Blown Away
by Carrie Underwood, pop/country (2012)
Sony, $11.88, ASIN B007HO392S


Carrie Underwood returns for the fourth encore with Blown Away, and it's an encore because it follows the same formula that has shaped her last three albums. Catchy pop ditties with some token nod to country.

Lyrically, however, some of the songs here exhibit a more cynical attitude toward men - Good Girl is basically a warning for women not to let their men take them for granted. Men, after all, are naturally predisposed to cheat and lie on their women, you know. Two Black Cadillacs is about two women who gave the men who was two-timing them a permanent one-way ticket, while the title track is Ms Underwood's personal Independence Day, although Ms Underwood is conscious of her family-friendly (but sexy) image to make sure that it is the hand of God, not the abused woman, who gets rid of the useless vermin. Jesus is on the woman's side, so all you drunken abusive promiscuous mules and other staple clichés of country music, beware!

Sometimes, it's about the fragility of the bond between a mother and her daughter. On Forever Changed, it's all about a daughter watching helplessly as her mother slips away from her due to Alzheimer's disease. This is a heartbreaking song with such simple lyrics that can still shatter the heart. Of course, men are good for some things, so there are typical happy love songs such as Do You Think About Me. And then, there are just plain happy songs like One Way Ticket, where Ms Underwood tells sad people of the world to go find love and take a break to recharge. And once again, Ms Underwood reminds everyone that she is still that same old girl underneath all that crash diet, celebrity spouse, and airbrushed publicity photos with songs like Thank God For Hometowns. Oh, and Jesus too gets a nod in Who Are You.

Everything here is very listenable, but it's still the same old formula reprised for the fourth time around. This one is a stronger effort compared to Play On. But isn't it time to shake things up a bit?

Rating: 77


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