Carrie Underwood, Carnival Ride

A more accurate title for Carrie Underwood's latest effort would be Kiddie Coaster, because this is one boring carnival ride. The sophomore release from country music's favorite American Idol provides few thrills as it mechanically runs around in circles, all the while showing just how little Underwood has matured as a vocalist since 2005 debut Some Hearts. The reigning CMA Female Vocalist of the Year oversings almost everything she touches, including a frighteningly aggressive cover of the Randy Travis classic "I Told You So," which she delivers in an emotionally detached and unnecessarily bombastic vocal. Generic retreads of some of country's common motifs add to the album's lackluster nature, including "Get Out of This Town," a leavin' song that doesn't even pretend to be interesting, and "All American Girls," which shamelessly reinforces stereotypical gender roles. Save your tickets, folks: This Ride isn't worth waiting in line for.


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