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For Carrie Underwood third time’s a charm

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By Stephanie Holland / Editor in Chief

( Arista Nashville)

By Stephanie Holland / Editor in Chief

Carrie Underwood’s new album “Play On” proves why she is the reigning Academy of Country Music Awards Entertainer of the Year. The tracks range from radio friendly dance songs to soaring ballads.

The disc opens with the first single “Cowboy Casanova,” an upbeat song that features Underwood’s fun, lighthearted side. “Casanova” has already become a radio and video hit, reaching No. 5 on the country charts and No. 1 on CMT’s “Top 20 Countdown.”

The album’s other dance track is “Undo It,” co-written by “American Idol’s” Kara Dioguardi. The song picks up the cheatin’ boyfriend story where “Last Name” and “Before He Cheats” left off.

This song is tailor made for country nightclubs and karaoke nights, with its soulful twang and sing-a-long rock tinged chorus.

Underwood quickly changes gears when “Undo It” is followed by the beautifully broken-hearted “Someday When I Stop Loving You.”

On “Someday” Underwood chooses a more tender approach and it really brings out the simplicity of the lyrics.

Because she came to success on “American Idol,” when she sings Underwood feels like a friend who is just telling a story.

This is most apparent on “Temporary Home,” where she sings about foster homes and hospitals being temporary homes and finding one’s place in the world.

Underwood is known for her huge voice which she puts on full display on the emotional track “Unapologize.” For every girl who’s said “I love you” a little too soon into the relationship, this is the story of what had been said the next day.

Co-written by singer/songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, “Unapologize” is one of the most personal songs on the album and has a more pop sound that makes it a perfect crossover single.

It is followed by the requisite country break-up song “What Can I Say,” the track is a duet with the trio Sons of Sylvia. The song is a heart-breaking tale of a once great love gone bad. Having the song as a duet brings the sentiment of it home and makes the listener feel as if it knows these people.

The album ends with the title song “Play On.” The anthemic track is an inspirational tale of fighting against the odds and overcoming adversity.

The uplifting lyrics combined with Underwood’s soaring voice will give the most ardent cynic a moment of emotional reflection.

Underwood co-wrote seven of the album’s 12 songs giving it a more a personal feel and adding a level of maturity to an already impressive career.

“Play On” is an excellent example of how to blend classic country with an updated sound to create a great album that fans of all genres will appreciate.

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