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Gretchen and Carrie

Mike Sudhalter  |  October 25, 2007

I watched my beloved Boston Red Sox defeat the Colorado Rockies 13-1 Wednesday night in the first game of the World Series. I've never watched a professional game, major or minor league, where a pitcher walked home three consecutive runs. And it happened in Game 1 of the Series.

But every time the Sox did something good, I had to stop myself from celebrating. 13-1 doesn't matter if you lose the next four, 1-0.

That kind of reminded me of Gretchen Wilson. Her debut album took off like a team winning 13-1 in a baseball game. Since then, she's descended into mediocrity. Would it have been better if she spread that success over the three albums? Probably not. Baseball is different than the music industry. It's pretty clear that she's set for life. Even if she never charts another song in the country top 40 (which is looking like more and more of a possibility every day), she'll still drive the concert crowds crazy with "Redneck Woman."

Wilson pinned her whole reputation to the image of "Redneck Woman" and is now struggling for a musical identity. My prediction is that she'll soon start to release "Greatest Hits" packages with her big hits from the debut album and a few non-hits for filler.

I don't think Carrie Underwood will fall into the sophomore slump. I listened to her new album, "Carnival Ride", and its pop-country at its best. I mean that as a compliment, by the way.

It's too early for me to tell whether I like this one better than "Some Hearts", but I think they both have their strengths. Underwood rocks out a lot more, especially on "Flat On The Floor" and "Last Name."

On her debut album, I loved the songs "I Ain't In Checotah Anymore" and "The Night Before (Life Goes On)". There are three songs on this disc that I find to be very similar - "All-American Girl" is like a cousin to "Checotah", no coincidence that Underwood had a hand in writing both of them. And "Get Out Of This Town" has a similar feel to "The Night Before."

She even did a great job with a cover of the 1980's Randy Travis hit "I Told You So." Underwood isn't shy about hiding her 80's rock influences. I wish she'd record a cover of some Guns N Roses songs. She played "Sweet Child of Mine" and "Patience" at a concert I saw in July 2006. It's been part of her show for a while, and I found a video of it from another show.

:: Posted at 4:02 AM by Mike Sudhalter ::
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