Carnival Ride is the second studio album from American country pop artist Carrie Underwood. It was released
220px-Carnival Ride - Album
Carnival Ride
Studio album by Carrie Underwood
Released October 22, 2007 (2007-10-22)(see release history)
Recorded 2006-2007; Starstruck Studios (Nashville, TN)
Genre Country pop, country
Length 50:06
Label Arista, 19
Producer Mark Bright
Carrie Underwood chronology
Some Hearts


Carnival Ride


Play On


Singles from Carnival Ride
  1. "So Small"

Released: August 28, 2007

  1. "All-American Girl"

Released: December 18, 2007

  1. "Last Name"

Released: April 8, 2008

  1. "Just a Dream"

Released: July 21, 2008

  1. "I Told You So"

Released: February 2, 2009

in the United States on October 23, 2007.[1][2] It has been certified 3x Platinum by the RIAA.[3] The album includes the singles "So Small", "All-American Girl", "Last Name", "Just a Dream", and "I Told You So", the first three of which were co-written by Underwood. The album was Underwood's first to debut at #1 on the US Billboard 200 Chart, selling 527,000 copies. It has sold 3,217,000 copies as of September 2011[4] in the U.S.

The album appeared on the Billboard Year-End Charts for 2009 at #74.[5]


[edit] BackgroundEdit

Underwood has explained the meaning behind the album's title and theme, saying:

You step onto this ride called life, and it’s a crazy thing you don’t know anything about, but you get on it anyway. You do what you can to lean different directions to try and get it to go where you want it to go, but you can’t stop it – it just keeps moving. That’s why Carnival Ride works as my album title, because it describes the wonderful craziness that I’ve been through over the past couple years.[1]

Two of this album's tracks have been previously recorded by other artists. "Flat on the Floor" was previously cut by singer Katrina Elam on her unreleased 2007 album Turn Me Up, and was a #52 hit on the country charts for her that year. "I Told You So" is a cover of a song previously cut by Randy Travis on his 1988 number one album Always & Forever. Travis' version of the song was a Number One hit on the country charts that year. Underwood and Travis recently released "I Told You So" as a duet single on iTunes, and they also performed it on the results show of the eighth season of American Idol during the Grand Ole Opry week. The duet later went on to win the 52nd Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals.

[edit] Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [6]
Boston Herald (B) [7]
The Cincinnati Post (B+)[8]
Entertainment Weekly (B+) [9]
New York Times (favorable) [10]
Newsday (B) [11]
Rolling Stone [12]
Slant Magazine [13]
The 9513 [14]
USA Today [15]

Reviews of Carnival Ride have been generally positive. Based from the music review aggregator Metacritic, it has received an average score of 72 out of a 100.[16]

The first official review of the album from Allmusic, gave it 4 out of 5 stars, on par with what they gave her debut. The site classified the album as "completely contemporary country", and said "the remarkable thing about Carnival Ride is that it's stronger song for song than Some Hearts." They also praised the album for having "the appearance of a genuine heart, something that no other big country-pop album has had since the glory days of Come On Over."[17] USA Today also praised the album for its versatility saying "The songs call for vulnerability (You Won’t Find This), urgency (Flat on the Floor), sympathy (Crazy Dreams, her co-written salute to “the hairbrush singers and dashboard drummers” from whose ranks she sprang), humor (The More Boys I Meet, the tag line of which goes “The more I love my dog”) and extreme role-playing (Last Name’s saga of a bar pickup that turns into an impulsive Vegas marriage). She delivers on all counts."[18] The Boston Herald gave the album a B, and claimed, "Underwood manages enough spunk to occasionally avoid the cookie-cutter, especially with the curious beat-box-meets-banjo arrangement of "Get Out of This Town" and "Just a Dream," a bona fide [tearjerker] about a young war widow."[19]

[edit] Chart performanceEdit

Carnival Ride became Underwood’s first number-one album on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling 527,000 copies in its first week of release.[20] In its second week the album sold less than 190,000 copies. The album also debuted at number 1 on the Top Digital Albums, Top Country Albums, and Top Canadian Albums charts. Carnival Ride made history by becoming the first album by a female solo country artist to have 5 #1's, and only the 3rd country album overall.

The album has sold 3,217,000 copies in the U.S.,[4] and has been certified 3× Platinum.

[edit] SinglesEdit

"So Small" served as the lead single for the album. It was released on mid-September 2007, two months before the album's official release and debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs at #20, making it the highest chart debut by a solo country female artist in 43 years of Nielsen BDS history. It eventually held the #1 spot for 3 consecutive weeks. It also became her fifth top 20 hit when it peaked at #17 on U.S. Billboard Hot 100. "So Small" has become a cross-over hit, selling 908,000 downloads, certified Gold, and managed to be in top 20.

The second single, "All-American Girl", was released around December 2007. It also became a success by hitting #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs where it stayed there for 2 weeks and on the Canadian Country Charts where it stayed there for 5 weeks. It also managed to be a top 30 single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at #27, making it her sixth top 30. As of July 2011, 1,398,000 copies of "All-American Girl" were sold in the USA. The song was certified Platinum. "All-American Girl" is the fourth best-selling song of Underwood's career, behind "Before He Cheats" with 3,237,000 copies sold, "Jesus Take The Wheel" with 1,883,000 copies sold, and "Cowboy Casanova" with 1,628,000 copies sold.

The third single, "Last Name", became Carrie's fastest single to hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs after only 13 weeks of its official release around April 2008. It stayed there for one week. It is also Carrie's sixth top 20 hit, reaching #19 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The song also won Underwood her third consecutive Grammy award in the Best Female Country Vocal Performance category. As of June 2011 the song has sold 1,003,000 copies. "Last Name' is Underwood's 6th best selling song and also her 6th to top the 1,000,000 sales mark.

The fourth single, "Just a Dream", reached Number One on the country charts for the chart week of November 8, 2008 and stayed there for 2 weeks, becoming her seventh Number One single on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and eighth Number One country single overall. It also managed to reach #29 on U.S. Billboard Hot 100, becoming her 10th top 30 there. The song also gave Underwood her fourth consecutive Grammy award nomination in the Best Female Country Vocal Performance category. The song was certified Platinum on the week ending on September 4, 2011,[21] giving Underwood her 7th Platinum hit.

The fifth single, "I Told You So" was officially released on February 2, 2009. This became Carrie's fourth top 10 all-genre hit, charting at #9 on the U.S Billboard Hot 100. On the week of April 10, it climbed up to the top at #1 on the Canadian Country Charts and topping there for one week. The song peaked in the Top 2 of the Hot Country Songs chart, making it only her second country single to not reach #1 on that chart after "Don't Forget To Remember Me" which also peaked at #2. Underwood rerecorded the song with original artist Randy Travis, and the song won her and Travis the Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. It has sold 812,000 copies as of June 2011.

[edit] Marketing and promotionEdit

Underwood promoted the record through the Carnival Ride Tour which ran through 2008. It started late January and ended on December 14, 2008. She performed over 137 live shows since the start of the tour, performing to over a million people.

She debuted several of her singles at the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Country Music Association Awards.

She also appeared on several shows to promote her album including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Saturday Night Live, Live With Regis and Kelly, The Early Show, American Idol, Good Morning America, Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, The View, and at the Grand Ole Opry.

A Limited Edition CD/DVD release was made available only at Target stores. The DVD includes four live acoustic performances, as well as a four-part interview.

Following this a Platinum musicpass edition was released on January 15, 2008. This release included a previously unreleased track and two music videos.

On October 21, 2008, a 2-disc set was released at Wal-Mart. The second CD contains five Christmas tracks, of which all were available for radio download on September 29, 2008. "Do You Hear What I Hear" was previously released on the 2007 album Hear Something Country Christmas.

[edit] Track listingEdit

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Flat on the Floor" Ashley Monroe, Brett James 3:18
2. "All-American Girl" Carrie Underwood, Ashley Gorley, Kelley Lovelace 3:32
3. "So Small" Underwood, Luke Laird, Hillary Lindsey 3:47
4. "Just a Dream" Gordie Sampson, Steve McEwan, H. Lindsey 4:44
5. "Get Out of This Town" Sampson, McEwan, H. Lindsey 3:03
6. "Crazy Dreams" Underwood, George Barry Dean, Troy Verges 3:36
7. "I Know You Won't" Wendell Mobley, Neil Thrasher, McEwan 4:19
8. "Last Name" Underwood, Laird, H. Lindsey 4:01
9. "You Won't Find This" Cathy Dennis, Tom Shapiro 3:19
10. "I Told You So" Randy Travis 4:17
11. "The More Boys I Meet" Scott Kennedy, McEwan 3:33
12. "Twisted" James, Laird, H. Lindsey 3:56
13. "Wheel of the World" Lindsey, Mayo, Chris Lindsey 4:42

[edit] PersonnelEdit

[edit] MusiciansEdit

[edit] TechnicalEdit

  • Chris Ashburn – assistant
  • Derek Bason – engineer, mixing
  • Renée Bell – A&R
  • Judy Forde Blair – liner notes, creative producer
  • Mark Bright – producer
  • Nathan Dickinson – digital editing, assistant
  • Andrew Eccles – photography
  • Carl Gorodetzky – contractor
  • Mike "Frog" Griffith – production coordination
  • S. Wade Hunt – art direction
  • Aaron Kasdorf – assistant
  • Astrid Herbold May – design
  • Chris McDonald – arranger, composer
  • J.R. Rodriguez – engineer, digital editing
  • Mellissa Schleicher – make-up, hair stylist
  • Todd Tidwell – assistant
  • Trish Townsend – stylist
  • Hank Williams – mastering
  • Kirsten Wines – production assistant
  • Jonathan Yudkin – composer, arranger

[edit] String section – Nashville String MachineEdit

  • Dave Angell, Carrie Bailey, Denise Baker, Zeneba Bowers, Beverly Drukker, Connie Ellisor, Carl Gorodetzky, Gerald Greer, Erin Hall, Cate Myer, Pamela Sixfin, Betty Small, Alan Umstead, Catherine Umstead, Karen Winkelmann – violin
  • Monisa Angell, Bruce Christensen, Jim Grosjean, Anthony LaMarchina, Keith Nicholas, Carole Rabonowitz-Neuen, Sari Reist, June Tanner, Gary Vanosdale, Kris Wilkinson – viola
  • John Catchings – cello

[edit] Charts and certificationsEdit

[edit] Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (2007) Peak


Australian Country Albums Chart[22] 9
Canadian Albums Chart[23] 1
Canadian Country Albums Chart[23] 1
US Billboard 200[24] 1
US Top Country Albums[24] 1

[edit] CertificationsEdit

Country Certification
United States 3× Platinum[3]

[edit] SinglesEdit

Year Single Peak chart positions[22][25][26] RIAA
US Country US US Pop CAN
2007 "So Small" 1 17 23 14 Gold[27]
"All-American Girl" 1 27 50 45 Platinum[27]
2008 "Last Name" 1 19 37 34 Platinum[27]
"Just a Dream"[A] 1 29 96 50 Platinum[27]
2009 "I Told You So" 2 9 25 18 Gold[27]
  • A ^ "Just a Dream" charted under unsolicited airplay on the Pop 100 for one week in 2007 where it peaked at #96.

[edit] Release historyEdit

Region Date
Norway October 22, 2007 (2007-10-22)
United States October 23, 2007 (2007-10-23)
Hong Kong October 29, 2007 (2007-10-29)
Australia November 3, 2007 (2007-11-03)
New Zealand
South Africa November 5, 2007 (2007-11-05)
Germany November 9, 2007 (2007-11-09)
Austria November 23, 2007 (2007-11-23)
Switzerland November 30, 2007 (2007-11-30)
Thailand January 28, 2008 (2008-01-28)
United Kingdom July 7, 2008 (2008-07-07)
Brazil July 13, 2008 (2008-07-13)