Carrie Underwood selected songs she could relate to for her debut album ... with one exception.
"I have to add this disclaimer," she said with a chuckle of "Before He Cheats." "It's actually about a girl that is at home and she's thinking about stuff that her boyfriend is probably doing. And she's thinking about him being at some bar with some girl and she gets really angry and she goes outside and destroys his mode of transportation. Which is something I would never do, but it's really fun to sing about. I know it would be so fun. She takes a baseball bat to it and everything. That would be awesome!"
"Before He Cheats" will be included on Some Hearts, due November 15. Underwood, the reigning "American Idol" champ (see "'Did He Just Call My Name?' — Carrie On Her Big Win"), has written her own material before, but recruited pros for the songs on her first album.
In fact, before leaving on the American Idols Live Tour this summer, "Idol" creator Simon Fuller organized a songwriter's retreat in Nashville, where Underwood got to know those who would be writing for her.
"We wanted them to actually write songs for me instead of writing songs and me listening to them," Underwood said. "I just kind of bounced around from room to room and they'd play me what they were coming up with. It was really great just because I got to meet them and hang out with them and they learned a lot about me, so the songs were definitely more treated to me. Writing is something that I'm very interested in doing, and I think it was really good for me to be around them to see the process that they go through to write."
One of the first songs to come out of the retreat was "Jesus, Take the Wheel."
"Everybody was kind of like, 'You gotta hear this song, you gotta hear this song,' and everybody seemed to like it, so when I heard it I was like, 'Oh yeah, I definitely love this song, too,' " Underwood said. "We decided to make that the first one I was gonna record and it turned out so well that we wanted to make it the first single."
"Jesus, Take the Wheel" is straight-up country, but not all of Some Hearts is a boot-skootin' boogie.
"Because of my exposure on the show I can't really help but appeal to other people than just country-music listeners," Underwood explained. "I am a country music artist first and foremost, but we were trying to hopefully appeal to many different people. And some songs turned out more country than we thought they would and some turned out a lot more new contemporary. I think it all sounds good together."
Underwood's been recording the album in Nashville, where "Idol" runner-up Bo Bice is also in the studio (see "Bo Bice Working With Ben Moody, Members Of Nickelback, Bon Jovi, Skynyrd For LP"), although the two are not collaborating as they did on tour this summer.
"He's also trying to get his album done and everything, so right now it's not panning out, but you never know," she said. "I think that would be a good idea."
As for working in Nashville, "I was a little worried at first going there that people might kind of look at me skeptically just because I came from a Hollywood show," Underwood said. "But everybody is so great and working hard to make sure that we really do something big with this."
Underwood is currently shooting a video for "Jesus, Take the Wheel" and will make several promotional appearances later this month.
"I haven't done this before so I'm just trying not to screw up too bad," Underwood said.
For a backstage look at the Idols Live Tour, see "On The Road Again With 'Idol.' "