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Blown Away
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3 Stars - Good
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Release Date
May 1, 2012
Sony Nashville/Arista

Sounds like: Radio-friendly country pop; compare to Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Kelly Clarkson

Top tracks: "Forever Changed," "Two Black Cadillacs," "Cupid's Got a Shotgun"

Like most pop country divas, Underwood's latest album sticks to songs about self-empowerment, the joy and danger of love, and small-town pride. But there's a streak of melancholy that runs through this former American Idol winner's fourth CD that comes as a welcome surprise. Sometimes it sinks deep into songs like "Forever Changed," which documents the slow decline a beloved family member; other times it just frays the edges of even the sunniest love songs. This album will be a guaranteed success, but for a popular artist, it's a bold step forward that hopefully is the precursor for further growth for the 29-year-old singer.

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Blown Away