Un­der­wood’s ‘Cry Pretty’

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - LIFE -

In Car­rie Un­der­wood’s first new ra­dio sin­gle since 2016, the coun­try star wants her fans to know that even she ugly-cries now and again. Un­der­wood shared Cry Pretty ahead of her come­back per­for­mance at Sun­day’s ACM Awards, her first ap­pear­ance since suf­fer­ing a fall in Novem­ber. The track is a promis­ing re­turn, fea­tur­ing an en­dur­ing melody that’s in­stantly more mem­o­rable than The Cham­pion, her Su­per Bowl theme she re­leased in Jan­uary. For coun­try’s un­shak­able sweet­heart, Cry Pretty shows Un­der­wood in full em­pow­er­ment mode, even if she’s not al­ways in con­trol of her emo­tions. Yet her per­sonal strug­gles add nu­ance to Cry Pretty’s emo­tional song­writ­ing, which oth­er­wise might read as just a stan­dard coun­try bal­lad. In a let­ter to her fan club Tues­day, Un­der­wood ded­i­cated the song to the mo­ments when “emo­tions take over and you just can’t hold them back.” — Maeve Mc­Der­mott

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