Blown Away (album)

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For other albums, see Blown Away.
Blown Away
Blown Away album cover.jpg
Studio album by Carrie Underwood
Released May 1, 2012 (2012-05-01)
Recorded February 27 – November 22, 2011
Genre
Length 55:20
Label
Producer Mark Bright
Carrie Underwood chronology
Play On
(2009)
Blown Away
(2012)
Greatest Hits: Decade Number 1
(2014)
Singles from Blown Away
  1. "Good Girl"
    Released: February 23, 2012
  2. "Blown Away"
    Released: July 9, 2012
  3. "Two Black Cadillacs"
    Released: November 18, 2012
  4. "See You Again"
    Released: April 15, 2013

Blown Away is the fourth studio album by American singer and songwriter Carrie Underwood. It was released in the United States and Canada on May 1, 2012 by Arista Nashville.[1] After finishing her successful Play On Tour in December 2010, Underwood started working on the album, but took her time, as she "wanted to change things up", and needed to step away from the "celebrity bubble" to "have real things to write about and to sing about". It took her over one year to finish the album, which, according to Underwood, ended up having a "darker storyline" than her previous efforts.

Met with mostly positive reviews from music critics, the album became a commercial success. It debuted at number one on Billboard 200, with first-week sales of 267,000 copies, achieving the third-largest opening of 2012. With Blown Away reaching number one, Underwood became the third female to chart at number one on the Billboard 200 with three country albums, tying her with Linda Ronstadt and Faith Hill. Like her three previous albums, Blown Away debuted at the top of the Top Country Albums chart. The album remained at number one for a second week on the Billboard 200.

Blown Away was the seventh best selling album overall and second best-selling country album of 2012 in the US. It finished 2012 with over 1.4 million copies sold worldwide, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Blown Away has since sold over 1.7 million copies in the US and over two million copies worldwide, marking Underwood's fourth consecutive album to sell at least two million copies.

It spawned the Billboard Hot 100 Top 20 and Country Airplay number-one singles "Good Girl" and "Blown Away", along with the Country Airplay top-two hits "Two Black Cadillacs" and "See You Again". All singles received multi-Platinum or Platinum certifications.

In 2013, at the 55th Grammy Awards, Underwood won the Grammy Award for Best Country Solo Performance for "Blown Away", which also won Best Country Song for its songwriters. The album won the American Music Award for Favorite Country Album.

Background[edit]

After Underwood's Play On Tour ended in December 2010, she started to work on her fourth studio album. Underwood took her time working on Blown Away. She stated that she "wanted to change things up", and she needed to step away from the "celebrity bubble" to "have real things to write about and real things to sing about."[2] Sony Music Nashville chairman/CEO Gary Overton said that the singer "took nearly a year to compile and record the songs."[3] Songwriters Chris Tompkins and Josh Kear wrote "Blown Away" and sent it to the singer.[4] Underwood loved the song and recorded it, also naming her album Blown Away as it was the song that defined the album's darker direction.[5] She then started writing material with several songwriters, including Hillary Lindsey and Kear. Together, the trio wrote "Two Black Cadillacs", which is about two women finding out that they both are involved in a relationship with the same man and set their differences aside to kill him. Underwood said that "it was so much fun to write and just be in that room" with Lindsey and Kear, as they "didn't really know what to expect or where we were headed or what we would end up with."[6]

Underwood has stated that the album would contain material that is different from her previous efforts, since stating that Blown Away features songs with a "darker storyline."[7] She has stated that she isn't trying to impress people with what [she] can do" and she doesn't "have to sing to the moon with every single song" with this project. The lead single, "Good Girl," is said to be the album's most upbeat track, with the other tracks creating a much darker record.[8] The album combines country, pop and rock genres.[9]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 70/100[10]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[11]
American Songwriter 4/5 stars[12]
Billboard 89/100[13]
Country Weekly 4/5 stars[14]
Entertainment Weekly B+[15]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[16]
Los Angeles Times 2/4 stars[17]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[18]
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars[19]
USA Today 3/4 stars[20]

Blown Away received mostly positive reviews from music critics. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 70 based on 10 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic gave a positive review to the album, awarding it with four stars out of five and said: naturally, this showstopping act suits a former American Idol winner but, better still, this exercise in turn-of-the-millennium nostalgia is executed with skill and savvy, offering the kind of larger-than-life power ballads and cheerful, clomping arena country. This is Carrie's wheelhouse—she's meant to sing these oversized ballads and hooks, she's meant to look as unattainable as she does on the cover. She's meant to be a superstar and she's never seemed as comfortable with her calling as she does on Blown Away. Deborah Evans Price of Billboard praised the album, saying, "Underwood delivers her most adventurous album yet, tackling a variety of emotional topics, including abuse, infidelity, revenge and regret."[21] Ian Ewing of Keepin' It Country rated the album 9.5 on a scale of 10, and highlighted the title track, saying, "Although there's nothing to mark it as a country song, it's a stunning piece of music that can't help but impress."[22] Daryl Addison of GAC praised the album, saying, "Carrie doesn't shy away from complexities, and with a powerful voice unafraid to push the envelope, Blown Away could be just the album to show what's possible for pop-influenced country."[23] Jessica Nicholson of Country Weekly rated the album with four stars out of five and said: "This is easily Carrie’s most well-rounded and confident work to date". The New York Times gave a positive review to the album and said: Ms. Underwood enjoys rage; her huge voice, both naïve and muscular, is well suited to it. Her best songs have historically been in the range between fury and resentment. “Blown Away” is only her fourth album, but that number belies her concrete-hard place in the country firmament, with a combination of vocal ambition and toughness that recalls a younger Martina McBride. Eric Allen of American Songwriter gave a positive review, awarding it with four stars out of five and said: Blown Away displays considerable artistic and creative growth in both Underwood’s songwriting and selection of material. Is more thematic and unified, resulting in Underwood’s strongest effort to date, which easily leaves her previous releases twisting in the wind. Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly gave the album a B+, and referred to Blown Away as Underwood's "most stadium-rock-friendly album yet.[24] At USA Today, Elysa Garnder told that the release "both reaffirms her natural gifts and makes us continue to root for her to push beyond them."[20]

Mikael Wood of the LA Times was less than enthusiastic about the album, giving it two stars out of four, and saying that much of the album "finds Underwood using her remarkable voice to deliver feel-good bromides like those in the lightly-reggae-inflected 'One Way Ticket.'"[25] While Johnathan Keefe of Slant magazine wasn't overly impressed with the album in his review, giving the album 3 stars, he did give Underwood credit for "at least tak[ing] far more creative risks than she ever has before and occasionally stray[ing] from a formula that had become stale and predictable."[26] Melissa Newman of Hitfix gave the album a B, but criticized the album's material, calling it "a mixed bag, with the songs running the gamut from ranking among her best to wondering who the hell let some of them on the album."[27] Sean Daly of Tampa Bay Times gave the album a C, saying, "Cliche pleadings for lost love dominate Blown Away, which sounds a lot more Hollywood safe than Nashville tough."[28] Jody Rosen of Rolling Stone gave the album 2.5 out of 5 stars saying that "Underwood's voice is as powerful as ever, but Blown Away tries too hard, ratcheting up melodrama with strings and effects."[29] At The Guardian, Caroline Sullivan felt that the album "may be too formulaic to give her much of a foothold."[16]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Result
2012 American Music Awards Favorite Country Album Won
2013 Country Music Awards of Australia Top Selling International Album of the Year Won
2013 World Music Awards [30] World's Best Album Nominated
2013 Academy of Country Music Awards Album of the Year Nominated
2013 People's Choice Awards Favorite Album Nominated
2013 Billboard Music Awards Top Country Album Nominated
2013 Country Music Association Awards Album of the Year Nominated

Commercial performance[edit]

Blown Away debuted at number one in the United States on the Billboard 200 chart with first-week sales of 267,000 copies. It is Carrie Underwood's third number-one album on the chart, following Carnival Ride (2007) and Play On (2009). She is the third female to chart at number one on the Billboard 200 with three country albums, thus tying her with Linda Ronstadt and Faith Hill.[31] Like her three previous albums, Blown Away also debuted at the top of the Top Country Albums chart, making Underwood only the second female to achieve that feat.[32] In its second week, Blown Away stayed at number one, being Underwood's first album to spend more than a week at the top, selling 120,000 copies.[33] Blown Away has topped the US Top Country Albums chart for seven weeks, being Underwood's longest run at number one on the chart since her debut album, Some Hearts, logged 27 weeks on top.[34][35]

The album was the seventh best selling album of 2012 in the US, being the second time Underwood has an album inside the top 10 albums since her debut album Some Hearts (2005) landed at number three in 2006. It was number two for country albums.[36] Blown Away finished 2012 with over 1,400,000 copies sold worldwide, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.[37] As of November 2014, Blown Away has sold 1,701,300 copies in the US.[38] It has sold over two million copies worldwide, becoming Underwood's fourth consecutive album to sell at least two million copies.[39]

In Canada, the album debuted at number one, with first-week sales of 17,300 copies.[40] It also debuted at number four on the ARIA Top 50 Albums, and at number one on the ARIA Top 20 Country Albums charts in Australia.[41] Her first-ever officially released album in the United Kingdom, Blown Away debuted at number eleven on the UK Top 100 Albums, and at number one on the UK Top Country Albums.[42]

Promotion[edit]

With the release of her highly anticipated fourth album, Underwood made numerous television, radio, and online appearances. On April 29, Underwood was featured on Nightline, and on April 30, Good Morning America aired an exclusive interview. Later that evening, Underwood performed "Good Girl" on Late Show with David Letterman as well as holding a concert on the Live on Letterman webcast concert series streaming live online. On May 1, Underwood returned to Good Morning America to perform a special live outdoor concert in Times Square, followed by an iHeartRadio Live performance streaming live online that evening. Underwood appeared on American Idol on May 3 with a special performance of the title track from her album. Underwood has also made appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on May 9, Jimmy Kimmel Live! on May 10, and Dancing with the Stars on May 15, followed by the Billboard Music Awards on May 20.[43]

Singles[edit]

The first single of the album, "Good Girl" was released on February 23, 2012 and it debuted at number thirty on the Hot Country Songs chart and number twenty-four on Hot 100. It eventually climbed to a peak of eighteen on the Hot 100, number one on the Hot Country Songs, number twenty on the Adult Pop Songs chart and number twenty-one on the Canadian Hot 100. It has been certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA and Platinum by Music Canada.

The second single of the album is "Blown Away". Before the release of the song it charted at number 66 on the Hot 100 and number 49 on the Hot Country Songs, and has since reached a peak of number twenty and two, respectively. It became Underwood's 16th number one single when it topped the Country Airplay chart. It is also her first song to chart in the UK Singles Chart where it has reached 155. It has been certified 3x Platinum by the RIAA and CRIA.

The third single of the album is "Two Black Cadillacs".[44] It was released on November 18, 2012.[45] The music video was released on January 23, 2013. The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and number four on Hot Country Songs and has been certified Platinum by the RIAA.

On March 18, 2013, Underwood announced via Twitter that "See You Again" would be the fourth single off the album. "See You Again" impacted Country radio on April 15.[46] It reached number two on the Country Airplay chart and number seven on Hot Country Songs. On August 10, 2015, "See You Again" was certified Platinum by the RIAA.

Tour[edit]

The tour will include an international run of shows during the summer of 2012, including her first-ever United Kingdom concert, taking place at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London on June 21. The Royal Albert Hall concert sold out within the first 90 minutes of public ticket sales.[47] Opening for Underwood on the North American leg of the tour is country singer Hunter Hayes. Underwood will be donating $1 from each ticket sold on the North American leg of the tour to support the Red Cross disaster relief. The first leg of The Blown Away Tour began September 14 in Manchester and continued deep into December.[48][49] Due to positive reception and successful touring revenue from the first North American leg of the tour, a second North American leg of the tour was announced for the spring of 2013. The tour ultimately ran through May 2013 and played to over one million fans over the course of 112 shows.[50]

A concert DVD, The Blown Away Tour: Live, was released on August 13, 2013. The footage was captured during Underwood's concert in Ontario, California on March 3, 2013. The DVD includes more than twenty songs performed by Underwood on tour, as well as exclusive interviews with Underwood, tour director of The Blown Away Tour, Raj Kapoor, and other behind-the-scenes footage about the tour.[50] The DVD has since been certified Gold by the RIAA.[51]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Good Girl"   Carrie Underwood, Chris DeStefano, Ashley Gorley 3:25
2. "Blown Away"   Chris Tompkins, Josh Kear 4:00
3. "Two Black Cadillacs"   Underwood, Hillary Lindsey, Kear 4:58
4. "See You Again"   Underwood, David Hodges, Lindsey 4:06
5. "Do You Think About Me"   Cary Barlowe, Lindsey, Shane Stevens 3:37
6. "Forever Changed"   Tom Douglas, James T. Slater, Lindsey 4:02
7. "Nobody Ever Told You"   Underwood, Lindsey, Luke Laird 4:10
8. "One Way Ticket"   Underwood, Laird, Kear 3:56
9. "Thank God for Hometowns"   Laird, Gorley, Lindsey 4:01
10. "Good in Goodbye"   Underwood, Ryan Tedder, Lindsey 4:17
11. "Leave Love Alone"   Gordie Sampson, Troy Verges, Lindsey 3:19
12. "Cupid's Got a Shotgun"   Underwood, Tompkins, Kear 3:43
13. "Wine After Whiskey"   Underwood, Tom Shapiro, Dave Berg 3:51
14. "Who Are You"   Robert John "Mutt" Lange 3:55
Total length:
55:20

Charts[edit]

Preceded by
Tuskegee by Lionel Richie
Dustin Lynch by Dustin Lynch
Top Country Albums number-one album
May 19 – June 16, 2012
September 15–22, 2012
Succeeded by
Thirty Miles West by Alan Jackson
Tornado by Little Big Town

Release dates[edit]

Country Date Format Label
Canada May 1, 2012 CD, digital download Arista Nashville
United States
Denmark May 2, 2012 Sony Music
China
Australia May 4, 2012
New Zealand
Ireland May 11, 2012
Singapore
United Kingdom June 18, 2012 RCA Records
Japan July 25, 2012 Sony Music

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Allmusic[74]

References[edit]

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