Whatever you feel about “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood’s third album, you have to love her digs at a famous quarterback she once dated.
Both “Cowboy Casanova” and “Songs Like This” are girl-power anthems about bad boys and can be seen as not-so-thinly-veiled references to Underwood’s romance with Cowboys’ field general Tony Romo. Both are upbeat, catchy “Before He Cheats”-esque numbers and I think they will be extremely popular.
Other songs off the album I enjoyed and think will get some airplay are “Undo It,” which makes me think Kelly-Clarkson-goes-country, “Unapologize,” a song about not being sorry you blurted out your feelings to someone (we’ve all been there), and “Someday When I Stop Loving You,” a pretty ballad that shows off Underwood’s pure vocals better than the heavy-on-the-studio-production faster numbers.
There is also a number called “Change,” which reminds us all how much one can do by making small changes in the world. It’s not my cup of tea, but I applaud the message and (like LA Times reviewer Randy Lewis) it immediately made me think “Idol Gives Back.”
The other six songs on the album are all fine. Underwood can obviously sing, but none of them really stood out for me as hits. Of course, nowadays that’s about what you get with an album: a few stand-outs and a bunch of duds.
I think “Play On” will probably be just as successful as “Some Hearts” and “Carnival Ride” were. If you like those albums, you’ll like this one. If you didn’t like those, Carrie Underwood’s music probably isn’t for you. With “Play On,” I don’t know that I’d run right out and buy the whole CD, but there are a few numbers I’ll download off iTunes and add to my playlist.