Its a good CD, I like it!

For Underwood, there’s no holding back on ‘Play On’
NASHVILLE ó This time, Carrie Underwood feels as if she has some room to play.
She has a healthy string of chart-topping singles under her belt since winning American Idol in 2005. Her latest, the almost-urban Cowboy Casanova, is in the top five on the country singles airplay chart and climbing. Her first two albums have sold well enough that a good first week for her third ñPlay On, out Tuesday ñ could push her past the 10 million mark.
“I wanted to get out of my comfort zone,” Underwood says. So she took familiar Nashville co-writers and added outside influences such as Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, fellow Oklahoman Zac Maloy (who once fronted the rock band The Nixons), Canadian singer/songwriter Chantal Kreziazuk and her husband, Our Lady Peace frontman Raine Maida.
“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.”
The pressure to match previous successes, she says, came with her second album, 2007’s Carnival Ride. “Everybody was cautious,” she says. “We took a step forward, but we weren’t trying anything crazy, right?”
Underwood doesn’t get too crazy on Play On, though she did cut a remarkably country-sounding track with Swedish producer Max Martin, known for his work with pop divas Britney Spears, Pink and Kelly Clarkson.
Underwood, who will co-host the 43rd Country Music Association Awards next week and have her own variety special on Fox in December, is careful with the new album’s pacing: For every danceable track like Cowboy Casanova or Songs Like This, there’s a sentimental ballad like Mama’s Song or inspirational message like Temporary Home.
“There’s got to be good balance,” she says. “That’s something people do know me for, especially the bigger ballads like Change, things like that. We got some money notes. I can’t not throw those in.”