Underwood's sophomore set due In October


NEW YORK -- "American Idol" star Carrie Underwood has penciled in an Oct. 23 release date for her sophomore 19 Recordings/Arista album, which is as-yet-untitled. Production is being supplied by Mark Bright, who was behind the boards for seven tracks on Underwood's smash hit 2005 debut, "Some Hearts."

Underwood was in the enviable position of preparing the new album while "Some Hearts" remained a fixture in the top 20 and was still generating hit singles 80-plus weeks after its release.

When she spoke to Billboard early this year about her next effort, she expressed optimism that she'd be more involved in the songwriting this time around. "I'm very realistic about the whole situation. I know that some [artists] think they are really awesome writers and they are not-I'm the opposite," she said. "I just want to go in and try, and if nothing more, I go in with the writers and they get a sense of what I would like to sing about."

Underwood's music will also remain firmly in the country camp. "I really, really like being a part of country music-and hopefully they like having me-so I don't have any intentions of trying anything else," she said.