Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
Buy On
  1. Sep 14, 2018
    90
    Underwood is taking risks for the first time. Nearly all of them pay off. ... The result is an album as satisfying as it is surprising.
  2. Sep 21, 2018
    83
    Here the bluesy “Drinking Alone” transports you to a smoky bar where two lonely strangers find each other above their beer bottles, while “The Bullet” is a strong and surprising anti-gun-violence message from a country star. But it’s Underwood’s considerable resilience that shines through here.
  3. 83
    At its best, she’s never sounded more vulnerable, or more willing to play within the definitions of country music. But it also means that when she pulls back, and falls into the costumes of others, it’s a little harder to accept the veil. ... It’s the second half of Cry Pretty where Underwood starts to truly lay her cards on the table--and where she soars the most.
  4. 75
    For her sixth studio album, Carrie Underwood has taken some modest political risks without changing her full-throated style. She knows what she’s good at, and Cry Pretty is full of the kind of songs that made her one of the most popular artists in the world.
  5. Sep 14, 2018
    70
    The songcraft is grade-A mall soundtracking, and credit Underwood’s mighty mezzo-ish soprano with selling even the lesser ones.
  6. Sep 19, 2018
    64
    Underwood nails two tried and true country traditions: the drinking-to-death heart-wrencher (“Spinning Bottles”) and the faith-based, family-first hymn (“Kingdom”), proving both times that big, emotional ballads remain her bread and butter. Much of the rest of the album finds Underwood exploring pop and R&B sounds more than ever before. Sometimes, she’s successful. ... Sometimes, she’s not so successful.
  7. Oct 4, 2018
    60
    Her voice as a lyricist (she co-wrote two-thirds of the songs) tends to drift just a little, with the more specific songs working better. With the thick production on the album, it models radio trends but doesn't advance them. Given Underwood's talents, it would be exciting to see her craft a character-driven album and some quieter production.
  8. Sep 14, 2018
    60
    The album is frustrating, with no middle ground, and the strengths don't quite make up for the weaknesses.
  9. Uncut
    Sep 20, 2018
    50
    Overall it's a box-ticking collection unlikely to broaden her mainstream fanbase. [Nov 2018, p.37]
  10. Sep 14, 2018
    50
    The singer, no surprise, sets off all kinds of vocal fireworks. But as the painfully familiar images in “Southbound” demonstrate--another pontoon boat?--the songs on Cry Pretty (most of which Underwood co-wrote) cast these emotions and experiences in such generalized terms that it’s hard to come away with a clear sense of a human in the world. TThe effect is of a gifted strategist trying to cover all her bases.
  11. Sep 14, 2018
    40
    It is all gloss and shine, with sadness at industry-approved levels of maximum efficacy. Take 75% uplift, add 20% melancholy, top up with 5% not actually contentious controversy, and voilà: Cry Pretty.
User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 117 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 117
  2. Negative: 48 out of 117
  1. Sep 18, 2018
    0
    Honestly, is there a more dull music "artist" in the universe than this Carrie Underwood? I doubt it. And this album did nothing to changeHonestly, is there a more dull music "artist" in the universe than this Carrie Underwood? I doubt it. And this album did nothing to change that. Besides, how can you call Carrie a real artist when she is manufactured by the ghastly Idol machine? It's sad that we live in times where people honour reality television stars. Full Review »
  2. Sep 18, 2018
    0
    This album is wack. No seriously it is. The same, whiny country-pop we expect from this boring-ass girl. There are boosters of this album thatThis album is wack. No seriously it is. The same, whiny country-pop we expect from this boring-ass girl. There are boosters of this album that call it "experimental." Seriously? You call this "experimental"? Music artists like Beyoncé, Janelle Monáe, Solange, Kendrick Lamar, Kehlani, The Weeknd, and even Nicki Minaj and Travis Scott have experimented with several genres. And they have excelled at it, as they are visionaries compared to Carrie Underwood. Yet you don't see them widely praised as Carrie Underwood is, as they still have many detractors. It's up to you to see why. And it's frustrating. Full Review »
  3. Sep 14, 2018
    0
    This was supposed to be her most personal album and it wasn’t personal at all. Lyrically it isn’t interesting and songs like The Bullet andThis was supposed to be her most personal album and it wasn’t personal at all. Lyrically it isn’t interesting and songs like The Bullet and Spinning Bottles feel out of place here. She still screams through her songs. I also don’t like the pop production. Full Review »