Self referentiality in music is one of my favourite things in the entire world. Britney Spears singing “my loneliness ain’t killing me no more” on Stronger after having sung “my loneliness is killing me” on …Baby One More Time is up there with my favourite pop culture moments of all time. Carrie Underwood doesn’t do it quite so obviously here with Renegade Runaway (RR), but singing essentially a gender-swapped version of her 2009 hit Cowboy Casanova (CC) (I don’t think the alliteration of the titles is a coincidence) is something we probably should have all seen coming.
I always bang on about this when reviewing Carrie but I really do think story telling is her forté and what better way to develop a story than to see it from another perspective. To be fair, the story doesn’t actually change much, it’s still about a person drawing you in with a “pretty face” only to have anything but a pretty personality, but changing lyrics like “he’s a devil in disguise” in CC to “she’s a devil in a satin dress” in RR is the kind of brilliant song writing that made me fall in love with the queen of country music in the first place.
There is a slight difference in the narrative, however, that serves to keep the song from simply being a recycled version of a previous hit proven to be a success. CC is about a guy that draws you in with his charm and makes you fall in love him only for you to find out he’s a liar and a cheat not worthy of your time, but by that time it’s too late, the damage is done, and your heart is broken. On the other hand, RR is more about a girl that flies into your life, gives you fleeting hope that she could be the one for you before racing off into the sunset before you’ve even had time to get used to her being there. The difference is subtle, but it gives RR the slight edge it needed to turn the song from “been there, done that” to something that instead felt like a rejuvenated, fresh re-imagination of an old classic.
The sound of RR is also slightly different to CC. CC’s music reflects more on the fun, enticing side of the “Casanova” whereas RR draws a little more on the epic sounding chorus of Blown Away and reflects more on the feeling you would have while the woman was fading into the distance, giving you no chance of ever seeing her again.
Definitely my favourite offering from Storyteller so far. The album will be released on the 23rd of October.