Anyone else always forget that Carrie Underwood began her career as an American Idol winner? Maybe I forget because that season aired my first year of college, and I was too busy going to frat parties, watching Shaun of the Dead in a crowded dorm room, and excessively highlighting my textbooks in lieu of reading them. Or maybe it’s because Carrie didn’t follow the Idol tradition of having an underwhelming career after the show (other exceptions include Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson).
But when you look at how great she is at cover songs, it all makes sense. Idol is all about covering well-known songs, except for that one usually awful original song in the finale. Sure, you have to “make it your own” and “not be pitchy” or whatever, but mostly the game is just to sell a cover.
It’s summer, and in our book, summer means country music. So in the spirit of our post highlighting the best of Kelly Clarkson’s covers, here is our fav country singer/Idol contestant’s proof that sometimes a stint on reality TV really does pay off.
See You Again – Wiz Khalifa
This made the rounds big time a few weeks ago. I’d be lying if I said I don’t like country covers of hip hop songs… just not when people do that country-rap thing where it sounds like they’re saying a nursery rhyme.
Fix You – Coldplay
Have I mentioned ever how much I hate this song? I hate this song so much. There. Said it. But this cover makes me not hate it, which is saying a lot.
Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
Sobering moment: if this song were released today – it’s originally from 1985 – it would be about the Summer of ’99. Yet it sounds fresh and new in this cover.
Sweet Child Of Mine – Guns N Roses
Problem I didn’t think I’d have: picking which Carrie Underwood Guns n Roses cover to include. She also does a great rendition of Paradise City.
Different Drum – Linda Ronstadt
It’s always interesting to see who gets chosen to cover songs at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions. Sometimes it’s an artist who has worked with the person being honored, sometimes it’s someone from a totally different vibe, and sometimes it’s this – something I wouldn’t have predicted, but it works.
Something Good – The Sound Of Music
Let’s talk about the NBC Sound of Music production. It was not… very… great. It was not great. We also didn’t hate it, though – it was fun, and that was the point. Plus now we have Carrie Underwood singing what is both of our favorite song from The Sound Of Music, so, I mean, somewhere in my youth or childhood I must have done something good.
Everybody Hurts – REM
Another song to file under “I usually don’t like this but it’s fine as a cover.” I think it’s not even the song I dislike, it’s just a Pavlovian reaction because it was used to signify that something sad was happening in every movie or tv show that came out when I was a kid.