March 31, 2003 12:00 PM

Deana Carter (Arista Nashville)

The lively title track of Carter’s latest shows that she is no ordinary girl when it comes to singing traditional country music. Extolling the joys of baseball, apple pie and freedom, she makes “I’m Just a Girl” a much more effective flag-waver than many of the other patriotic tunes coming from Nashville. Another highlight, “Wild-flower,” is sweet and tuneful enough to be a Dolly Parton song. Unfortunately, the rest of this CD vainly attempts to make Carter’s sound more contemporary, while losing the unpretentious wit that marked her 1997 hit “Did I Shave My Legs for This?” The metal-infused “There’s No Limit,” full of high-voltage guitar, seems to be on the wrong album. Meanwhile, “Girls’ Night” features the ridiculous ersatz rap: “I’m going downtown, I’m gonna look real nice/ I’ll be sportin’ my stilettos/ I’m gonna cause a few fights.”

BOTTOM LINE: Nothing to kick up your heels about

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