Carrie Underwood’s ‘Softly and Tenderly’ Is Simple and Pure [Listen]
Carrie Underwood shows off her vocal range on her new version of the gospel hymn "Softly and Tenderly," though she does so in a more understated way than on some of her biggest hits. Fans can hear the song, released on Friday (Feb. 12), below.
The country star saves much of her gusto for a brief moment within the song's final minute. For most of the track, she remains reverent and restrained, if no less earnest and perfectly pitched than usual.
Underwood's vocal performance is mostly accompanied by a simple piano line throughout "Softly and Tenderly," though strings arrive in the mix around two minutes in, while an understated steel guitar shows up another minute or so later. Even at its biggest moments, the arrangement is quiet and reflective by comparison.
"Softly and Tenderly" is one of 13 songs Underwood recorded for her new gospel album, My Savior. Fans may find the performance familiar: In 2017, she performed the song as the soundtrack for the CMA Awards' in memoriam segment; memorably, she choked up near the end of the song, as the moment concluded by honoring the victims of the shooting at that October's Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Nev.
Gospel icon CeCe Winans makes a guest appearance on My Savior, joining Underwood for "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." The country singer's second-straight side project -- following her 2020 Christmas album My Gift -- will begin with an instrumental and also include songs such as "How Great Thou Art," "The Old Rugged Cross" and "Amazing Grace." David Garcia produced the album.
My Savior is due out on March 26, in time for Easter 2021. It's Underwood's eighth studio album.
It's been three years since Underwood last released a country album, and many fans expect news of that project to come in 2021 as well, although the singer has only teased that that may be the case.