Cry Pretty

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Cry Pretty
Carrie Underwood - Cry Pretty (Official Album Cover).png
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
Genre
Length50:26
LabelCapitol Nashville
Producer
Carrie Underwood chronology
Storyteller
(2015)
Cry Pretty
(2018)
Singles from Cry Pretty
  1. "Cry Pretty"
    Released: April 11, 2018
  2. "Love Wins"
    Released: August 31, 2018
  3. "Southbound"
    Released: April 29, 2019

Cry Pretty is the sixth studio album by American country music singer and songwriter Carrie Underwood. The album was released on September 14, 2018, as Underwood's first album with her new record label, Capitol Records Nashville after signing a global deal with Universal Music Group at the start of 2017. The album marked the first co-producing effort by Underwood, who partnered with David Garcia for the record.[1]

The album was met with mostly positive reviews from music critics, and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, making Underwood the first woman to hit the top of the Billboard 200 chart with four country albums. It also achieved the biggest sales week for a country album in more than three years, as well as the biggest sales week for a female artist in 2018. It also debuted at number one in Canada, number four in Australia and charted in several other markets.

The album has so far been supported by three singles: "Cry Pretty", "Love Wins", and “Southbound”. To further promote it, Underwood embarked on The Cry Pretty Tour 360, which started in May 2019.

Background[edit]

On April 18, 2018, Underwood released a statement on the album, saying, "At this point in my career, I feel stronger and more creative than ever. I think you can hear that in this new album. It's emotional, it's soulful, it's real, and we also have some fun on there too. I hope everyone loves it as much as I have loved making it."[2] Songwriter and producer David Garcia was selected to co-produce the album with Underwood. Additionally, Cry Pretty marks Underwood's first effort as producer.[3] Although the making of the album had been going on for nearly a year before Underwood's fall and subsequent injuries in 2017, she wasn't able to record vocals for the songs until 2018, due to the damage to her mouth.[4] Underwood had reserved the track "The Bullet" for several album cycles, finally deciding to release it on the Cry Pretty album.[5] Underwood co-wrote the album's title track after having three miscarriages in two years, explaining that, "I would literally have these horrible things going on in my life and then have to go smile and do some interviews or photoshoots."[6]

Promotion[edit]

Underwood performed the title track for the first time at the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards on April 15, 2018, which was well-received by critics.[7] She also performed "Spinning Bottles" at the American Music Awards on October 9, 2018.[8] She gave her first live performance of “Southbound” at the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards on April 7, 2019.[9] Underwood performed “Low” from the album on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert.[10]

Singles[edit]

"Cry Pretty", the first single from the album was released on April 11, 2018.[11] It debuted at number 20 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, and was the most added song to Country Radio that week.[12] The song topped the Digital Songs chart, becoming Underwood's first song to do so and also debuted at number 48 on the Billboard Hot 100.[13] It peaked at number nine on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and number five on the Hot Country Songs chart. "Love Wins" was released as the second single from the album on August 31, 2018, alongside a lyric video.[14] It debuted at number 90 on the Scottish Singles Chart for the week of September 8, 2018, and number 30 on the US Hot Country Songs chart for the week of September 15, 2018. On September 7, 2018, "End Up with You" was released as a promotional single.[15]

“Southbound” was released as the third single from the album, impacting radio on April 29, 2019.[16]

Tour[edit]

On August 8, 2018, Underwood announced The Cry Pretty Tour 360 in support of the album, scheduled to begin on May 1, 2019, in Greensboro, North Carolina and conclude on October 31 in Detroit, Michigan, playing 54 shows.[17] Runaway June and Maddie & Tae are the supporting acts of the tour.[18]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic69/100[19]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[20]
Consequence of SoundB[21]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[22]
Exclaim!6/10[23]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[24]

Cry Pretty received mostly positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album has an average score of 69, based on eleven reviews.[19] Giving a rating of three and a half stars out of five, Rolling Stone called Cry Pretty a "modern country album pivoting into pop and R&B without going full Taylor, while also showing the kind of character more mega-stars should aspire to". The songwriting was referred to as "grade-A" and Underwood's voice was deemed "mighty" and "selling even the lesser [songs]". The review also praised Underwood for raising the topic of gun violence in "The Bullet" and "Love Wins", noting that "if Underwood isn't going there, she's at least got the balls to engage the subject in the mainstream, where the conversation needs to happen — while her male peers, no doubt worried about their market share, seem scared to make a peep". Additionally, the review draws favourable similarities to the music of Adele, Kate Bush, Beyoncé, Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss but highlights Sam Hunt, explaining that the "architecture [of the album] is R&B at its core".[24] Markos Papadatos of the Digital Journal praised the album stating "the control Underwood maintains over her voice throughout the album is impeccable. Overall, Carrie Underwood excels on this album as a singer, songwriter, and producer. Cry Pretty is a superb studio effort, and it garners an A rating."[25] The Diamondback reviewed the album favorably, writing "poised and mature, her sixth studio album effortlessly differentiates itself through the masterful lyricism and savvy falsettos that trademark Underwood's undeniable talent, even over a decade after her American Idol win. The organic sense of vulnerability conveyed throughout the entire album leaves the listener with the impression of having just sat down and talked for hours with Underwood herself." The review concluded with the statement "Underwood proves on Cry Pretty that she has strategically maintained her stronghold of country regality, as this album portrays her dynamic evolution not only as a musician, but as a person as well."[26]

Commercial performance[edit]

In the United States, Cry Pretty debuted on top of the Billboard 200 with 266,000 album-equivalent units, including 251,000 pure album sales, giving Underwood her fourth number-one album, and making her the first woman to have four number-one country albums on the chart.[27] It is the largest sales week for a country album since Luke Bryan's Kill the Lights in 2015, and the biggest sales week for a female artist in 2018.[27] It also debuted atop the Top Country Albums chart, becoming her seventh consecutive number one album on that chart. The debut of Cry Pretty at number one on the Billboard 200 prompted Underwood to rise from number sixty-one to the top of Billboard Artist 100. It made her the first female country artist to top that chart.[28] Cry Pretty was certified Gold by the RIAA on October 23, 2018 for 500,000 units including streams and track sales in the US.[29] It was the seventh best-selling album of 2018 in the United States, with 401,000 copies sold that year.[30] It has sold 507,900 copies in the United States as of October 2019.[31]

The album also debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart with 28,000 album-equivalent units, giving Underwood her third number-one album in the country.[32] Cry Pretty opened at number four on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart,[33] becoming her third top five album there, while also debuting at number one on the country component chart.[34] It also debuted at number 12 in Scotland and number sixteen on the UK Albums Chart—becoming her third top twenty album in the region.

Track listing[edit]

Track listing and credits adapted from Rolling Stone and the iTunes Store. All songs produced by Carrie Underwood and David Garcia, except "The Champion", produced by Jim Jonsin.[35][36]

No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Cry Pretty"4:07
2."Ghosts on the Stereo"
4:13
3."Low"
3:31
4."Backsliding"
  • Underwood
  • Lindsey
  • Garcia
4:37
5."Southbound"
  • Underwood
  • Garcia
  • Josh Miller
3:22
6."That Song That We Used to Make Love To"3:35
7."Drinking Alone"
4:18
8."The Bullet"4:10
9."Spinning Bottles"
  • Underwood
  • Lindsey
  • Garcia
3:16
10."Love Wins"
  • Underwood
  • Garcia
  • James
3:48
11."End Up with You"
3:13
12."Kingdom"4:34
13."The Champion" (featuring Ludacris) (bonus track)
3:42
Total length:50:26

Personnel[edit]

  • David Angell – violin
  • Dave Barnes – background vocals
  • Sarah Emily Berrios – programming
  • Tom Bukovac – electric guitar
  • Michael Burman – guitar on "The Champion"
  • Ivey Childers – background vocals
  • Dave Cohen – keyboards, programming
  • Perry Coleman – background vocals
  • Robert Dante – keyboards and piano on "The Champion"
  • David Davidson – strings arrangements, violin
  • Dan Dugmorepedal steel guitar
  • Jason Evigan – keyboards, programming
  • Jenni Fairbanks – background vocals
  • David Garcia – acoustic guitar, electric guitar, keyboards, drums, percussion, programming, background vocals
  • Ben Haggard – acoustic guitar
  • Vicki Hampton – background vocals
  • Steve Hinson – pedal steel guitar
  • Austin Hoke – cello
  • Brett James – background vocals
  • Charlie Judge – keyboards, programming
  • Hillary Lindsey – acoustic guitar, background vocals
  • Ludacris – featured artist on "The Champion"
  • Amanda Luftburrow – background vocals
  • The McCrary Sisters – background vocals
  • Chris McHugh – drums, percussion
  • Rob McNelley – electric guitar
  • Josh Miller – background vocals
  • Wendy Moten – background vocals
  • Bones Owens – guitar on "The Champion"
  • Carole Rabinowitz – cello
  • Danny Raderdobro, acoustic guitar, electric guitar
  • Jimmie Lee Sloas – bass guitar
  • Bryan Sutton – acoustic guitar
  • Ilya Toshinsky – banjo, bouzouki, dobro, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, resonator guitar
  • Carrie Underwood – percussion, lead vocals, background vocals
  • Will Weatherly – keyboards, programming
  • Kris Wilkinson – viola
  • Fred Williams – programming
  • Holly Williams – background vocals
  • Nir Z. – drums

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[29] Gold 500,000double-dagger / 507,900[31]

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Awards and Nominations[edit]

At the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, the album received a nomination for Top Country Album.[48]

At the 53rd Annual Country Music Association Awards, the album received a nomination for Country Music Association Award for Album of the Year [49]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Watts, Cindy (April 18, 2018). "Carrie Underwood announces new album Cry Pretty". USA Today. Archived from the original on April 26, 2018. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  2. ^ Kaufman, Gil. "Carrie Underwood Releasing 'Cry Pretty' Album in September". Billboard. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  3. ^ "Dove-Winning Writer/Producer David Garcia to Co-Produce Entire Carrie Underwood Album Alongside Artist". Gospel Music Association. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  4. ^ https://www.tennessean.com/story/entertainment/music/2018/09/11/carrie-underwood-cry-pretty-songs-tour-fall/988109002/
  5. ^ https://www.tennessean.com/story/entertainment/music/2018/09/11/carrie-underwood-cry-pretty-songs-tour-fall/988109002/
  6. ^ https://www.today.com/parents/i-got-mad-carrie-underwood-reveals-she-had-3-miscarriages-t137526
  7. ^ "Carrie Underwood Stuns With Emotional 'Cry Pretty' ACM Awards Performance". Billboard. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "2018 American Music Awards Performances Ranked". Billboard.
  9. ^ "Carrie Underwood to Perform New Single at 2019 ACM Awards". Country Music. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  10. ^ https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-country/carrie-underwood-colbert-interview-894835/
  11. ^ "Carrie Underwood Announces New Album, 'Cry Pretty'". Variety. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  12. ^ Cantor, Brian (April 16, 2018). "Carrie Underwood's "Cry Pretty" Erupts As Country Radio's Most Added Song". Headline Planet. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  13. ^ "Carrie Underwood's 'Cry Pretty' Is First Country No. 1 on Digital Song Sales Chart Since 2014". Billboard. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  14. ^ Holmes, Martin (August 31, 2018). "Carrie Underwood Drops New Song 'Love Wins' — Listen Now!". Entertainment Tonight Canada. Canada. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  15. ^ McDonald, Kelli (September 7, 2018). "Carrie Underwood Releases Romantic New Song 'End Up with You'". Wide Open Country. United States. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  16. ^ "Future Releases for Country Radio Stations and so far reaching number 11 on the hot country charts and number 6 on the country airplay. It also top the Canadian country charts.chart". All Access Music Group. United States. April 29, 2019. Archived from the original on April 24, 2019. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  17. ^ Johnson, Zach (August 8, 2018). "Carrie Underwood Is Pregnant With Baby No. 2, Going on Tour in 2019". E! News.
  18. ^ Kaufman, Gil. "Carrie Underwood Announces The Cry Pretty Tour 360 With All-Female Bill: See the Dates". Billboard. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Reviews for Cry Pretty by Carrie Underwood". Metacritic. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  20. ^ "Cry Pretty - Carrie Underwood - Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic.
  21. ^ "Album Review: Carrie Underwood Balances Comfort and Risk-Taking on Cry Pretty". September 16, 2018.
  22. ^ "Carrie Underwood lays (some) cards on the table with Cry Pretty: EW review".
  23. ^ "Carrie Underwood Cry Pretty". Exclaim!.
  24. ^ a b Hermes, Will (September 14, 2018). "Review: Carrie Underwood's Populist Pop Pivot 'Cry Pretty'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  25. ^ "Review: Carrie Underwood flawless on new 'Cry Pretty' country album (Includes first-hand account)". September 14, 2018.
  26. ^ "Review: Carrie Underwood is as strong as ever on 'Cry Pretty'". Arc Publishing.
  27. ^ a b c Caulfield, Keith (September 23, 2018). "Carrie Underwood Makes Country History on the Billboard 200 Chart As 'Cry Pretty' Debuts at No. 1". Billboard. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  28. ^ "Carrie Underwood Is First Female Country Act to Rule Billboard Artist 100 Chart".
  29. ^ a b "American album certifications – Carrie Underwood – Cry Pretty". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  30. ^ Caulfield, Keith (January 8, 2019). "Drake's 'Scorpion' Is Nielsen Music's Top Album Of 2018 in U.S., 'God's Plan' Most-Streamed Song". Billboard.
  31. ^ a b Bjorke, Matt (October 9, 2019). "Top 10 Country Albums Sales Chart: October 7, 2019". Roughstock. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  32. ^ a b "Carrie Underwood Achieves 3rd No. 1 Album With 'Cry Pretty'". FYIMusicNews. September 24, 2018. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  33. ^ a b c "Australiancharts.com – Carrie Underwood – Cry Pretty". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  34. ^ "ARIA Top 40 Country Albums Chart" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  35. ^ Freeman, Jon (August 20, 2018). "Carrie Underwood Details New Album Cry Pretty". Rolling Stone. United States. Archived from the original on August 23, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  36. ^ "Cry Pretty by Carrie Underwood". iTunes Store. United States. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  37. ^ "Ultratop.be – Carrie Underwood – Cry Pretty" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  38. ^ "Ultratop.be – Carrie Underwood – Cry Pretty" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  39. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Carrie Underwood – Cry Pretty" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  40. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Carrie Underwood". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  41. ^ "Charts.nz – Carrie Underwood – Cry Pretty". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  42. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  43. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Carrie Underwood – Cry Pretty". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  44. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  45. ^ "Official Country Artists Albums Chart Top 20". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  46. ^ "Carrie Underwood Chart History (Top Country Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  47. ^ "Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2018". Billboard. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  48. ^ https://www.billboard.com/articles/news/bbma/8505581/billboard-music-awards-2019-nominations
  49. ^ "Nominees | The 53rd Annual CMA Awards - November 13th on ABC". 2019 CMA Awards | Wednesday, November 13 on ABC. Retrieved August 28, 2019.