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Carrie Underwood – Greatest Hits: Decade #1 album review

The country star celebrates her first decade of chart success.

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood is one of the most successful winners of American Idol ever. Since her win in 2005, Underwood has ruled the airwaves in the US with an incredible 14 number one singles on the US Country charts. To date she’s released four studio albums and built a fanbase that spans the globe. Underwood’s 2012 album Blown Away was her highest UK charting album to date peaking at number 11. Now in time for Christmas, and ahead of the birth of her first child, Underwood has released Greatest Hits: Decade #1.

You only have to look at the tracklisting, which spans 2 discs, to see just how much success Underwood has had in the last 10 years. Most artists only ever put out a one-disc hits collection but Underwood has so many hits they demand a heftier package. The first disc of the collection kicks off with Underwood’s latest US Country number 1 Something In The Water which is followed by the second and final new track on the release, Little Toy Guns; a mid-tempo number that will appeal to fans of Underwood’s more uptempo moments.

From that point onwards the hits are programmed chronologically starting with Underwood’s American Idol victory song Inside Your Heaven. The song is one of the weaker in the collection but in fairness it was released before she really discovered herself as an artist. Once that song is out of the way it’s hit after hit and Underwood hasn’t really faltered so far over the course of her first 10 years in the industry.

Highlights over the two discs include the revenge anthem Before He Cheats, the song that transformed sweet little Carrie into a serious artist with real versatility, the hangover shame story that is Last Name, and the ballsy rock of more recent single Good Girl.

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Underwood has always been an artist capable of tackling both uptempo numbers and big ballads. So Small, the lead single from her 2007 album Carnival Ride, remains one of her most powerful and empowering ballads to date whilst her gorgeous take on the Randy Travis classic I Told You So has become a live favourite with fans.

Elsewhere on the collection Underwood reflects on the huge change her life is about to under-go on the coming of age song Don’t Forget To Remember Me taken from 2005 debut Some Hearts, sings of the heartache of children passed through the foster system on the emotive Temporary Home, and tells a dark tale of betrayal and adultery on Two Black Cadillacs.

The second disc of the collection features three writing session worktapes giving you a fantastic insight into the studio process and offering a different take on the songs you know so well.

Greatest Hits: Decade #1 is all killer and no filler. Carrie Underwood has one of the biggest and most distinctive voices in modern country music. Listening to all of her hits one after the other, it’s not hard to understand why she’s become one of the biggest female country artists in the world. Her consistency as a recording artist is astonishing and her ability to span all the sounds that the country genre has to offer makes her one of the most versatile artists in the charts. Greatest Hits: Decade #1 is definitely only the first part of a career that has many more highs to come and plenty of chart-topping hits to release.

Relive all of Carrie’s greatest hits with the interactive video timeline below:

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