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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Carrie Underwood’s third album ‘Play On’ out Tuesday

Music Review Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood is doing the big media barrage to promote her third album “Play On.”

She broadened the types of producers she used for this album, including Kara DioGuardi, Canadian singer songwriter Chantal Kreziazuk and Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida, according to a piece in USA Today. She also worked with Max Martin, who is the kingpin for the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, Britney Spears and more recently, Adam Lambert. “Cowboy Casanova,” her latest hit, was coproduced by Mike Elizondo, who has worked with Nelly Furtado and Pink.

“I’d take some other small element and bring it into our world to see what we could do with it,” Underwood says. “Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but I think it ended up being different and progressive.”

And here’s more thoughts from an AP story:

“Play On” is still very much country — there’s banjo, pedal steel and mandolin — but Underwood has added different musical textures, which points to her maturation as an artist.

“I’m not trying to move anywhere away from country music,” she declares while sitting in a production studio, dressed comfortably in jeans, a T-shirt and sandals. “I love what I do. And let’s say ‘Cowboy Casanova’ crosses over, it’s going to cross over as it is — fiddles, steel and all. Growing up I never liked it when people would have a country song and then change it for a different format.”

The AP story noted that she is dating an athlete — again. This time, Ottawa Senators center Mike Fisher. She even wrote a song that AP says seemed to talk a bit about Fisher. In fact, she wrote seven songs for the album and has gotten a bit more personal.

And this Tulsa World story summarizes her TV appearances this week, which include Letterman tonight, Good Morning America tomorrow and Regis & Kelly Thursday. On Nov. 12, A&E debuts her biography. She visits Conan Nov. 16 and Kimmel Nov. 19, plus “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Nov. 18.

Here’s an early review from the Houston Chronicle. Not good:

She seems oddly detached from much of the material here — not dirty enough during the uptempos and not able to conjure the drama needed for the breakup songs. Yes, she sounds terrific. And to be fair, it’s not like the material allows her much wiggle room. Everything stays safely in the narrow confines of country radio.

That’s fine for a post-Idol newbie. But Underwood should not only be raising the bar, she should be setting it. Play On will likely sell millions of copies and spawn several hit singles. But it feels lazy and uninspired, especially in the wake of exciting musical ventures from both Idol (Kelly Clarkson, Brooke White, Adam Lambert) and country (Miranda Lambert, Taylor Swift) peers.

AP was far kinder:

Underwood balances fat-chord rockers like “Undo It” with bubbly pop songs like “This Time” and beautiful ballads like “What Can I Say,” a duet with the trio Sons of Sylvia. In the end, this tremendously gifted singer proves she can move in several directions while always sounding like she’s moving forward

49 comments Add your comment

Rickster

November 2nd, 2009
4:09 pm

Carrie, Adam Lambert called and said go easy on the eyeliner! :-)

Deirdre

November 2nd, 2009
4:09 pm

Seems to be some conflicting reviews. Is it innovative or isn’t it? As always, I’m looking forward to what she has to offer.

Rickster

November 2nd, 2009
4:10 pm

But I’m definitely thinking “Stocking Stuffer!” :-)

Rodney Ho

November 2nd, 2009
4:15 pm

Hmmm… Rickster, that sounds vaguely dirty. But perfectly allowable! :)

Rickster

November 2nd, 2009
4:17 pm

C’mon Rodney! I’m talking CHRISTMAS present!! :-)

Rickster

November 2nd, 2009
4:18 pm

Boy… Rodney goes out to California and his mind goes straight to the gutter! :-)

kelly&carriefan

November 2nd, 2009
4:23 pm

Rickster! LOL, boys….

Anyway. I will be picking up a copy of it tomorrow. But I have heard the album already once. I’ll have a more detailed opinion when I can listen to the lyrics more carefully. The impression I got at first listen: it was quite more on the “ballad” types. Not that I mind that. I just enjoy fun, upbeat Carrie. So far, I’ve really enjoyed Cowboy Casanova, Undo It (probably an early fave), and Mama’s Song. Temporary Home has a lovely message. I think she’s trying to channel Jesus, Take The Wheel with that one, while Undo It is reminiscent of Flat on The Floor.

PS. Rodney, thanks for a new topic. Definitely appreciate it. *g* Will give y’all my review of Blake later when I can write it. Hope Pacman doesn’t kill it…. :)

JTesla

November 2nd, 2009
4:42 pm

I like that picture, that is how you do an album photo. Give me a second, I need to stare at it a bit more to purge all memory of crazy man…

I can tell by the photo that she is looking at me, not any of you.

Looking forward to the reviews K&CFan.

Rickster

November 2nd, 2009
5:03 pm

You’re wrong Your Royal Snarkness…. Carrie’s looking at those daisies, get ready to play “He Loves Me – He Loves Me Not” for ME. :-)

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

JTesla

November 2nd, 2009
5:49 pm

Now it is time for a little factoid: The last time we had a blog entry that did not mention Adam Lambert was October 25th.

That really isn’t that bad, at least I don’t mind too much. However, I think it is funny that the last time we had one mention that Kris guy was back in May just after the finale. ;)

flutters

November 2nd, 2009
8:22 pm

Rodney, Mike Elizondo did NOT co-produce Cowboy Casanova. He cowrote it with Carrie Underwood and Brett James. All of Play On is produced by Mark Bright except for Quitter which is produced by Max Martin and Shellback.

Justin

November 2nd, 2009
8:30 pm

Rodney, this is off topic, but I saw your post a couple posts back where you said you wanted to interview Katharine, so as a member of her fansite, I told one of Kat’s record label’s publicist about you and gave her your e-mail. She wrote back saying it’s worth doing and she will e-mail the team about it (you). So keep a look out for it! Maybe you will get that wish!

JTesla

November 2nd, 2009
9:03 pm

JUSTIN!

We need a McPhee interview.

Harm

November 2nd, 2009
9:40 pm

More non idol related excellent breaking news tomorrow!

Deirdre

November 2nd, 2009
10:19 pm

Justin! Thanks! maybe Rodney will get that interview.

Nana

November 3rd, 2009
6:09 am

Good Morning Everybody.

Today’s Quote: “Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.”

Congrats to Carrie! :) Some of her songs may cross over like Shania, Faith and a few others, but I don’t think she will ever leave country. She is country through and through.

Justin, if Rodney gets the interview with Kat, you will be the man. What a nice way to pitch for him.

As some of you know, Penny had to drop from Hollywood week due to her pregnancy, but…….are you ready for this news? She is having TWINS!!!!!!!!! I found out last night and was so excited that I would hardly sleep. Don’t know the sex yet, but will soon.

Mercedes S.

November 3rd, 2009
6:28 am

WOW, Nana, congratulations!! And may Penny be the first twin-mom in the next next Idol…

Meanwhile, all you Atlanta folks who are supposed to vote today, VOTE!

Deirdre

November 3rd, 2009
6:59 am

Morning!

Nana!!!! What excellent news! Congrats!

Justin, don’t know if you’ll see this but how’s college life treating you?

Harriett

November 3rd, 2009
8:42 am

Good news, Nana. I’m excited for you and for Penny and family! And, hey, Justin! Good to hear from you. Hope Rodney does get the interview! George Jones has a lot to say about whether or not he considers Carrie to be “country.” Taylor Swift, too.

Lara

November 3rd, 2009
9:16 am

Wow, Nana, that is some news!!! Congrats to Penny and hope she has 2 wonderful little bundles of joy!!! Man, I wish even more now that she was able to stay in the competition – could you imagine….hits a high note and breaks her water!! Now that is some television! hee hee
I know Carrie will do well with this album, she does look beautiful in that picture. She knows how to carry herself well. Now, if she would just learn to not date these athletes….I know some blogsters she should give a chance…

Deirdre

November 3rd, 2009
9:31 am

MJ is reporting a strange happening on Aussie Idol. One of the contestants has quit. He said that he’s learned that show biz is not for him. This guy had made it to the top 5 and called it quits on elimination night. The show announced that he had not been eliminated by votes but didn’t say who had received the lowest number of votes.

wreckedpizza

November 3rd, 2009
9:38 am

Welcome back, Mr. Ho! Thanks for more Carrie to brighten our day. I will be purchasing “Play On”; never have cared what the critics say. I like what I like and that is the way wreckedpizza rolls!
(And for the record, Carrie’s eyes are locked on “the pizza”…)

kelly&carriefan

November 3rd, 2009
9:43 am

Nana! That is amazing news! Congrats!!!!

Aw, Lara, yes. She shouldn’t date those athletes. If she wants to really expand her horizons, you know…Blogsters are hot…just sayin’. ;)

D, that is quite interesting. It’s almost like Mario Vazquez, but even he didn’t make it that far his season. I wonder why anyone would quit that far into the season. Doesn’t make sense unless there’s something he’s hiding…yes, behind the grassy knoll.

kelly&carriefan

November 3rd, 2009
9:51 am

Broke it into a different post just in case…here’s my Blake Lewis review for y’all:

Blake sure is an interesting guy. I’ll disclaim that I wasn’t really a huge fan of his while he was on Idol, and I don’t know any of his music. That said, I will give him credit. He’s definitely entertaining and quite different. The first thing to surprise me about the show is that he doesn’t have a band. It’s really a drummer and him onstage. He’s his own instruments. He had loop pedals and at one point freestyled a beatboxing song. I’m not too familiar with it, but I was pleasantly surprised. The crowd definitely seemed into it. I’d say this is where he shines. Vocally, he struggled at times…his voice cracked at least twice. Since I’m not a fan, I can’t really provide too much of setlist. But after looking it up, the songs I recognized as him performing were How Many Words, Freak, Sad Song, Four Letter Word, She Loves The Way, Give It To Me, and closed with Break Anotha. His interaction with the audience was fairly decent. Relating stories about winning second prize at a Halloween costume the night before without being aware of it, comparing Atlanta to Seattle (cold and drizzly), being inspired by Prince (calling him is Idol), and writing music with Ryan Tedder. To which, I shouted into the crowd. “Not you too!” ;)

All in all, it was a fairly good show. He performed for about an hour and I left thinking I’ll check out his music. I give him credit for showing up for Pride…not many Idol men have done that. He’s actually the only one that I’m aware of.

linny ,,,=^..^=,,,

November 3rd, 2009
9:56 am

Unless the Aussie guy just honestly realized that the pressure and the hype are not what he wants out of life … doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing to quit something when you know either it’s hurting you in the long run, or for some reason hurting your family and loved ones. Would be interesting to know why, but, honestly, it’s HIS business and if he doesn’t want to talk about the reasons, i say good for him for not talking. Too much gossip and BS already in that business!

CONGRATS NANA!!!!!!!!! wooohoooo!!! And Harm…. looking for your new-news too…. And frankly i don’t CARE what George Jones thinks about the new generation of country singers. Thank the good Lord above not everyone feels they have to sing like Tammy Whiiiiiiiiinette.

linny ,,,=^..^=,,,

November 3rd, 2009
9:59 am

And while we’re talking country music here… anyone watch DWTS last night? How do you feel about the Paso Doble being danced to a freaking COUNTRY song????? done in country style, i mean. It sure felt weird, and OMG did the Tango Team ever blow them away!?!? Last year the Paso was more powserful but this year…uh uh…tango took top tier!!!

but i think poor sick Lacy and Mark from the Food network will be going home this week, not sure who else.

Nana

November 3rd, 2009
10:47 am

Agree with linny’s assessment of DWTS last night. Also think Lacy & Mark will be one couple and Kelly & Louie will be the other that will be going home.

Appreciate all the congrats on the upcoming birth of my twin great grandbabies. That will make 7 for me!!!!!

JTesla

November 3rd, 2009
11:21 am

Thanks for the Blake review kelly&carriefan! It is almost as if I were there.

Harm

November 3rd, 2009
11:59 am

Nana.double congratulations on your excellent breaking news!!! :-)

This well to do couple decides to get a divorce, so the man buys a new gigantic house for his ex-wife and children to live in. The wife and children leave the new house, so the ex-husband quits paying for it! The house ends up with HUD. The house is across the steet from my oldest daughter, so she tells my youngest daughter to look at the house, which she does. My son-in-law and daughter decide to bid on the house and HUD tells them that their chances would be better if they didn’t already have a house. Shortly after they got married three years ago, my son-in-law bought a very tiny starter house for 90.000 and it was a VA loan, 100 percent in his name only. Bought before the economy went south.

Excellent news part!!! HUD tells them to let my daughter apply only, so she bids 92,OOO On Saturday and wins the house on Monday, the house orginally appraised for 179,000, thats quite a discount! They are going to try and rent the other house out until the market improves so they can sell it.

I’m going to see the house later on today and the best part is that both my girls will be living on the same street!!!

wreckedpizza

November 3rd, 2009
12:36 pm

Kris Allen is the reigning AI winner. Just thought it needed to be said…and who is Blake Lewis?

Missy08

November 3rd, 2009
12:50 pm

Blake’s Set List from Pride:

Freestyle Intro
Heartbreak on Vinyl
Binary Love
Freak
I Left My Baby for You
She Loves the Way (Freestyle)
How Many Words
Sad Song
Please Don’t Stop
Break Anotha

I though he sounded pretty good. I think the kind of voice you like is a matter of personal preference. He’s very dynamic on stage. The crowd seemed into his performance.

kelly&carriefan

November 3rd, 2009
12:53 pm

Harm, that is pretty awesome news for your daughter.

Wreckedpizza, I actually have been hearing Kris’ single on Top 40. Still haven’t heard “the other guy,” not sure when his was sent to them. Blake Lewis = some beatboxer guy ;)

Heather MacDonald

November 3rd, 2009
12:59 pm

Nana, congrats on the expected twins! That’s fabulous news!

wreckedpizza

November 3rd, 2009
1:21 pm

Thanks, kelly&carriefan; NOW I remember. Seriously, Blake’s not my cup-of-tea, but I wish him success. Don’t begrudge success for any of the AI alumni.
Going now to get Carrie’s cd. Been listening to her first two all day to get extra pumped! Have a great afternoon, everyone.

kelly&carriefan

November 3rd, 2009
1:45 pm

So I picked up a shiny little cd at lunch…some pretty blonde, sure can sing. Not sure it’s quite country, tho… ;)

JTesla

November 3rd, 2009
2:02 pm

I might be interested in it if its not quite country.

Rickster

November 3rd, 2009
2:38 pm

JT you know you’d buy the CD just to gaze at the cover photo. Wasn’t it you the other day that said people wouldn’t buy CDs based on the cover? :-)

kelly&carriefan

November 3rd, 2009
2:47 pm

Um, not to sound shallow, but that is why I buy CDs, especially of the arists I really follow. Otherwise, I can just grab off iTunes. I like pretty pictures and the ones inside Play On, sure were worth the price. I call dibs on the middle one, boys. :)

Nana

November 3rd, 2009
3:43 pm

Harm congrats to your daughter and son-in-law. Sounds like they got a huge bargin.

Time to head home, so everybody have a great evening and be safe .

Cheers all! :)

Harriett

November 3rd, 2009
3:47 pm

Bye, Nana. Harm, wonderful news! Am up to my ears in work again, so no time to join in the fun. Looking forward to things slowing down here as the holidays approach! Hope to talk more tomorrow (if I find anything interesting to contribute :) ).

JTesla

November 3rd, 2009
4:28 pm

I need to add my congratulations to Nana and Harm as well!

As for the pictures: sorry, but last night I saw a picture of Kim Kardashian in a snow white outfit. All else pales by comparison. Sure in 10 to 15 years she will look like Shauna Sands, but I’m interested in today, not tomorrow. Rodney, when are you going to blog about Kim? There is a built in link to Idol with Ryan Seacrest producing her former show?

Nana

November 4th, 2009
6:05 am

Good Morning Everybody!

Today’s Quote: “The finest inheritance you can give to a child is to allow it to make its own way, completely on its own feet.”

Be glad when my body gets adjusted to the new time! They just need to leave it alone. You know the saying “It’s not nice to fool mother nature.”

Highlander

November 4th, 2009
7:40 am

Good morning, gang! Been out of touch for a few days so had to catch up.

Congratulations Nana and Harm on your families’ good news!

Gotta love the journalistic guts of the critic from the Houston Chronicle!! Mentioning Brooke White as an equal (or better is his/her mind?) to Carrie. Brooke White??? Brooke WHO????? …Oh, yeah, her music has really been burning up the airwaves and out selling everyone! **Sarcasm Alert**

Gimme a friggin’ break!

Deirdre

November 4th, 2009
7:48 am

Morning!

Adam Lambert was looking good last night at the premiere of 2012:

http://vodpod.com/watch/2453893-adam-lambert-photos-2012-premiere

Rickster

November 4th, 2009
8:42 am

Morning, all. Since it’s supposed to be Joke Wednesday… here we go:

A family of three go to the zoo. Around lunch time, the father goes to get food, while mom & son stand in front of the elephant exhibit. Johnny points at the male elephant and asks, “Mommy? What’s that thing hanging down from the elephant?”

Mommy replies, “That’s the elephant’s trunk.” She goes on to explain what the trunk is.
Johnny replies, “No Mommy. The other thing!”
Mommy replies, “That’s his tail.”
Johnny (exasperated) says, “No Mommy. The thing underneath!”
Mommy (blushing) says, “Oh… that’s nothing.”

Daddy comes back with the food & drinks. Mommy goes to wash her hands.

Johnny points at the male elephant and asks, “Daddy? What’s that thing hanging down from the elephant?”

Daddy replies, “That’s the elephant’s trunk.” Daddy explains to Johnny what the trunk is.
Johnny replies, “No Daddy. The other thing!”
Daddy replies, “That’s his tail.”
Johnny (exasperated) says, “No Daddy. The thing underneath!”
Daddy very delicately explains male elephant anatomy to Johnny.

Johnny thinks things over, and asks, “Daddy. I asked Mommy what it was, and she said it was nothing. Why did she say that Daddy?”

Daddy puffs out his chest and with a smile on his face says, “Son… I have spoiled that woman!”

Nana

November 4th, 2009
8:44 am

In some of the pix, he could be a female Lisa Minelli with the dark eyebrows and hairdo.

Thanks Deirdre

Rodney Ho

November 4th, 2009
9:18 am

Good morning! New blog entry up.

Kathy

November 10th, 2009
2:30 pm

I have the CD and it is AMAZING!!!!! The best one she has come out with yet!!!! Everyone needs to go buy it today!!!!

samantha

April 26th, 2010
5:57 pm

carrie, is hott and has a wonderful voice :) yall are dumbos