Release Date: Oct 23, 2007
Record label: Arista Nashville
The pivotal American Idol moment for Carrie Underwood was when she teased her hair to the heavens and sang Heart's "Alone," belting out the power ballad with sincerity and a natural flair for drama. It was the surest sign that Carrie wasn't merely the country star the show gladly pigeonholed her as, that she was a pop star by any measure. Of course, the great irony was that Carrie had little interest in being a pop star; she wanted to be a country singer, but the sheer magnitude of American Idol meant that she was already a pop star who needed to cross over to country, a reverse of the usual crossover move.
The title of American Idol Sweetheart is surely coveted, but — as Kelly Clarkson taught us — it can cut as well. Both Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, two women gifted with powerful voices and all-American appeal, shot out from the AI mother ship with multiplatinum rockets: the former’s Breakaway (2004) and the latter’s Some Hearts (2005). While Clarkson fell back to earth with this year’s dark commercial misfire My December, Underwood is taking no chances.