reach number one on that chart after "Don't Forget To Remember Me" which also peaked at number two. Underwood rerecorded the song with original artist Randy Travis, and the song won her and Travis the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. It has sold 891,000 copies as of October 2011. As of January 2013, the song has been certified Platinum.

Marketing and promotion[edit]

Underwood promoted the record through the Carnival Ride Tour which ran through 2008. It started late January and ended on December 14, 2008. She performed over 137 live shows since the start of the tour, performing to over a million people.

She debuted several of her singles at the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Country Music Association Awards.

She also appeared on several shows to promote her album including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Saturday Night Live, Live With Regis and Kelly, The Early Show, American Idol, Good Morning America, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, The View, and at the Grand Ole Opry.

A Limited Edition CD/DVD release was made available only at Target stores. The DVD includes four live acoustic performances, as well as a four-part interview.

Following this a Platinum MusicPass edition was released on January 15, 2008. This release included a previously unreleased track and two music videos.

On October 21, 2008, a 2-disc set was released at Wal-Mart. The second CD contains five Christmas tracks, of which all were available for radio download on September 29, 2008. "Do You Hear What I Hear" was previously released on the 2007 album Hear Something Country Christmas.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Flat on the Floor"   Ashley Monroe, Brett James 3:18
2. "All-American Girl"   Carrie Underwood, Ashley Gorley, Kelley Lovelace 3:32
3. "So Small"   Underwood, Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey 3:47
4. "Just a Dream"   H. Lindsey, Gordie Sampson, Steve McEwan 4:44
5. "Get Out of This Town"   Sampson, McEwan, H. Lindsey 3:03
6. "Crazy Dreams"   Underwood, George Barry Dean, Troy Verges 3:36
7. "I Know You Won't"   Wendell Mobley, Neil Thrasher, McEwan 4:19
8. "Last Name"   Underwood, Laird, H. Lindsey 4:01
9. "You Won't Find This"   Cathy Dennis, Tom Shapiro 3:19
10. "I Told You So"   Randy Travis 4:17
11. "The More Boys I Meet"   Scott Kennedy, McEwan 3:33
12. "Twisted"   James, Laird, H. Lindsey 3:56
13. "Wheel of the World"   H. Lindsey, Aimee Mayo, Chris Lindsey 4:42
Total length:
50:04

Personnel[edit]

String section – Nashville String Machine[edit]

  • Dave Angell, Carrie Bailey, Denise Baker, Zeneba Bowers, Beverly Drukker, Connie Ellisor, Carl Gorodetzky, Gerald Greer, Erin Hall, Cate Myer, Pamela Sixfin, Betty Small, Alan Umstead, Catherine Umstead, Karen Winkelmann – violin
  • Monisa Angell, Bruce Christensen, Jim Grosjean, Anthony LaMarchina, Keith Nicholas, Carole Rabonowitz-Neuen, Sari Reist, June Tanner, Gary Vanosdale, Kris Wilkinson – viola
  • John Catchings – cello

Charts and certifications[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2007) Peak
position
Australian Country Albums Chart[24] 9
Canadian Albums Chart[25] 1
Canadian Country Albums Chart[25] 1
US Billboard 200[26] 1
US Top Country Albums[26] 1

Certifications[edit]

Country Certification
United States 3× Platinum[5]

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions[24][27][28] RIAA
US Country US US Pop CAN
2007 "So Small" 1 17 23 14 Platinum[29]
"All-American Girl" 1 27 50 45 Platinum[29]
2008 "Last Name" 1 19 37 34 Platinum[29]
"Just a Dream"[A] 1 29 96 50 Platinum[29]
2009 "I Told You So" 2 9 25 18 Platinum[29]
Notes
  • A ^ "Just a Dream" charted under unsolicited airplay on the Pop 100 for one week in 2007 where it peaked at number 96.

Release history[edit]

Region Date
Norway October 22, 2007 (2007-10-22)
United States October 23, 2007 (2007-10-23)
Canada
Denmark
Ireland
Japan
Mexico
Philippines
Korea
Hong Kong October 29, 2007 (2007-10-29)
Australia November 3, 2007 (2007-11-03)
New Zealand
South Africa November 5, 2007 (2007-11-05)
Sweden
Germany November 9, 2007 (2007-11-09)
Austria November 23, 2007 (2007-11-23)
Switzerland November 30, 2007 (2007-11-30)
Thailand January 28, 2008 (2008-01-28)
United Kingdom July 7, 2008 (2008-07-07)
Brazil July 13, 2008 (2008-07-13)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Carrie Underwood Invites Fans Along for a Carnival Ride" (Press release). Arista Nashville. 2007-08-29. Retrieved 2007-08-30. 
  2. ^ "Carrie Underwood plans fall CD release". MSNBC. 2007-07-17. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  3. ^ "Country star Underwood enjoys fast-moving 'Ride'". AOL Music Canada. Retrieved September 8, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Carrie Underwood's new 'Carnival Ride' album debuts at No. 1". Reality TV World. Retrieved 2013-04-25. 
  5. ^ a b RIAA Search - Carrie Underwood
  6. ^ a b Mansfield, Brian (2013-02-20). "Grammy sales boost Carrie Underwood above 'Idol' pack". USA Today. 
  7. ^ "Chart Beat: Carrie Underwood, Labelle, AC/DC". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-04-25. 
  8. ^ "Critic Reviews for Carnival Ride". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  9. ^ a b Allmusic review
  10. ^ a b Boston Herald review
  11. ^ Rick Bird (2007-06-21). "Mayer slings his guitar on 'Continuum' tour". The Cincinnati Post (E. W. Scripps Company). p. T3. Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  12. ^ Digital Spy review
  13. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  14. ^ Newsday review at the Wayback Machine (archived December 9, 2007)
  15. ^ PopMatters review
  16. ^ Robert Christgau Consumer Guide
  17. ^ Rolling Stone review
  18. ^ Slant Magazine review
  19. ^ "Critic Reviews for Carnival Ride". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  20. ^ "USA Today (Carnival Ride)". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-10-24. [dead link]
  21. ^ Hasty, Katie (2007-10-31). "Underwood Leads Three Country Debuts Onto Chart". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved 2007-10-31. 
  22. ^ "How American Idol albums ranked in 2009 year-end sales". USA Today. 2010-01-11. 
  23. ^ "Week Ending Sept. 4, 2011. Songs: Adele's Back On Top - Chart Watch". New.music.yahoo.com. 2011-09-07. Retrieved 2011-09-23. 
  24. ^ a b "Carrie Underwood — Music Charts". acharts.us. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  25. ^ a b Williams, John. "Carrie Underwood rides to No. 1". Canoe.ca. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  26. ^ a b "Billboard Chart Positions". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  27. ^ "Billboard Chart Positions — Singles". allmusic. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
  28. ^ "Hot Christian Adult Contemporary search results for Carrie Underwood". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-03-04. [dead link]
  29. ^ a b c d e "RIAA — Carrie Underwood singles". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2008-07-27. 
Preceded by
Still Feels Good by Rascal Flatts
Top Country Albums number-one album
November 10, 2007
Succeeded by
Long Road Out of Eden by Eagles
Preceded by
Magic by Bruce Springsteen
Billboard 200 number-one album
November 10, 2007
Preceded by
Mothership by Led Zeppelin
Canadian Albums Chart number-one album
November 10, 2007
Succeeded by
Blackout by Britney Spears