Cat Cohen's Anatomy of a Hit a Hit in 2009

Cowboy Casanova by Carrie Underwood

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Carrie Underwood outdoes herself with this sassy uptempo country rocker about a cowboy too hot to handle.

Song: Cowboy Casanova
Artist: Carrie Underwood
Album: Play On
Songwriter: Brett James, Mike Elizondo, Carrie Underwood
Producer: Mark Bright

A classic advice song warning her girlfriends not to fall for this dangerous love 'em and love' em guy.

A strong image filled lyric advices the prey not to succumb to the predator in their midst. Not the most original message, but cleverly worded. You better take it from me, that boy is like a disease You're running, you're trying, you're trying to hide And you're wondering why you can't get free He's like a curse, he's like a drug You get addicted to his love You wanna get out, but he's holding you down 'Cause you can't live without one more touch He's a good time, cowboy casanova Leaning up against the record machine He looks like a cool drink of water But he's candy-coated misery He's the devil in disguise A snake with blue eyes And he only comes out at night Gives you feelings that you don't want to fight You better run for your life

A hot relentless rock shuffle a la Shania Twain that will get everyone who wants to up on the dance and doing it. This would make a great opener for an act, even a Super Bowl appearance.

A strong memorable melody in three distinct parts. Written in minor scale, it is more of a rock melody than country, but the cowboy imagery keeps it in the fold.

Triadic chords all related to the diatonic minor scale. The verse and chorus harmonies contrast well. i bIII b VII bVI (3x) V // i bIII bVI V (3x) bVI bVII i

The structure is tight and effective. Sig A B sig A B sig C B sig Signature verse chorus signature verse chorus signature bridge chorus signature

A vocalized riff over four chords in minor.

A flawless crisp, clean production that has enough subtle surprises to balance out the predictable structure. All hot licks and starts and stops enhance rather than detract from Underwood's fine performance.

Underwood sings with passion and conviction showing that she is at the top of her game. Her rapid-fire phrasing works well.

Predicted Longevity
The video currently out on youtube shows a cowboy playing this song in a juke box where it obviously will have a long life. Though not classically country in any way, it is perhaps Underwood's best single to date.

Album Cover: Play On

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