• Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Nov 3, 2009
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 84
  2. Negative: 14 out of 84

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  1. AllisonS
    Nov 4, 2009
    10
    This album is incredible, and all the snarky critics are just trashing it because they hate Carrie's spiritual songs or inspirational songs. So much for their tolerance of freedom of beliefs. I guess that only applies to their own beliefs, conveniently. If someone dares to sing a song about changing the world and making it better, they are a sap. If you sing about God, you are a This album is incredible, and all the snarky critics are just trashing it because they hate Carrie's spiritual songs or inspirational songs. So much for their tolerance of freedom of beliefs. I guess that only applies to their own beliefs, conveniently. If someone dares to sing a song about changing the world and making it better, they are a sap. If you sing about God, you are a loser, according to these critics. They all trashed the same two songs: Temporary Home (spiritual) and Change (inspirational), because they are heartless and don't believe in what Carrie believes in. That is fine, but don't trash her music because you want to mock her spirituality. Talk about hypocritical. Rock on Carrie! Best album of your career! Expand
  2. CathieL
    Nov 4, 2009
    10
    A fantastic album, by a fantastic artist. There is a wide variety of songs, literally something for everyone. This album has winner written all over it.It will go to #1, watch and see!
  3. DianneM
    Nov 5, 2009
    9
    This is a great CD and Carrie does it again!
  4. TammyD
    Nov 10, 2009
    10
    A great mix of contemporary and traditional country.
  5. WuiZ
    Nov 4, 2009
    10
    I am not sure in what condition when others are listening to this album. Distressing lack of Dimensions? Excuse me. It's about country. It doesn't mean when you show 100% abilities, you will have good album. You have to understand how the songs relate with her life so far and how the way she interpret. Glory notes with no glory? Excuse me. Are you expecting for high notes all I am not sure in what condition when others are listening to this album. Distressing lack of Dimensions? Excuse me. It's about country. It doesn't mean when you show 100% abilities, you will have good album. You have to understand how the songs relate with her life so far and how the way she interpret. Glory notes with no glory? Excuse me. Are you expecting for high notes all the time? No speciality in her vocal? No beautiful lyrics? If you think so, you are not supposed to write review for country music, cos' you are not qualified enough to judge. Expand
  6. ClarizaS.
    Nov 4, 2009
    10
    Great album! Favorite songs are Someday When I Stop Loving You, Temporary Home, Songs Like This, This Time. Carrie Underwood's voice is top notch
  7. JessicaM
    Nov 4, 2009
    10
    A great CD, it shows incredible growth as an artist as well as a person for Carrie. 10 stars.
  8. simonm.
    Nov 5, 2009
    10
    This album is amazing !!!!!!! the vocals are awesome Carrie Underwood is the best singer ever !!!
  9. JayK
    Nov 6, 2009
    10
    Never mind what the critics in their lofty chairs think or don't think; for them, Carrie will always be either too hot or too cold, too loud or too soft, too unemotional or too cheesy -- but never just right. But, if you're an everyday person looking for a diverse yet well-rounded album, PLAY ON is for you! Of all three albums released so far, this album will bring you closest Never mind what the critics in their lofty chairs think or don't think; for them, Carrie will always be either too hot or too cold, too loud or too soft, too unemotional or too cheesy -- but never just right. But, if you're an everyday person looking for a diverse yet well-rounded album, PLAY ON is for you! Of all three albums released so far, this album will bring you closest to Carrie's often guarded emotions. Besides Carrie's trademark sassy anthems like Cowboy Casanova or Songs Like This, rootsy tunes like Mama's Song, Temporary Home, and Someday When I Stop Loving You put a very personal and emotional dimension to this album. She pours out her emotions on song after song, sometimes restraining with gentle and subtle nuances, other times belting in her trademark golden tone. Wholesome Carrie has truly matured into a refined artist -- the girl with the golden hair and the golden voice. This is Carrie's strongest and most versatile album; and is a must have. It is truly a breath of fresh air. Expand
  10. MichaelW.
    Nov 7, 2009
    10
    Fantastic album Ms. Underwood. Do not listen to the haters! The critics have had it in for you since you Won American Idol because they are elitist snobs who don't consider Idol winners real artists. Tell that to your 4 grammys, Carrie, and laugh them all the way to the bank when you go 3x platinum once more. Congrats Carrie! Great album!
  11. ChristianH.
    Nov 8, 2009
    10
    Did this album really get a 58 rating? Wow, this is an amazing cd. The songs and that voice are just untouchable.
  12. MattC.
    Nov 18, 2009
    4
    Carrie is making the mistake of going pop to try to crossover without remixing her songs, so in the end she loses what little country sound she had. Also her songs are pretty much do-overs of her last album, with the lyrics just switched around.
  13. AndrewN
    Nov 4, 2009
    10
    'Play On' showcases Miss Underwood's growth as a singer and songwriter; in fact, she has had help in penning seven of the 13 songs, and many of them are the stronger tracks on the album. Carrie also shows greater control and restraint over her vocals, which in return results in singing that is unparalleled by many. The production is lighter, subtle, and showcases 'Play On' showcases Miss Underwood's growth as a singer and songwriter; in fact, she has had help in penning seven of the 13 songs, and many of them are the stronger tracks on the album. Carrie also shows greater control and restraint over her vocals, which in return results in singing that is unparalleled by many. The production is lighter, subtle, and showcases Carrie's voice more, which is refreshing after the bombastic production that was present on 'Carnival Ride'. These improvements have resulted in what is Carrie's best album yet. Expand
  14. AnjoF.
    Nov 4, 2009
    5
    I've followed Carrie from "Some Hearts" until this album and I hate to say this, but I'm utterly disappointed with this album and quite agree with the reviewer. I'd have to say this is her weakest thus far. Why? This is the first Carrie Underwood album that sounded really contrived and calculated to me. It seems like an album which tries very hard to please. Surely, "Some I've followed Carrie from "Some Hearts" until this album and I hate to say this, but I'm utterly disappointed with this album and quite agree with the reviewer. I'd have to say this is her weakest thus far. Why? This is the first Carrie Underwood album that sounded really contrived and calculated to me. It seems like an album which tries very hard to please. Surely, "Some Hearts" and "Carnival Ride" also has a certain calculation to it, but her debut was easy going and natural and her sophomore effort was quite cohesive in sound and appealed to Carrie's liking for "arena rock" sound. "Play On" feels like it was made with the pop crossover in mind, with providing sentimentality in mind, with Carrie the songwriter in mind, and with Carrie the country girl in mind, a mix that never tasted well. I never disliked any of Carrie co writes before, from "I Ain't in Checotah Anymore" to "Last Name"... but I was surprised that I can't appreciate some of her co writes here, particularly "Mama's Song", "Temporary Home" and "Play On" because they sounded so cliche and well, cheap. I also didn't appreciate her vocal delivery on those tracks and on a select few here, like on "Undo It", in which she tries too hard to be "bossy" and on "Unapologize" which which seems to rely more on glory notes than the emotions of not regretting loving someone so much. However, I'd like to say that I did love some tracks, particularly "Cowboy Casanova", "Quitter", "This Time", "Change" (even if it sounded like it's good for Idol Gives Back) and "Songs Like These", songs which sounded particularly natural and had strong melodies, something which I've always loved from Carrie Underwood, no matter if people says she's overrated and formulaic. Expand
  15. HilaryC.
    Nov 4, 2009
    10
    AMERICAN IDOL Season 4 champ, the beautiful, wonderful, perfect, all-American country entertainer CARRIE UNDERWOOD has justr launched her third studio album as her follow-up to her 2007 "CARNIVAL RIDE". To be honest, "PLAY ON" is nowhere close to be the greatest album of all-time but it can without a doubt be one of the best albums released in 2009 or even the century! "COWBOY CASANOVA" s AMERICAN IDOL Season 4 champ, the beautiful, wonderful, perfect, all-American country entertainer CARRIE UNDERWOOD has justr launched her third studio album as her follow-up to her 2007 "CARNIVAL RIDE". To be honest, "PLAY ON" is nowhere close to be the greatest album of all-time but it can without a doubt be one of the best albums released in 2009 or even the century! "COWBOY CASANOVA" s a sassy country rock smash that just 'gives you the feeling that you don't wanna fight' but fall for it. Its guitar chords may not be as solid as in Jason Aldean's "She's Country", and it probably needs to be extended before the 'run run away' part to include some guitar or even violin solo, it's definitely one of the finest country tune ever. The Max Martin produced "QUITTER" may not have the potential of "...Baby One More Time", "Since U Been Gone", "I Kissed A Girl" or "So What", but it's better to stay the way it is now instead of being a guaranteed rocky-sounding hit. It's sweet and adorable by any means. "MAMA's SONG" is probably a follow-up to CARRIE's previous hits "Don't Forget To Remember Me" with the element of "All-American Girl", showing the similar wish acrosses generations. It won't be a big hit in my opinion, yet it'd easily be a fan-favourited sidetrack. "CHANGE" is my recent favourite for now. Since I've heard the demo, I've always hope CARRIE to include the track in the album. Maybe some people think the lyrics of its verses are kinda corny, but I love it and it touches me everytime I listen to it. It'd be a perfect opening for her if CARRIE wants to explore overseas markets. "UNDO IT" is another guaranteed hit after "COWBOY CASANOVA". Enough said. "SOMEDAY WHENN I STOP LOVING YOU" is apparently a fan-favourite(and CARRIE's personal favourite now) and it may be released as a single like "I Told You So". It's really sad and it's lovely at the same time. You just NEED songs like this when you're going through soime difficult situations. Okay, and "SONGS LIKE THIS". It's the "The More Boys I Meet" in "PLAY ON". Love it. "TEMPORARY HOME" is deep and profound. It even beats "Just A Dream". "THIS TIME". "LOOK AT ME". Beautiful duet with Vince Gill. "UNAPOLIGIZE". It may not be a single after all but it's definitely has enough potential to be one. So sweet. "WHAT CAN I SAY". Awesome collaboration. "PLAY ON". That's a sum-up for the album. Good job Carrie! Expand
  16. JanieT.
    Nov 4, 2009
    10
    What a great album. I had yet to pick up a CD for Carrie Underwood but LOVE this one. Addicted to it.
  17. CaseyL.
    Nov 4, 2009
    10
    Play On is a showcase of Carrie's vocals. Best CD so far.
  18. KarenT
    Nov 4, 2009
    8
    Play On is a personal album that showcases insight into Carrie and who she is and where she is at in this time of her life. It's a solid album w/ three really outstanding songs, one of which is a Carrie cowrite, Temporary Home.
  19. NickK
    Nov 4, 2009
    10
    Something a little different from typical Carrie Underwood- but it works amazingly well, perhaps better than both her previous CD's, Some Hearts and Carnival Ride.
  20. FredR.
    Nov 5, 2009
    10
    The best Carrie Underwood album to date. It's a bushelful of future hit singles.
  21. EricV
    Nov 5, 2009
    5
    Let me preface this by saying that I was one of those 'batshit insane' fans mentioned in the Slant review. I spent hours voting for her in the CMAs and I bashed her naysayers. With that said, I'm really dislike this CD. She's a great singer and she sings most of her songs really well, but that can only get you so far. The lyrics are unimaginative and lazy. Compound Let me preface this by saying that I was one of those 'batshit insane' fans mentioned in the Slant review. I spent hours voting for her in the CMAs and I bashed her naysayers. With that said, I'm really dislike this CD. She's a great singer and she sings most of her songs really well, but that can only get you so far. The lyrics are unimaginative and lazy. Compound that with the fact that this isn't a country album, but a 80s pop one and you have a recipe for disaster. Expand
  22. LouS.
    Nov 6, 2009
    6
    A decent album though, but not better than Carnival Ride.
  23. Taryn
    Nov 7, 2009
    10
    Absolutely amazing album! Carrie's best album to date. Her vocals are just superb - best female country singer EVER!!
  24. EstebanO.
    Nov 9, 2009
    10
    Carrie made a great album...but not excellent! lyrics are so good!!
  25. EstelleB
    Nov 9, 2009
    10
    Her voice is immaculate, her delivery heart-felt. The songs, personal favourite "What Can I Say", are just fantastic!
  26. jessm
    Dec 2, 2009
    10
    Carrie's best album yet. Lyrically, musically, and vocally beautiful. What a fantastic piece of art.
  27. MattS
    Nov 15, 2009
    10
    I understand why the score is so low - this album is definitely a grower and on first listen the album might not seem so perfect. But it is.
  28. Lawrence
    Nov 4, 2009
    10
    AWESOME vocals! Love that she's writing more! And she's breaking out her box.
  29. MattS.
    Nov 5, 2009
    10
    Absolutely fantastic...the reviewers don't even like country in the first place, only fake, weak voiced "prodigies" like Swift.
  30. MichaelS
    Nov 5, 2009
    10
    AMAZING ALBUM! Rock on Carrie!
  31. GigiS.
    Nov 6, 2009
    10
    I love this album, Some Hearts is my least favorite of her cds, when i listen to the album i dont go all the way. I do like Before He Cheats and Some hearts and other tracks. Carnival Ride i can listen through the whole album because to me their was more variety and i loved the range in her voice in some songs. On Play On, Carrie doesnt seem like shes attempting to reach those high notes I love this album, Some Hearts is my least favorite of her cds, when i listen to the album i dont go all the way. I do like Before He Cheats and Some hearts and other tracks. Carnival Ride i can listen through the whole album because to me their was more variety and i loved the range in her voice in some songs. On Play On, Carrie doesnt seem like shes attempting to reach those high notes that we all know she can and do very well. I only LOVE a few songs of this album that i can listen to over and over again like Cowboy Casanova, Songs Like This, What Can I Say, Temporary Home, and Undo It. So i would have to rate this album at 7 out of 10. BUT its still worth buying it. Expand
  32. WardB.
    Nov 7, 2009
    10
    Anyone who thinks that this isn't one fantastic album needs their head and ears examined. She just keeps getting better and better. I love it.
  33. SimonS
    Nov 12, 2009
    10
    First off some of the critics reviews were way to harsh! Sure this isnt the best album in the entire universe but in my opinion it is pretty good. I also dont think listening to the album once will really give you a good feel for it. I have listened to the album A LOT! I actually cant seem to stop playing it! I LOVE it! There are sometthings she could have done differently and listening First off some of the critics reviews were way to harsh! Sure this isnt the best album in the entire universe but in my opinion it is pretty good. I also dont think listening to the album once will really give you a good feel for it. I have listened to the album A LOT! I actually cant seem to stop playing it! I LOVE it! There are sometthings she could have done differently and listening to the demos I proably wouldnt have picked that exact song line up, but It is how it is. I still think this is a strong album. Carrie's voice is unbeatable! It just doesnt get any better then what she has! My personal favorites on this album are: "What Can I Say" (AMAZING!!!), "Cowboy Casanova", "Songs like This", "Someday When I Stop Loving You" and "Undo It"! Buy the album!!! Expand
  34. Feb 21, 2011
    8
    this album make me confused in first time but years ago I very very love this album! She can sing can write and do it fine! great beginning for her writing.
  35. Feb 20, 2012
    10
    This is the sound of modernized country music with a touch of inspiring songs. No song will be wasted in this album. The vocals of Carrie Underwood is clearly set to be the new standard of country genre
  36. Aug 30, 2013
    8
    Considered by some to this day as the worst album in Underwood's catalog, I beg to differ. Perhaps even to argue that is her greatest, and most praise worthy album? Harvesting a plethora of country-pop crossover gems that even Taylor Swift would seethe for, Play On is by far Underwood's most commercially accessible album to date. Cowboy Casanova, Quitter, This Time, Unapologize, SomedayConsidered by some to this day as the worst album in Underwood's catalog, I beg to differ. Perhaps even to argue that is her greatest, and most praise worthy album? Harvesting a plethora of country-pop crossover gems that even Taylor Swift would seethe for, Play On is by far Underwood's most commercially accessible album to date. Cowboy Casanova, Quitter, This Time, Unapologize, Someday When I Stop Loving You, and even the more-country boasting Songs Like This, all pleading to become earworms. The latter of which is the obligatory Before He Cheats clone, even rivals that classic with Underwood's sassy and snark vocal delivery. With ballads that beg for a bottle of tears through Mama's Song, Temporary Home, and even the album's weakest track, Change, there's enough diversity to appease everyone. Play On is certainly an album that crosses the border between Country and Pop for Underwood. And in doing so, it does not sacrifice quality, being as a superb achievement for an album. Expand
  37. Aug 18, 2014
    8
    Love this female singer...She's awesome...always have loved her music since she was on American Idol. ..She's got an amazing voice...have all her albums and singles
Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Carrie takes a much stronger presence as a writer here, co-authoring seven of the 13 songs, and she's attracted to hookless showstoppers designed to showcase her powerful voice, all glory notes with no glory. When she sticks to tunes written solely by the professionals, Play On does have some slick pleasures.
  2. As always, her vocal ability is beyond reproach; a crack in the immaculately polished veneer, however, would be welcome too.
  3. Play On exhibits a distressing lack of dimension for a singer with Underwood's obvious abilities.