Angular guitar riffs and less-is-more vocals introduce ‘End Up with You’, the third track to premiere from Carrie Underwood’s soon to be released album Cry Pretty, which comes out on Friday (14thSeptember).
A feeling of sweetness, of innocence, and of vulnerability is imbued in ‘End Up with You’. The first verse deals with the ephemeralness of existence through the lens of love and lust.
This delicacy of love is embodied in Underwood’s vocals, becoming sweet and soft in places but with a sadness always there in the shadows.
Seeing where it goes/ Seeing where it lands/ I just wanna go/ As fast as we can
The words and Underwood’s gentler cadence capture this delicacy but also the rush and want of new love.
The choruses take the song into Country/Pop territory with its undeniable groove and catchy lyrics filled with simple honesty.
Get home and we’re locked out/ Middle of the backyard laying down/ Last thing that I’d worry ’bout/ ‘Cause all I wanna do is end up with you
The second verse takes the softness to a place of soulfulness and sexiness in the desire and longing that Underwood wraps around every word. A powerlessness also filters into the verse, of letting the other person make all the decisions, but at the same time knowing exactly where you want this to end up. With him.
To the end of the world/ If you wanted to/ Yeah, ‘cause you can light up the dark side of the moon/ Don’t leave it up to me/ Leave it up to you/ ‘Cause I just want one thing when the night is through
There is a tempered recklessness coursing through the track. An attitude of letting the world outside fall away around you.
Underwood has said Cry Pretty has more of her than her previous records, and though I have loved all her previous albums, this one feels more like it was made from her and for her, and not about pleasing anyone else or making the most appropriate album.
The song fades out with the repetition of “end up with you”, which, at times, begins to sound like “wake up with you”, which of course carries the same sentiment but with the former being innocent in ambiguity and the latter alluding to something more.
The start-stop guitar riffs and Underwood’s sweet sensuous vocals should jar against one another, but they don’t. The instrumentation allows Underwood to let her vocals mould the lyrics thereby shaping the mood of ‘End Up with You’.
The song is richer because of Underwood’s intonation. It has a depth that might not have been there had she stuck with her powerhouse vocals. She has said that the album was about letting the songs be what they needed to be and not trying to control the outcome. This has undoubtedly fed into the soulful and personal nature of the rest of Cry Pretty, creating something real and emotional.