** 1/2 Mary-Chapin Carpenter, "Shooting Straight in the Dark," Columbia. Carpenter's third album harks back a bit to the lengthy, finely detailed character studies of her debut while retaining the greater pop accessibility that made her second such a leap forward, commercially and artistically. Too often she limits herself to straight reportage in her missives from the battlefields of love and life; you wish she'd delve more into analysis and commentary. But at least you always get the sense there's a lively, probing mind at work. Carpenter is interviewed on Page 67.