Carrie Underwood’s Two Black Cadillacs Video Takes Fans Down A Strange and Winding Road.
I’m pretty disappointed in Carrie Underwood‘s new video for single, “Two Black Cadillacs.” Yep, I said it. The song was released as the third single from her most recent album Blown Away back in November, with the video reportedly being filmed then too, but even just two weeks ago Carrie was claiming on Twitter that they were still editing, trying to make it perfect. So as a result, there were pretty high expectations for this video! …And then I watched it.
At 5 minutes 47 seconds, this is a long music video, but it had been announced that it’d be shot as a short film. S,o I was prepared for the standard couple-of-minute-long intro without music, plus maybe a section
around the bridge where the music cut out for another short scene. This is a formula that has been tried and tested and it works. However, what proceeded was not as it should have been. It begins dramatically and suspensefully with expected scenes of winter and a lonely Cadillac come into view. There’s some creepy piano music that I don’t think was necessary but it works okay within the context. However, instead of allowing the suspense to linger and to draw it out properly to instigate a mood, the song kicks in just 20 seconds into the video, and you’re left wondering what they’re going to do with the time.
Much of the first half of the song is filled with multiple-angled shots (including many close-ups) of Carrie driving the Cadillac, the wintery desolate environment, and the funeral. As it progresses, we get a few brief shots of the Cadillac in a different setting, at night, driving down an alley in a city with the headlights beaming on a couple meeting for an embrace, presumably the cheating husband and mistress. Carrie plays the mistress, with another similar-looking actress playing the wife. There’s some lovely scenery, good graphics, great outfits (Carrie is a vampy mistress), nice close-up shots and some well-timed interplay between the two opposing scenes. However, for me, it’s far too slow, there’s too much of the same thing, and I feel like there should be a lot more content. Slowly but surely, we get some plot narrative, with the briefest of shots depicting the wife chasing her husband in one of the Cadillacs during the night scene. It is implied that due to the blasé attitude of the mistress when the Cadillac turns up that Carrie is a decoy for the wife to corner the cheater.
Suddenly, however, after the end of the third chorus, the music dies down and the sinister piano music from the beginning returns. Although we don’t see the cheating husband being run over, it is implied and there’s even a token ‘crash’ sound against a black screen. I’m already feeling that they’ve ruined the momentum of the song at this point. The piano music wasn’t necessary and actually did more harm than good, they could have just left it silent. Then we launch back into Carrie’s “bye bye’s,” and within a few seconds we’re back to piano music (very VERY bad move), and the mood has been totally messed up. It is then that we get all the song’s narrative that SHOULD have occurred at appropriate points within the song, and it is very well acted and put together. But it’s in the wrong section completely.
To top it all off, we now have shots of the Cadillac ‘healing’ itself after the crash, as if it never happened, and the mistress and wife riding in the same Cadillac after the funeral with no-one driving, yet the steering wheel moving. What? While it’s all nicely sinister, I’m struggling to make sense of it, and the chopping and changing of music, combined with putting scenes in the wrong places within the video and the too-slow moving of the video compared to the song just makes it one gigantic, confused mess that is trying to be too many things and ultimately ends up being nothing at all.
This video is strange for all the wrong reasons, and clearly the extra time they have spent has been overdoing it. They’ve totally over-thought something that should have been so simple. They had the entire video laid out for them in the song. For such a plot-driven song and video, I’m pretty frustrated with this effort and disappointed that I and so many other people waited so long to view it.