Underwood co-produced the record with David Garcia, who recently spoke to Billboard about what it was like working with the American Idol winner for the first time.
"I think what I'm excited about with this record is that it's just really diverse," Garcia shared of the finished product. "There are some moments that vocally just sound super raw, and you really feel a lot of emotion when she sings."
The pair initially met during a songwriting session, and Underwood was so impressed with Garcia's work and demos that she asked him to help produce her album, which Garcia shared was driven by the title track.
"I think, if anything, that was all of her vision," he said of "Cry Pretty." "She knew that was a really important song for her in the scope of the record. And I always loved that song. I loved what it said, I loved how real and how raw it was, I loved everything about it. From day one, when she got a really rough work tape of it back, it always resonated with her. I totally understood that, and we just wanted to make sure we did it justice."
As it is with all of her records, Underwood's voice is front and center, but Garcia noted that her delivery varies from song to song, giving fans a new experience with each track.
"To hear emotionally what her voice can do sometimes is actually pretty powerful, so I think that there's gonna be some moments that her fans will really appreciate," he shared. "There are even moments where, even though she may not being singing as powerfully, you still feel something just as much as when she does. There's some songs where you're just listening to every word she says because of the way she performs the song. It's almost like her communicating a song a little differently."
Garcia added that although Underwood is an industry veteran, she still has the work ethic of a newcomer.
"What's amazing about her is that she's been doing it long enough that she has every right to sing things a couple of times and be like, 'Okay cool, I'm done,'" the producer said. "But her work ethic is like she just started singing for the first time. She just loves to sing, and even in recording she would just be like, 'I'm good, I wanna sing some more.' Her passion is just as intense as when she started. It's amazing."
While this was Underwood's first time stepping into the producer's chair, Garcia revealed that her musical intuition was spot-on.
"What's great about this was we share the same instinct of going with what moves you right away, and if it's not moving you, just move on to something else," he revealed. "She's really good with being able to look at things from a 10,000-foot perspective, so to speak. And yes, when it comes to vocals she is really, really, really intense, and she wants to make sure it's perfect and it's there."
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