A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
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What's the story?
PLAY ON is the third full-length album from American Idol alum-turned-country superstar Carrie Underwood. The record once again finds Underwood doing what she does best -- giving exceptional vocal performances about wholesome themes like doing good deeds for those in need and looking for meaning in life beyond this world. That said, the album does have its edgier moments in tunes such as "Songs Like This," where Underwood wants to get revenge against a guy who's hurt her: "Wanna find some boy, rip his heart right out / First man I see, gonna take him down / It ain't the Christian thing to do, they say / But someone, somewhere's gotta pay." Still, the complete lack of graphic language and near-absence of adult content make this record fine even for younger kids.
Is it any good?
Play On is classic new country with Carrie Underwood flair: it combines traditional slide guitar, pop sensibilities, and Underwood's booming voice with just a slight hint of twang. The tracks don't demonstrate any great leaps of musical creativity, but it's hard not to be drawn in by their palatable rhythms and the spot-on singing. Highlights include the infectious hook in "Undo It," which finds Underwood falling hard for a big new crush, and the power-vocals in the Good-Samaritan anthem "Change."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how many country singers, including Carrie Underwood, often like to tell meaningful stories in their music. For example, the song "Temporary Home" describes the experiences of a young foster child, a single mother, and an elderly man on his death bed. What value can songs like this have beyond the listening enjoyment they bring?
Talk about Carrie Underwood's career. Do you think she would be a megastar today if she hadn't appeared on American Idol? Why is she the most successful Idol to date?