A native of Alberta, Canada, who made the move to Nashville in 1997, Carolyn Dawn Johnson sounds wounded but determined on last year’s full-length Love Rules. A fine songwriter whose tunes have been performed by such country singers as Chely Wright and Jo Dee Messina, Johnson is an understated vocalist whose arrangements range from bluegrass to jazz. Love Rules presents a warm persona along with the standard country tropes — Johnson writes about unreachable men, bad marriages and the way perfection remains elusive for even the strongest women. These days, Johnson may be better known in Canada than in the United States, but that’s an injustice: Love Rules is a mature, closely observed work that sounds pop but reads pure country. “Love rules / Turns the wisest men into pathetic fools / Guarantees you’ll lose your cool,” Johnson sings. She never loses her cool, and that’s to her credit.