Carrie Underwood's "Cry Pretty" is the most anticipated new country release of 2018, and her most excited fans will not be disappointed.

As promised, the song touches on what the last year has meant not just for the 35-year-old singer, but all Americans. "Cry Pretty" is not preachy and certainly not political — Underwood never makes reference to a specific moment in time. She is all of us when she says that you can fake just about any emotion but sadness — real, undeniable grief — can only come one way. You definitely cannot cry pretty.

"Cry Pretty" is Underwood's first single released on UMG Nashville after she spent her entire career on Sony Music Nashville, the label she signed with upon winning American Idol in 2005. It's classic Carrie Underwood, starting slow and soft before building, building, building into a torrent of emotion powered by unparalleled vocal force and conviction. It's not just that the girl can sing, it's that she's willing to deliver a song like a sermon. In this case the radio is her pulpit for a message that will hit hearts hard.

Hillary Lindsey, Liz Rose and Lori McKenna helped Underwood write "Cry Pretty." This songwriting trio, known as the Love Junkies, also wrote Little Big Town's "Girl Crush" together. Each is separately a celebrated songwriter, and while this power ballad does not turn a phrase in quite the same way, it's a beautiful exercise in efficiency.

Did You Know?: Underwood's "Cry Pretty" co-producer David Garcia also co-wrote Kip Moore's No. 1 hit "More Girls Like You" and the Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha crossover hit "Meant to Be."

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Carrie Underwood's "Cry Pretty" Lyrics:

I’m sorry, but I’m just a girl / Not usually the kind to show my heart to the world / I’m pretty good at keeping it together / I hold my composure, for worse or for better / So I apologize if you don’t like what you see / But sometimes my emotions get the best of me / And falling apart is as human as it gets / You can’t hide it, you can’t fight what the truth is.

You can pretty lie, and say it’s ok / You can pretty smile, and just walk away / Pretty much fake your way through anything / But you can’t cry pretty.

Oh no you can’t dress it up in lace or rhinestones / Don’t matter if you’re in a crowd, or home all alone / Yea it’s all the same when you’re looking in the mirror / A picture of pain, so let it flow like a river.

You can pretty lie, and say it’s ok / You can pretty smile, and just walk away / Pretty much fake your way through anything / But you can’t cry pretty / You can’t turn off the flood, when the dam breaks / When all your mascara is going to waste / When things get ugly, you just gotta face that you can’t cry pretty.

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