Carrie Underwood’s ‘Drinking Alone’ Is a Reinvention [Listen]
Carrie Underwood's new single "Drinking Alone" brings with it a subtle maturity that's important for her music moving forward. This fourth single from her Cry Pretty album is her most believable, relatable tableau to date.
Underwood, a 2019 CMA Entertainer of the Year nominee, has certainly relied on grownup themes on recent albums, but the story songs that find her as protagonist at the center of the action usually come with a certain cinematic flair that renders them unbelievable. "Dirty Laundry" and "Church Bells" from Storyteller were like this, as were older songs "Blown Away," "Two Black Cadillacs" and "Before He Cheats." There has always been enough space between singer and character in these songs to keep the real Carrie Underwood from suspicion.
That's not the case with "Drinking Alone," a sultry, country-jazz ballad (is that a new sub-genre?) that finds the singer pouring whiskey to numb heartache. The conversation and chemistry between her and someone feeling equally low are at the center of this story, a story that ends without revenge, a one-night stand or a plot to kill one another's ex-lovers. That is to say it ends how it would end if you were in a similar situation.
To say the 36-year-old is adulting with this new song is to diminish the quality of so many hits recorded and released over the last 14 years, so we won't go that far. "Drinking Alone" is surely aimed at her older fans, however — those that matured, married and started families as she did. Her production team finds the right sound to match the story — the Underwood, Brett James and David Garcia lyric isn't a bop, so it shouldn't sound like one. It's an arrangement as dynamic as the song and both stretch her creatively further than any single radio release has since she introduced herself on television in 2005.
Did You Know?: "Drinking Alone" was a visual highlight of Underwood's Cry Pretty Tour 360 in 2019.
Carrie Underwood Is Back!
Carrie Underwood's "Drinking Alone" Lyrics:
Let me make one thing clear / You can buy me a beer / But you ain’t taking me home / No pick-up lines / I came here tonight / To shed a few tears on my own / Sitting there across the room / I couldn’t help but notice you / Seem a little down on your love, too / Yeah, my heart might be breaking / But this seat ain’t taken / You got me thinking.
We should be drinking alone, together / Drowning the pain is better / With somebody else who got problems / We ain’t gonna solve ‘em / But misery loves company / Tonight all I need is a stranger / Lips with a whiskey chaser / And a corner booth kiss / To make me forget that he’s gone / We should be drinking alone /We should be drinking alone, together.
Don’t know what she did / To make you hurt like this / But I know just what to do / It starts with a bottle of good reposado / And ends with a shooter or two / Tomorrow when the sun comes up / Tonight’s the night that never was / Baby, just forget my name / Won’t be your one and only / But just ‘cause we’re lonely / Don’t mean that we should.
I’ll pretend that I care / Baby, pull up a chair / We’ll stay here ‘till they make us go home.