• 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

Review this album

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. LouS.
    Nov 6, 2009
    6
    A decent album though, but not better than Carnival Ride.
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.