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Blown Away by Carrie Underwood
Released: May 2012
Label: 19 Recordings Limited / Arista Nashville
There's a fiery, vengeful, frankly pretty awesome Pat Benatar vibe at the onset of Carrie Underwood's fourth album, wherein crap dudes are verbally lambasted ("Good Girl"), sucked up in tornadoes ("Blown Away") and offed by their two-timed wives ("Two Black Cadillacs"). Sweet ballads and generally gentler/countrier fare dominate thereafter -- "Thank God for Hometowns" is humble and lovely -- but still, when the honky-tonk rave-up "Cupid's Got a Shotgun" comes along, she grabs a Kevlar vest, loads up and starts firing back. Hit her with your best shot, but hers is better.
Rob Harvilla

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