Carrie Underwood 

Carnival Ride

A more accurate title for Carrie Underwood's latest effort would be Kiddie Coaster, because this is one boring ride. The sophomore release from country music's favorite 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 her 2005 debut Some Hearts. The reigning CMA Female Vocalist of the Year over-sings almost everything she touches, including a frighteningly aggressive cover of the Randy Travis classic "I Told You So," which she delivers with 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 Girl," which shamelessly reinforces stereotypical gender roles. Save your tickets, folks: This isn't worth waiting in line for.

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