“One thing within the Water,” the brand new single tacked onto Carrie Underwood‘s 2014 compilation Biggest Hits: Decade #1, was an operatic blowout on par together with her 2012 smash “Blown Away” — one thing grand and melodramatic, suggesting Vegas as a lot because it urged inspirational music. Storyteller, her fifth album and first since her profession recap, definitely comprises cinematic components — Underwood has been proud to be a diva ever since she prowled the levels of American Idol a decade prior — however the title is not a feint; she spends a very good chunk of the album reiterating, singing about heartbreak, hair triggers, crimson wine, soiled laundry, and smoke breaks, the mundane particulars that flip life so joyous and tragic. Subtlety is not Underwood‘s robust swimsuit so the songs are usually a bit on the nostril, whether or not she’s pledging devotion to her new child son on the candy nearer “What I By no means Knew I At all times Needed” or streamlining Bobbie Gentry‘s “Ode to Billy Joe” through the stomping “Choctaw County Affair,” however that directness is essential to her attraction: there are not any greys in Carrie‘s music, solely blazing main colours. Appropriately sufficient, Storyteller gleams with steely assurance, maybe the hardest and boldest report but however one which hardly soft-pedals her softer aspect. Carrie is not an unapologetic spitfire like her “One thing Unhealthy” duet companion Miranda Lambert. She is, as she says in her album title, a Storyteller, and there is an unmistakable distance between her theatrics and the themes of her tunes; she is not residing these songs, she’s performing them. Like a talented actor, Underwood chooses her roles correctly — she’s comfy swaggering by means of the leadoff pair of “Renegade Runaway” and “Soiled Laundry,” whereas she eases into the comforting melancholy of “The Woman You Assume I Am” — and she or he is aware of easy methods to ship the essence of every track, modulating her performances not solely so that they match the grand productions of Jay Joyce, Mark Vivid, and Zach Crowell however so that they all the time are the point of interest. That is no small feat and Storyteller is not any small album: it calls for consideration and it deserves it, too.