Carnival Ride - Carrie Underwood

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Carnival Ride covers its bases impeccably, from the roof-raising opener 'Flat on the Floor' to the gorgeous, torchy ballad 'I Know You Won't' and the already-massive anthem 'So Small.'
  2. Sound and feel do mean a lot, but country records really survive on the strength of their songs, and the remarkable thing about Carnival Ride is that it's stronger song for song than Some Hearts, some of this due to Carrie herself, who bears four songwriting credits here, often in conjunction with some permutation of Steve McEwan and Hillary Lindsey, who pen a bunch of other tunes here.
  3. The Oklahoman delivers in spades on her sophomore effort, on which she was much more involved in the creative process.
  4. Carnival Dreams, a worthy successor to Underwood's 6-million-selling debut, will surely install the blond belter from Checotah, Okla., on the crossover throne once occupied by Faith Hill and Shania Twain.
  5. 70
    Cheery and unassuming, Underwood is a pleasant oddity: a pop star whose central belief is her own powerlessness.
  6. Carnival Ride is more country and therefore more confident.
  7. It's a straight-up Carrie Underwood album, and a very good one, with a handful of romps and laments that exist mainly to set the stage for the big-voiced, '80s-influenced, Southern-accented power ballads she sings so well.
  8. Carnival Ride doesn’t include anything as stand-alone stunning as the song she’ll still be singing at state fairs when she’s 64, but it’s a much better front-to-back collection than her debut.
  9. Carnival Ride simply doesn't offer anything for the unconverted in terms of Underwood's growth either as a vocalist or as an artist.
  10. A record with stronger songs that somehow manages to sound just as banal as her first.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 80 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 32
  2. Negative: 5 out of 32
  1. Aug 18, 2014
    I think her first album is the best but then again they're all very good albums...never get tired of her voice...She can do anything with her voice whether it be soft..
    Deep...harder (like Miranda lambert's voice) she sounds good singing it all in my opinion
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 26, 2013
    10/10 Full Review »
  3. Aug 30, 2013
    More upbeat and loud than her debut, Carnival Ride boasts co-writes by Underwood in more personal tracks that attract more of a fondness for her internal thoughts. Almost like a diary-album, it plays at as the aspirations for Underwood, still young in her career at the time of the album's release. All-American Girl, Get Out of This Town, The More Boys I Meet, Crazy Dreams, all championing the dream to grow and become a woman with the love of her man. The album's only flaws are the obvious attempts to imitate the success of her near-signature classic, Before He Cheats, through Last Name and Flat on the Floor. A solid little country album, that does a little more with Underwood's personality to establish as above average listening material. Full Review »