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Carrie Underwood Is the Voice of Our Generation

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This is a pretty bold statement, but I assure you, there is a reasonable explanation. Over the past six years, since her win on American Idol Season 4, Carrie Underwood has gone from small town girl from Checotah, Oklahoma, to dazzling country superstar. She’s crafted an impressive stack of #1 hits, garnered over 80 trophies, performed countless times on TV and radio shows, and has even managed to keep a squeaky clean rep.

It is not exactly the awards that give her the title “voice of our generation,” but rather her persona and impeccable talent. Even on Idol, she gave off a sense of humility that is only present in the great legends of country music. Hailing from a small town, she knows the importance of hard work, diligence, and all-around determination. I would not say that she is the greatest individual to ever grace the planet, but she comes pretty darn close. Every action she commits to comes from a place of heart. Every word she speaks is rooted in her very soul, and she is not afraid to be brutally honest when she needs to be. That is what an American Idol is all about.

Next, if you take a look at any of her many live performances, you can feel the power and emotional punch she brings to the material. She interprets lyrics, melody, and phrasing in a way that is wholly unique to her. Many of her songs, such as “Jesus Take the Wheel,” “Wasted,” “So Small,” and “Temporary Home” showcase her unmatched vocals perfectly. Each of these songs portrays a different side to her voice. Just when I think I’ve heard it all, she surprises me.

Even on her current single with Brad Paisley, “Remind Me,” she delves into quite different territory vocally. A smooth and serene quality drenches this track. That is what makes a great singer. What is also interesting about her is that she is not afraid to stay true to herself, spiritually. The tracks I mentioned above are, primarily, faith-based. While I may not be religious, I still find myself gripping towards hope and love with these songs. They prick something special in my heart.

Music is supposed to move you, and needless to say, Carrie Underwood’s intriguing musical repertoire and her charming personality have moved me far beyond comprehension.

There, I said it!

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About Jason Scott

  • D. Mahoney

    I agree completely. “There, I said it” too.

  • This is a dumb article, not only cos Carrie Underwood is pretty boring but there is no such thing as “the voice of our generation”…

    There, I said it!

  • B.T.

    @Christopher Rose… You should’ve tagged your comment with: #unpopular opinion. Carrie Underwood isgreat.

  • B.T> – Carrie Underwood grates. There, fixed it for you!

  • zingzing

    something about this article isn’t right. it smacks of a publicist with a little too much time. i could easily be wrong… so if this is really someone’s opinion, they need to go listen to some more music. carrie underwood is bland, packaged, lowest common denominator type stuff.

  • jbrown

    Great article. Carrie is great.

  • robinannhunt

    Trolls aside, Carrie is a great singer. She can sing anything. Never has an off note. Not sure that these trolls have even heard her sing or maybe they are not into voice and lyrics but just entertainment. They should know that Carrie has it all.

  • zingzing

    alright. show me a lyric of hers that speaks for an entire generation. i want to see how she grasps giant, generation-defining concepts and puts them into original words that crystallize the very meaning of our lives.

  • Troll hater

    zingzang, go to any of her concerts and you might learn a thing or two instead of being so annoying….

  • zingzing

    fuck no. that would be a terrible waste of time and money. (i’ll admit i am trolling a bit… you don’t have to fall for it. but i’ve heard some underwood songs, and they are not my cup of tea.)

  • Cole

    Here is the reason I love Carrie.
    Look at the so called “superstars” and “singers” we have to look up to these days.
    Rihanna, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Lil Wayne, The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Lady Gaga, etc….

    None of these people represent themselves in a respectable manner. I’m 17 and I’m disgusted by the sex and cruelty I see on TV these days. I don’t know where our generation’s morals have gone, and quite frankly, I’m ashamed of what’s out there on TV these days.
    As far as “entertainment” goes, lip synching and slutty dancing seems to be the popular fashion.

    However, Carrie is above that, not afraid to voice her love for Christ. She is a very classy lady who rises above the trash you see on TV these days. She keeps it entertaining for the whole family, and for that, I am very grateful and thankful for her.

    So to the critics out there….kill ’em with kindness!

  • robinannhunt

    Nice post cole.

  • Troll hater

    Then why on earth would you be here if you she is not your cup of tea…

  • Dan

    well just listen to her National Anthem alone.. is enough..

  • barb

    anytime someone say’s nice things about carrie there are people who put her down carrie is an amazing singer and we all know that!!!! the taylor fans have to put there two cents in they are so jealous of carrie i love carrie she is my american idol!!!!!!!!

  • Farawayhills

    I can’t agree with the comment on Lady Gaga – she may be a complex and controversial figure, but she shows a deep concern from the heart, and she and Carrie agree on more issues than you might think.

    Anyway, the main specific criticism of Carrie seems to be that her lyrics fail to speak for the present generation’s concerns. Space only allows a couple of examples – but from her own writing, I’d highlight “Crazy Dreams”, which is an anthem for all the would be singers and musicians, dreamers and hidden talents waiting to bloom – Carrie’s tribute, if you like, to the people she sprang from – and “Temporary Home”, a song which cleverly blends Carrie’s concern for social problems like abandoned children and homeless single mothers, with her faith in God in the final journey facing us all.

    Of songs she took up but didn’t write, I’d highlight particularly the war bereavement song “Just A Dream”, written by friends of hers, who called it “Carrie’s song” from the beginning, knowing that probably no other contemporary singer in the Country Mainstream would have the compassion – and courage – to back it.

    No one has to like Carrie’s music or personality – though I’m proud to say I love both. But to think of her as bland, boring and packaged seems a real injustice to an artist who shows stylistic variety, humanity, and a willingness to push the boundaries, as well as having one of the best voices in contemporary music.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Saying Carrie Underwood is a good singer is one thing; saying she’s the “voice of a generation” is quite another.

  • Karen

    Carrie is the voice of my generation 🙂 Enough said 🙂

  • Kelly

    Carrie and her music speaks to my heart and has meaning and helped me through life. That’s why I love her and her music. She’s the only person I ever cared to follow. Been following her career for 5 years now. She’s great in my eyes. Plus I like her as a person.

  • zingzing

    troll something: “Then why on earth would you be here if you she is not your cup of tea…”

    because she’s terrible and not the voice of a generation. because i disagree. does it not bother you that 99% of the music out there doesn’t get close to touching the charts? how can you listen to this music and think it’s all that’s out there?

  • Farawayhills

    Of course I know that – I’m a Country fan, for Heaven’s sake – I know full well that most types of Country Music are never played on Mainstream radio, and 99% of Country artists are never going to get noticed outside the club and festival circuit. But the bottom line is we’re never going to make any artist seem any better by making another artist seem worse. Carrie has a deep affection for Country Music. She chose Bonnie Raitt for her Idol audition, and k d lang for her Opry debut, and she shows a great loyalty to the Opry (the only Nashville institution that’s consistently welcomed and backed her). she recognizes that living music is a mixture of loyalty to tradition, and a willingness to explore and innovate. The words ‘speaks for our generation’ were the original poster’s, not mine, but I’m glad that she stands proud for our genre and she shows many qualities that I feel do say a lot that I can identify with.

  • Lann

    Let’s not just take this critiques word for it. Here is what some of her peers say about her: Dolly Parton-Carrie is one of her top 5 performers to sing with (along with Linda Rondstadt and Kenny Rogers);Randy Travis-she is the best singer to come along in many,many years and says her voice is phenomenal;Others such as Tony Bennett,Loretta Lynn,Simon Cowell(called her incredible),Randy Jackson,Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert,Reba McIntire,Blake Shelton(recently said she is one of only 4 great female country artists in his top 10 of voices). These are just a few that have made public comments about her as an entertainer and as a vocalist. Pretty impressive!

  • Blimey, these Carrie lovers are a persistent if shallow bunch!

  • Lann

    Christopher Rosey..you shouldn’t bad mouth yourself like that.

  • Rob

    Carrie is the best vocalist/performer in the business – her peerless talent, the 2010 biggest female country tour, incredible beauty, grace, and humility has NEVER existed in music before = a total package. 13 consecutive #1’s confrim she is a legend at just 28 yrs old. One of the youngest Opry members ever she will continue to amaze us all with her god-given talent. By the way Carrie co-wrote her last 6 #1 songs – the public never hears about her other skills but she is a true artist and performs on a whole other level than virtually anyone else in music – in fact, NO ONE in music today commands the stage with such powerful, emotional vocals. Watch her recent ACM “Thou Art” performance and the world agreed she may have delivered the best vocal in music history, moving millions of fans worldwide. In a world of disposable crap music Carrie stands above the rest giving us album after album of quality music, only matched by maybe Keith Urban. All Carrie haters are simply jealous of her iconic stature and untouchable talent. The only way to beat Carrie is to snub her like CMA and ACM did last year on purpose to stop her award domination, BUT she will be back in full force next year as she drops her 4th cd – it will be a juggernaut. Does anyone realize what a feat it is to sell 7mm. 3mm, and 2mm cd sales in this tough music market? The fact Carrie continues to go multi-platinum after 6 years on top is incredible and only matched by Taylor Swift (as she has the tween market). Carrie does all this via broad-based, diverse demographic fan base that few can match. Team Carre 2011

  • Rob

    also… There has been no artist in the last 10-20 years, well actually NEVER, how has so sung (and co-written) so many great songs with real emotion, quality vocals, and importantly lyrics that make you think and ultimately move. Listen to SO SMALL, TEMPORARY HOME, JUST A DREAM, JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL.. the list goes on and on… has Beyonce, Mariah, Christina, Celine, or Adele sang even ONE SONG that approaches the substance of Carrie’s song?? No – thus, the hater comments above do not make sense and are not valid/legiimate. You cannot knock the best in the business.. there is a reason why there is unanimous praise accross the board by her peers and industry.. you don’t win Best Vocalist from Grammy, ACM, and CMA THRE YEARS IN ROW (all of them) by not being the voice of a generation. Embrace the truth, thanks

  • KB

    Warning to those of you who are saying awful things about Carrie: Do not mess with the Carrie Underwood Army, there is no winning when you are arguing with us. So you have two options: Post positive things or don’t say anything at at all. The truth is Carrie is one in a million. Few artist today can even come close to Carrie vocally,personality-wise, and all around role model. There is a reason she is called the ‘voice of our generation’ and it is blatantly obvious. Carrie you will forever remain the greatest vocalist music has ever seen.

  • My associate Ernie is waiting out front with the pitchforks and flaming torches. Destroy the unbelievers!

  • I can’t say that I’m a fan per se myself, because I didn’t even know ’til I read this article that Carrie Underwood was the name of the singer who made me cry, the first time I heard “Jesus Take the Wheel” over the radio in my car. You know, though, I wasn’t crying so hard I had to pull over, or anything like that. (The Grammy, ACM, CMA three years in a ROW? I must be living under a dang rock, as far as the popular music scene goes.)

  • Perhaps Carrie Underwood’s music actually makes people stupid? Judging by the hysterical and seriously uninformed remarks made by her fans above, there is serious cause for concern…

    She is sort of pretty in a conventional kind of way though, so maybe that has something to do with her passionate defenders!

  • LOL Christopher Rose, substitute “Obama” or “Ron Paul” for “Carrie Underwood” here, and the thread could go straight into the politics section, with very few additional alterations. Same high emotions, same trolls…

  • Interesting proposition, Irene. The structure of the argument remains the same, just plug in different values in the dummy variable(s) slots.

  • Hmm. Has Ms Underwood ever expressed any interest in running for political office?

    Or perhaps she is still too preoccupied with trying to figure out why there is a dazzlingly bright light which seems to be emanating from her rear.

    And why she has these uncontrollable urges to leap over tall buildings, stop express trains with the palm of her hand and hang around at the gun range challenging people to a race.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Carrie Underwood? I’ve heard of Carrie Fisher, but the only Underwood I know of is a brand of typewriter – and I think I just showed my age.

    The voice of my generation? Well, Dylan was the voice of the generation that had gone before (the 1960’s) and Madonna for the 1980’s, so I would have to say either The Who or Pink Floyd, whose masterworks of angst-laden Rock Opera (“Tommy” and “The Wall”, respectively) defined the Lost Generation of the 1970’s.

    But “Carrie Underwood”? Maybe “Carrie Underduress”….

  • Farawayhills

    Carrie Fisher’s her married name – she doesn’t use it professionally. There are two other Carrie’s that I know of (and like) in Country Music – Carrie Rodriguez and Carrie Hassler. I don’t think you’d regret giving the music of all of them a try.

    I’ve been thinking about the original poster’s phrase “the voice of our generation”. Does he mean a voice that speaks for the concerns of this generation (which is what I’ve been assuming), or does he mean the best singing voice to be discovered in this generation? Perhaps he could clarify, as that could make quite a difference to the discussion

  • Farawayhills, mostly a voice that speaks for the concerns of this generation (Millennial and Gen Y)is what I meant. However, you can’t deny her impeccable talent.

    Also, to the “trolls,” I have a pretty wide range of musical tastes, from Lady Gaga and Carrie Underwood to The Decemberists, the Script, and Arcade Fire. I even love me some Janis Joplin and Carole King.

  • Jason, you really need to get out more. The very notion of a coherent generation for which anybody could be the voice is shallow and deluded.

    Furthermore, the artists you named don’t give you a “wide range of musical tastes” and finally putting JJ and CK in the same sentence is frankly bizarre.

  • This is an opinion piece. You might want to research critics who have said Taylor Swift is the “voice of this generation” before you start throwing stones at me for my opinion.

  • Also, Christopher Rose, you seem to be in the vast minority here, so I would suggest moving on. If you don’t like my opinion, I’m sure there are other articles that would benefit from yours more effectively. 😉

  • That’s the thing about opinions, Jason, they invite debate, especially when they are so pompous and poorly thought through as this one.

    No idea why you would bring it up but anyone claiming that Taylor Swift – or Bob Dylan, The Who & Pink Floyd for that matter – is the voice of a generation is equally pretentious and absurd.

  • Ha! Opinions do invite debate, but using words like “pompous,” “pretentious,” and “absurd” to devalue my opinion is uncalled for.

    Again, please move on.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Christopher Rose –

    How DARE you imply that someone who says The Who and Pink Floyd is pompous and absurd! I’ll have you know that you are dealing with ME, the great and powerful ME, and I know better! You know WHY I know better? Because I DO know better because I am ME!

    Hmph! Remember that the next time you call ME pompous and absurd!

  • Glenn, you need to stop being pompous and absurd and get back to what you’re good at: being a Threat to Democracy.


  • zingzing

    if pink floyd were the voice of a generation, that generation would have committed mass suicide sometime around 1980.

  • Pink Floyd was the voice of a generation. An antidote was discovered, though, and that particular calamity was averted.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc –

    Flattery – or even flatulence – will get you nowhere, sir! Good day and begone with you!


  • Glenn Contrarian

    Irene –

    Was your ‘antidote’ inspired by my reference to “the great and powerful ME”? Doc should take lessons from your subtle flattery!

    Now, back to more important things – like looking in the mirror at ME!

  • It wasn’t my antidote, but I suspect psychotropics figured more heavily in the discovery than anything else.

  • Rob

    Again, quite simply there is no other artist in the last decade who has sung so many quality, moving songs with lyrics that actually say something (unlike Lady Gaga, Beyonce, or Justin B)… AND who possess the best, peerless voice in music today. When you add her beauty, grace, charity work, and down to earth charm (with no drama during her entire career) you then have the artist of the decade in my mind, voice of a generation, or whatever you want to call it. Carrie makes headlines and moves people with her talent, not crazy outfits, wigs, and steam videos wearing a g-string.. leave that Gaga or Beyone or Britney. Carrie is above most in the industry and that is so rare these days.

  • Lynnie

    I love Carrie Underwood and her music. Not sure she is the voice of our generation, but I can’t think who would be. She’s as special as anyone else you could nominate. She’s a class act on stage and off.

  • LIZA


  • zingzing

    quiet, internet, liza has yelled. (i am refraining from period jokes.) (and i pity the dull generation that has carrie underwood as its mouthpiece.)

  • Even she’s not YOUR “cup of tea”, doesn’t mean she can’t represent our generation. Quite frankly, our generation is all about staying true to who you are even if there are people who don’t like you. For example, you’re here reading a CU article and commenting about how you don’t like her. I accept that this is not the kind of music you’d listen to and that’s fine. Just like with all the other critics out there, Carrie doesn’t mind. She knows that country isn’t a genre played in mainstream. But what the hell does she do? She works her small town arse off and tries to break boundaries. Her recent duet with Steven Tyler is proof of that. Mixing ROCK and COUNTRY has never been done on that magnitude. Tell me straight that our generation isn’t trying to break boundaries as well. Our generation is all about testing the impossible and reaching for the stars. I dont know any teen out there who likes to be restrained and told what to do.

    As for her lyrics, try reading them not listening to them. I suggest the song, Change. You can also try Wheel of the World and There’s A Place for Us.

    Being the “Voice” of our generation isn’t all about having music that EVERYONE likes. Quite frankly, it’s impossible. Even the likes of Michael Jackson will always have even that 1 person who doesnt consider MJ his “cup of tea”. Being the voice of our generation is all about standing for what we stand for. It’s about believing what believe in. It’s about being able to show us that nothing is impossible even the impossible itself. Carrie did all that and she still does. This is just my opinion and I really hope you’d be more open.

  • KB-

    I couldn’t have said it better.

  • FYI:

    The words “pompous” and “absurd” will never fly in a real debate. Those words are far too subjective and arbitrary.

    Just to clarify though, when you guys said ..”voice of A generation”, does it mean you are NOT part of the “generation” Ms. Carrie is said to be representing? If so, then why the hell do YOU care about what OUR generation stands for, eh?

  • zingzing

    “Even she’s not YOUR “cup of tea”, doesn’t mean she can’t represent our generation.”

    no it doesn’t.

    “Quite frankly, our generation is all about staying true to who you are even if there are people who don’t like you.”

    i think your generation is all about respiration. what you said up there is something quite common and not at all special to your generation.

    “She knows that country isn’t a genre played in mainstream. But what the hell does she do? She works her small town arse off and tries to break boundaries. Her recent duet with Steven Tyler is proof of that.”

    wait. an american idol alumni works with an american idol judge? surprising. and country is one of the more popular genres going, although it’s not quite the fixture on the charts it once was.

    “Mixing ROCK and COUNTRY has never been done on that magnitude.”

    it’s called country rock. people like the byrds and gram parsons have been doing it since the 60s. i’m assuming you’ve heard the rolling stones as well. they did some country-ish stuff on their late 60s records. there was even a slightly underground fad called alt-country in the late 80s/early 90s. ever heard of wilco? pretty big band. started out as an alt-country group.

    “Tell me straight that our generation isn’t trying to break boundaries as well.”

    they may be, but carrie underwood is not an example of it. she’s not breaking any artistic barriers. she’s middle of the road and safe and she sells well. she was on american idol, for god’s sake. not exactly a font of musical artistry…

    there are plenty of young bands and artists coming out with mind-blowing stuff right now. the music world is much deeper than the charts would suggest. i’m glad you’re passionate about music. i hope that if you keep that passion, you use it to explore beyond american idol and the awards shows.

  • Is “small town arse” different to other types of arse?

  • zingzing

    they have to travel farther to an ai audition.

  • Farawayhills

    I find the focus on American Idol misleading. Carrie made three self release albums (two studio, and one live) before going onto American Idol. In the clip from her first audition, you can hear her say “I put out my fishing line, and they took the bait”. In my view, American Idol didn’t make Carrie a great singer – she made American Idol recognize her for the great singer she was. Carrie’s a solo Mainstream Country singer – and that’s a style has no significant alternative market for an adult in the Festivals and Roadhouses. Without a Mainstream record deal, she would have probably had to give up music and go into journalism American Idol was a means to an end – but it certainly doesn’t define or limit her.

    If you prefer Roots Country – that’s fine. There are thousands of good artists to choose from, across a wide range of sub-genres. But they’re stylistically different, with a different ethos, and different marketing and performance focus. If Carrie didn’t exist, the Mainstream wouldn’t start playing Roots artists, and most Roots fans wouldn’t start listening to the Mainstream. They are different sectors, often with little love between them. About 85% of Country Music fans follow the Mainstream, and roughly 15% follow the various Roots sectors. (I’d be surprised if those proportions were much different in other music fields)

    I mainly listen to Roots – but I do greatly admire Carrie as well. Although parts of the Mainstream establishment took to her only grudgingly, in my view she’s far and away the beast singer they have, certainly the best since k d lang, and maybe (as Brad Paisley said recently) the best they’ve ever had. If anyone wants to try her with an open mind, I’d recommend her Opry performance of “I Know You Won’t” or her Girls Night Out performance of “How Great Thou Art”