Blown Away

The forecast is stormy on Carrie Underwood's fourth album – as usual. Cloudless skies don't suit the country super­star – she's most comfortable leaning into a stiff breeze, letting a blues growl creep into her phrasing while unleashing songs like "Two Black Cadillacs" (in which a wife and mistress murder a cad) and the title track, a wind-whipped ballad about, yep, a tornado. Underwood's voice is as powerful as ever, but Blown Away tries too hard, ratcheting up melodrama with strings and effects. She's at her best in a more restrained countrypolitan mode on the weeper "Wine After Whiskey." As for "One Way Ticket," a foray into Kenny Chesney-style country "reggae," let's just say beach weather isn't Underwood's thing.

Listen to Carrie Underwood's 'Blown Away':

Related
Spring Music Preview 2012: Carrie Underwood's 'Blown Away'

From The Archives Issue 1157: May 24, 2012