Carnival Ride is Carrie Underwood's second studio album that was released on October 23, 2007 by Arista Nashville and 19. The album contains elements of country and pop music.
- Flat on the Floor
- All-American Girl
- So Small
- Just a Dream
- Get Out of This Town
- Crazy Dreams
- I Know You Won't
- Last Name
- You Won't Find This
- I Told You So
- The More Boys I Meet
- Wheel of the World
According to Carrie Underwood about the meaning behind the album's title and theme: "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."
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 peaked at #52 on Billboard's country music charts during that year as well.
"I Told You So" is a cover of a song previously cut by Randy Travis on his 1988 number one album Always & Forever.
Randy Travis' version of the song was a number-one hit on the country charts that year. Underwood and Travis recently released the song as a duet single on iTunes.
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."
"Carnival Ride" became Carrie Underwood's first number-one album on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling 527,000 copies in its first week of release. It achieved one of the biggest ever first-week sales by a female artist at that time.
During its second week, the album sold less than 190,000 copies. It also debuted at #1 on the Top Digital Albums, Top Country Albums, and Top Canadian Albums charts.
"Carnival Ride" has sold 3,400,000 copies in the United States.
In October 2016, the album was certified 4x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for combined sales and album-equivalent units of four million units. It also appeared on the Billboard Year-End Charts for 2009 at #74.
"Carnival Ride" received mostly positive reviews from music critics. On the music review aggregator Metacritic, it has received an average score of 72 out of 100 based on ten reviews indicating generally favorable reviews.
The first official review of the album from AllMusic gave it 4 out of 5 stars, on par with what they gave her debut album. 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."
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."
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."
Marketing & 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 also debuted several of her singles at the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Country Music Association Awards.
Underwood 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.