Anyone who knows me knows that the only two reasons why I watch the Super Bowl are for the wings and for the halftime show. However, there is always one aspect that is also overlooked during this major American sporting event, and that’s the Super Bowl Anthem. Carrie Underwood and Ludacris came together to record the anthem for Super Bowl LII.
Their anthem song, “Champion,” was a collaborative effort between Underwood, Ludacris, Brett James and Chris DeStafano. After an intro with soft, individual piano notes, Underwood opens the song with, “I’ll be the last one standing,” and the beat immediately drops. Carrying a confidently aggressive vibe throughout the song, “Champion” is a definite change for country singer Underwood.
During the chorus of the song, the beat intensifies with hard-hitting drums, sirens going off and guitar chords echoing each other in the background, all while Underwood chants the phrase, “I am invincible, unbreakable, unstoppable, unshakable.” After two verses, Ludacris comes in with his own form of chaos and intensity. Ludacris’ section began with just his voice and a few soft drums keeping the beat in the background, but as he progressed toward the middle of his song, more instruments, such as guitar, were added. Just as Ludacris reached the pique of his rap verse, the sirens started up again, accompanying the now louder drums and continuing guitar chords. Ludacris touches upon themes of attitude and perseverance during his solo.
Although I’m a sucker for a Carrie country classic, I applaud her decision to step out of her comfort zone and try something new. The combination of her soft voice with hard-hitting music creates a unique song and Ludacris just intensifies the different dynamics. Even though I would only give this a 3.5/5 stars, as it lacks substantial lyrics and at times the different combinations of drums with sirens are overwhelming, I still think it’s a perfect fit for the Super Bowl. With the U.S. in a state of constant tension and uncertainty, songs like this are needed to remind Americans to keep the fight going and remind themselves that they can push through challenges. Plus, what better way to inspire American citizens than at the most American sporting event of the year?
“Champion” will open NBC’s broadcast of the Super Bowl on Feb. 4.