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Play On
Studio album by Carrie Underwood
Released November 3, 2009 (2009-11-03)
(see release history)
Recorded 2008-2009
Starstruck Studios (Nashville, TN)
Maratone Studios (Stockholm, Sweden)
Germano Studios (New York, NY)
Genre Country
Length 48:28
Label Arista Nashville/19 Recordings
Producer Mark Bright
Max Martin
Professional reviews
Carrie Underwood chronology
Carnival Ride
Play On
Singles from Play On
  1. "Cowboy Casanova"
    Released: September 14, 2009
  2. "Temporary Home"
    Released: December 14, 2009[11]

Play On is the third studio album from American country singer Carrie Underwood. It was released in the United States on November 3, 2009. The first single, "Cowboy Casanova", was released to country radio on September 14, 2009.[12] In addition, three promotional singles were made available to iTunes prior to the release of the album. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 318,000 copies; and rated as the highest first week sales for a female artist in 2009, before being overtaken by Susan Boyle a few weeks later.[13] It is her second album to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200, and her third to debut atop the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Play On charted at #58 on Billboard's year-end chart. As of the week ending March 10, 2010, its sales status is at 1,377,000[14], making it Underwood's third album to top 1,000,000 albums sold in the United States alone and has been certified Platinum by the RIAA[15].



The album was originally to have included some songs that Underwood wrote with Ne-Yo.[16] One of the tracks entitled "Look At Me" was previously recorded by country singer, Alan Jackson, on the Billy: The Early Years soundtrack. Vince Gill sang background vocals on the track.[17] "Mama's Song" sold more than 31,000 copies in its debut week.[18]

On October 16, 2009, Underwood made a promotional stop in Singapore to promote her upcoming album to the Asian media. The album was released on November 2 in Singapore and various parts of Asia, followed by a November 3 release in the United States.[19] Underwood performed on The Late Show with David Letterman on November 2, and performed a special outdoor concert at Lincoln Center on Good Morning America on album release day, and rounded out her week with a visit to Live with Regis and Kelly on November 5.[20]

Underwood also performed another outdoor concert for Good Morning America at the Sommet Center in Nashville on November 11, 2009, with Brad Paisley.

On the November 16, 2009 episode of the The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, Underwood performed "Temporary Home", which is the second official single from Play On.[21]


The album received mixed reviews. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic gave the album 2.5 out of 5 stars. He argues that "Carrie is still nominally a country artist and sometimes will sing supported by fiddles and steel guitar, but this is crossover pop pure and simple, whether it's the thundering rhythms on the Shania-styled strut "Cowboy Casanova" or the succession of maudlin melodies on the preponderance of power ballads."[1] Leah Greenblatt rated it B in Entertainment Weekly, saying "If it seems vaguely insulting to call the smashingly successful Idol alum’s material formulaic, know at least that it is, three albums in, one the most well-honed formulas in the business."[2]

Sean Daly from the St. Petersburg Times argues that Play On is Underwood's "weakest album to date," but predicts that the album will "sell like gangbusters." Daly says that Cowboy Casanova, "co-written by 50 Cent buddy Mike Elizondo, brazenly bites from both 'Before He Cheats' and 'Last Name'." Daly highlights the song Someday When I Stop Loving You. He says that it "is so good. It has a vague '70s feel, reminiscent of all those great old Chicago songs."

Blake Boldt of 9513 (Country Music) graded the album 3 out of 5 stars. He states "Underwood’s third disc, Play On, starts promisingly, with “Cowboy Casanova”, an ode to a hard-to-keep lothario, plows along to a grungy electric guitar laced with a curling pedal steel line. At her best, Underwood excels at handling the finest storytelling that Nashville has to offer. The album’s strongest track is “Someday When I Stop Loving You”, a brooding tune framed beautifully by her delicate performance, while “What Can I Say”, a collaboration with sibling trio Sons of Sylvia, is a simple, elegant declaration of longing. He added that the remaining 45 minutes, though, are more Hallmark than honky tonk. Play On is a tastefully-done pop pleasure, with little of the pretentious production that gutted much of her first two discs. Play On, though saddled with its share of loose songwriting, is a convincing reminder of a blonde, budding talent.[22]


Prior to the release of Play On, three promotional singles were made available by iTunes. "Mama's Song" released on October 12 followed by "Temporary Home" which was released on October 20 and "Undo It" released on October 27. also posted a 60 second clip of each song being released on iTunes.

She debuted several of her singles at the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Country Music Association Awards.

She also appeared on several shows to promote her album including Late Show with David Letterman, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Live With Regis and Kelly, Good Morning America, The Tonight Show on NBC, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, American Music Awards, CNN International, and at the Grand Ole Opry.

Underwood also performed in Singapore on October 16, 2009; it is her first public appearance in an Asian country in line of a series of events for the grand opening of the newest shopping attraction in the heart of the city, ION Orchard.[23]


"Cowboy Casanova" served as the lead single for the album. It was released on September 14, 2009, two months before the album's official release and debuted on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs at #26, the fifth highest debut by a female artist on the chart. It eventually held the #1 spot for 1 week for the week of November 21, 2009. It also peaked at #11 on U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It has become the fastest-climbing single of Underwood's career; it is also the fastest-climbing single of 2009 in the country music genre.[24] The second single, "Temporary Home", was released to country radio starting the week of December 14, 2009.[25]

Promotional singles

Prior to the release of the album, three promotional singles were released exclusively on Apple's iTunes Store. These promotional singles should not be confused with ordinary singles.

  • "Mama's Song" was the first promotional single and was released on October 12, 2009.
  • "Temporary Home" is the name of the second promotional single and was released October 20 as a digital download. It is now the second official single to be released off the album on December 14.
  • "Undo It" was the final promotional single to be released from the album on October 27.
Song Peak chart positions Sales
"Mama's Song" 77 68 39,000[26]
"Temporary Home" 92 66 31,000[27]
"Undo It" 86 43 28,000[28]

Track listing

Track Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Cowboy Casanova"   Underwood, Mike Elizondo, Brett James Bright 3:56
2. "Quitter"   Max Martin, Shellback, Savan Kotecha Martin, Shellback 3:40
3. "Mama's Song"   Underwood, Kara DioGuardi, Martin Frederiksen, Luke Laird Bright 4:00
4. "Change"   Katrina Elam, Josh Kear, Chris Tompkins Bright 3:12
5. "Undo It"   Underwood, DioGuardi, Frederiksen, Laird Bright 2:57
6. "Someday When I Stop Loving You"   Hillary Lindsey, Steve McEwan, Gordie Sampson Bright 4:02
7. "Songs Like This"   Marty Dodson, Jerry Flowers, Tom Shapiro Bright 2:37
8. "Temporary Home"   Underwood, Laird, Zac Maloy Bright 4:28
9. "This Time"   Lindsey, McEwan, Sampson Bright 3:51
10. "Look At Me"   Jim Collins, Paul Overstreet Bright 3:15
11. "Unapologize"   Underwood, Lindsey, Raine Maida, Chantal Kreviazuk Bright 4:36
12. "What Can I Say" (featuring Sons of Sylvia) Underwood, David Hodges, McEwan Bright 3:57
13. "Play On"   Underwood, Natalie Hemby, Laird Bright 3:41
US and Canada iTunes Bonus Track [29]
Track Title Writer(s) Producer Length
14. "O Holy Night"   Adolphe Adam Bright 3:58

Release history

Region Date Format Label
Switzerland October 30, 2009 CD, music download Sony Music
Hong Kong November 2, 2009
United Kingdom CD RCA Label Group (UK)
November 3, 2009 Music download
United States CD, music download Arista Nashville
Canada Sony Music
Korea November 4, 2009
Australia[30] November 6, 2009 Columbia, Sony Music
Germany Sony Music
South Africa November 9, 2009
New Zealand
Uruguay November 26, 2009


Underwood will kick off the Play On Tour. This tour will include several legs traveling across the globe, with the first leg focusing on the United States and Canada. The first kicked off in Reading, Pennsylvania on March 11, and will conclude in Spokane, Washington on May 30. Her opening acts/guest performers for the tour will be Craig Morgan and Sons of Sylvia, previously known as The Clark Brothers.

Awards and nominations

Chart performance

The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart as well as the Billboard 200 with first week sales of 318,000 copies.[32] So far, Play On has spent nine consecutive weeks at number two in Top Country Albums Chart, and has stayed in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 for its first ten weeks of release and has so far sold 1,336,000 copies in the US.[33] The album debuted at #91 on the Irish Albums Chart,[34] and #93 on the UK Albums Chart[35] becoming Underwood's first entry on both charts. In Canada, the album debuted at #2 on the Canadian charts with 15,000 sales.[36] The album has become her highest charting in Australia coming in at #3 on the country charts, and #80 on the National Album Charts ARIA Top 100.



Chart (2009) Peak
Australian ARIA Albums Chart[37] 80
Australian ARIA Country Albums Chart[38] 3
Canadian Albums Chart[36] 2
Canadian Top Country Albums 1
Irish Albums Chart[34] 91
Japan Oricon Albums Chart[39] 114
UK Albums Chart[35] 93
U.S. Billboard 200[40] 1
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums[40] 1


Year Single Peak chart positions
US Country US CAN Country CAN
2009 "Cowboy Casanova" 1 11 2 16
"Temporary Home" 3 48 4 79

Other charted songs

Year Single Peak positions
2009 "Mama's Song" 77 68
"Undo It" 86 43
"Change" 109
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Preceded by
This Is It by Michael Jackson
U.S. Billboard 200 number-one album
November 21, 2009
Succeeded by
The Circle by Bon Jovi
Preceded by
Fearless by Taylor Swift
Top Country Albums number-one album
November 21-December 5, 2009
Succeeded by
Fearless by Taylor Swift
Canadian Country Top 50 number-one album
November 8, 2009
Succeeded by
Christmas by Johnny Reid


  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Play On review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-11-01. 
  2. ^ a b Greenblatt, Leah. "Review: Play On". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  3. ^ Daly, Sean. "Carrie Underwood's new album, "Play On", is her weakest yet". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2009-11-17. 
  4. ^ Guha, Keshava. "Carrie Underwood, "Play On"". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 2010-1-16. 
  5. ^ Lewis, Randy. "Album review: Carrie Underwood's 'Play On'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  6. ^ Keefe, Jonathan. "Carrie Underwood: Play On". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  7. ^ Caramanica, Jon. "Critics’ Choice New CDs". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  8. ^ Bjorke, Matt (2009-11-03). "Play On review". Roughstock. Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  9. ^ Boldt, Blake. "Album Review: Carrie Underwood - Play On". The 9513. Retrieved 2009-11-03. 
  10. ^ "Listen Up: Carrie Underwood expands worldview in 'Play On'". USA Today. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  11. ^ Future Releases for Country Radio Stations
  12. ^ Single Releases : MusicRow
  13. ^ (2009-11-11)
  14. ^ Idol Chatter 01-15-2010 "The best-selling Idol albums from 2009"
  15. ^ RIAA Search - Carrie Underwood
  16. ^ Mansfield, Brian (2009-08-25) Carrie Underwood writing with Ne-Yo USA Today.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ Carrie Has the Hottest Country Hit of the Year as the Digital Single for “Cowboy Casanova” Releases Today!
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ [1]
  29. ^
  30. ^ Listen to Carrie's Cowboy Casanova! Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  31. ^
  32. ^ (2009-11-11)
  33. ^
  34. ^ a b [2]
  35. ^ a b [3]
  36. ^ a b [4]
  37. ^ [5]
  38. ^ [6]
  39. ^ Oricon Chart 13/11/09 - Bon Jovi debuta em 1º lugar Retrieved 2009-11-25.
  40. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (2009-11-11). "Carrie Underwood Claims Second No. 1 Album". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-11-11. 


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