PopTop review: Underwood shows drive on new disc

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CD • With a co-writing credit on 8 of the 14 tracks on her new album "Blown Away" — out this Tuesday — Carrie Underwood has taken the reins on an album that shows a comfortable versatility in different styles, including the reggae-influenced "One Way Ticket."

But for most of the album, the songs have a darker tone straight from the Dixie Chicks' playbook, with no fewer than two songs revolving around murdering a man who's done the golden-voiced songbird wrong.

While the subject matter and the lyric-writing are engaging, too often the music takes a back seat, without hooks to make the vinegar go down easier.

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