Play On - Carrie Underwood
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Mixed or average reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 81 Ratings

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  • Summary: The third album for the multi-award winning country singer was again produced by Mark Bright.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Here, the artist seems to finally feel comfortable in her own skin. It's a wide-ranging album-she's in love, out of love, light-hearted and playful.
  2. As always, her vocal ability is beyond reproach; a crack in the immaculately polished veneer, however, would be welcome too.
  3. The earnest ballads outnumber the uptempo stuff with a lower hit-to-miss ratio and feel a lot more generic in terms of who is/could be singing them.
  4. On Play On her approach results in a scattershot collection that too often mistakes bombast for sincerity ('Unapologize') and sap for sentiment ('Temporary Home').
  5. 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.
  6. She still lacks the grit and the distinctive, intuitive phrasing of the best country singers, but the better moments of Play On suggest that she's capable of developing into more than a technically proficient cipher.
  7. It’s not all unremittingly awful; generally, all the faux-shitkicking glossy country Bon Jovi stuff is half-way listenable. But brother, do the ballads ever stink.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Feb 20, 2012
    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 Expand
  2. Feb 21, 2011
    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. Collapse
  3. Aug 18, 2014
    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 Expand
  4. Aug 30, 2013
    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, 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

See all 37 User Reviews