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. AllisonS
    Nov 4, 2009
    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. WuiZ
    Nov 4, 2009
    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
  3. 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 Collapse
  4. Lawrence
    Nov 4, 2009
    AWESOME vocals! Love that she's writing more! And she's breaking out her box.
  5. WardB.
    Nov 7, 2009
    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.
  6. TammyD
    Nov 10, 2009
    A great mix of contemporary and traditional country.
  7. MattC.
    Nov 18, 2009
    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. Expand

See all 37 User Reviews