Carrie Underwood & Miranda Lambert's "Somethin' Bad" Is a Great Answer to Bro-Country
Powerful female country singers, unite! On Sunday May 18, country superstars Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert will debut their new duet “Somethin’ Bad” live on the Billboard Music Awards. The song is the second single from Lambert’s upcoming new album Platinum, due out on June 3, and it's exciting that two of country music’s most successful artists are collaborating. And they’re both women. I like the sound of this.
Lambert told Billboard in a recent interview that “Somethin’ Bad” is a “meshing” of the two women’s styles, noting that “there aren’t many female collaborations” in country music right now, so she’s thrilled for fans to hear the song. Currently, country radio has a huge problem playing female artists — and that has got to change. Will Underwood and Lambert’s combined star power be enough to break barriers and turn “Somethin’ Bad” into a major country radio hit, allowing more female artists to infiltrate the airwaves? Or will the song fizzle out without making much of an impact?
Of course, we don’t know what “Somethin’ Bad” sounds like just yet — it could be a smash hit, a total dud, or something in between. And even though Underwood and Lambert boast an incredible 16 No. one singles on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart combined, in country music’s current climate, a strong sales record doesn’t necessarily ensure strong radio airplay. “Bro-country” songs like Florida Georgia Line’s “This Is How We Roll” and Brantley Gilbert’s “Bottoms Up” have basically taken over country radio.
In response to the current bro-country movement, Canadian country music star Terri Clark coined the term “bra-country” this past January. Singer Sheryl Crow, who has spoken out about bro-country’s domination of country radio in the past, even used the pro-woman term during a recent interview before this year's 49th Academy of Country Music Awards. I love it. I want bra-country to catch on.
And there's hope that it will. Both Underwood and Lambert have had success on country radio in the past with songs about getting revenge on so-called “bad boys” — a topic that appears to have been deemed “acceptable” for female country artists to sing about. Will “Somethin’ Bad” play it safe, as the title seems to suggest, and be another stereotypical kiss off to a cheating man a la Lambert’s recent radio hit, “Baggage Claim”? Or will it take a risk and offer listeners something new and fresh?
Gosh, I sure hope so.