Carrie Underwood – Inside Your Heaven

First Hit #1: July 2, 2005

Carrie Underwood manages the impossible and has a slightly unique American Idol single. Well, slightly, they recognize that she has a distinct country twang so they threw some steel guitar on the track, a recognition that she’s not a pop star, but a country pop star. But Inside Your Heaven is still an American Idol single, so it’s a bit of generic uplift, though at least it’s more about a specific relationship than it is about the general love of fans and the assembled masses. Underwood is actually one of the better country acts out there, and of American Idol’s many winners, she’s one of the few that seems like the singing competition wasn’t really necessary – she’s ambitious, but she’s also kind of pushing for an image that doesn’t quite fit the hero to millions thing American Idol likes to push, instead going for a much more specific country girl aesthetic, someone who doesn’t take much crap – the single Before He Cheats, for an example of that side – and also is trying to present what women in rural areas want to aspire to be. Inside Your Heaven is much more generic than the Underwood’s subsequent singles, but it’s part of a much more generic competition. The real test is what comes after, and Underwood post-Idol is a much more compelling personality.

Also, Inside Your Heaven sounds like the world’s worst sexual innuendo.

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One Response to Carrie Underwood – Inside Your Heaven

  1. RBerman says:

    Can we call this song retro early 80s? It has the piano block chords of a Lionel Richie song or a typical power ballad from Heart, REO Speedwagon, or Night Ranger. The song title might have a different meaning in the mouth of a man, and indeed Underwood’s Americal Idol runnerup Bo Bice took this same song to #2 around the same time with his version (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI3WeQr1xJY). When’s the last time two different artists charted so highly in the same time period with the same song?

    Answer: In 1997, LeAnn Rimes’ version of Diane Warren’s “How Do I Live” spent an astonishing 69 weeks in the Hot 100, currently ranking as the highest ranking song by female single ever on the Hot 100 (#4 overall, behind “Mack the Knife,” “Smooth,” and “The Twist”), while Trisha Yearwood’s version of the same song did almost as well, with 62 weeks on the Hot 100 chart despite never ranking above #23.

    Despite Underwood’s version being just at #1 for one week, replaced by the Mariah Carey song that it had displaced, it was nevertheless the top selling single of 2005, with almost 900,000 in sales. (Bo Bice’s version sold 400,000.) Shania Twain’s “You’re Still the One” only made it to #2 but spent 42 weeks on the chart in 1998. These examples bespeak country music’s increasing fiscal potency in the last twenty years. Country is rarely popular enough to top the chart, but it has broad enough appeal, over a broad enough period of time per song, to become a financial bonanza.

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