What happens when four female songwriters, each with their own track record of super-hits, go into a writer’s room together? They come out with one of the most powerful, emotionally-packed ballads of the moment. Co-written with Hillary Lindsey, Liz Rose, and Lori McKenna, Carrie Underwood’s latest single, “Cry Pretty” is the not-so-pretty truth behind what it’s really like when things start to fall apart – how no matter how great one’s strength and composure may be, eventually the ugly tears are inevitable. (And ya know what? It’s okay.)
Although labeled by some as “empowering,” I think a more accurate description of this song is actually “comforting.” The reality of what Underwood describes is clear and revelational, with lyrics like: “You can’t turn off the flood, when the dam breaks / When all your mascara is going to waste / When things get ugly, you just gotta face that you can’t cry pretty.”
Underwood’s energy throughout the song is undeniable, and vocally is she at her absolute best as she further solidifies her place as a powerhouse in music. The comfort in “Cry Pretty” is found in all of those overwhelming emotions the singer pushes to the surface, helping the listener to realize we’re not alone – no one can hold it together so well that they never fall apart.
When the tears come, and they always will, the truth is that they’re just not going to be pretty. (Sorry, not sorry.) Carrie Underwood, Hillary Lindsey, Liz Rose and Lori McKenna deserve all the praise in the world for this monster of a song.