Track Review

Country powerhouse Carrie Underwood wed NHL hockey player Mike Fisher in 2010. And, presumably, the couple is happily married—a conclusion we can arrive at by way of two somewhat relevant facts: 1) A lack of tabloid attention to the subject, and 2) Fisher's recent biography about his Christian faith.

So it would seem that Carrie's still mining memories for her music, memories of guys who were anything but Prince Charming. I say that because of the advice she dishes out to girls who think they've found Mr. Right on "Good Girl." It's advice that can be succinctly boiled down into one word: Run! Or perhaps four words: Run for your life!

Carrie repeats this admonition over and over on her upbeat country rocker, as the snarling intensity of growling guitars lend punctuation to her point. "Hey, good girl," she begins, addressing "naively" romantic ladies who are "thinkin' about" a "good boy" who's "gonna give you the world." Carrie's got bad news for them: "He's gonna leave you cryin'/With your heart in the dirt."

Lest they doubt, Carrie details Mr. Wrong's duplicitous ways: "His lips are dripping honey/But he'll sting you like a bee/So lock up all your lovin'/Go and throw away the key." Then this unambiguous command: "Get out while you can."

She lauds these unsullied girls' romantic dreams by saying, "You got a heart of gold/You want a white wedding/And a hand you can hold/ … Like every good girl does/Want a fairytale ending, somebody to love." But it just ain't in the cards, we hear, "He's no good, girl/ … He's really good at lyin', girl/Yeah, he'll leave you in the dust."

Carrie's counsel is correct if, in fact, the guy she's talking about is a cad and as bad as she says. The troubling thing about this tune, though, is that it never really hints at how she might have this knowledge of his character. Instead, she cynically seems to dismiss with a sweeping and scathing gesture any sweet-on-you suitor who might come along.

So never mind that she seems to have found her Prince Charming in the real world. Because in the world of country music, Prince Charming, it seems, will at some point inevitably morph into Count Vulgarian.

So you'd better just run.

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Topped the country chart, peaked at No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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February 27, 2012

On Video

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Adam R. Holz