Sunday, August 23, 2009

CD Reviews- Brad Paisley- American Saturday Night

The Background:
American Saturday Night
marks the eighth album from the reigning three-time ACM and two-time CMA Male Vocalist winner. In all, Paisley’s albums have launched 14 #1 singles – and the last 10 in a row – with album sales in excess of 10 million units, including his 2x-Platinum 2005 ACM and CMA Album of the Year, Time Well Wasted. American Saturday Night re-teams Paisley with longtime producer Frank Rogers, with whom he’s worked since the release of his million-selling debut, Who Needs Pictures. In an interview with USA Today, Paisley says he's taking a more direct approach with this album: "I'm not so worried about making the songwriters in town sit and take notice," he says, "as I am wanting people to feel like I really meant what I said on this record."

The Review:
From the very beginning, Brad Paisley has not been just a singer and musician, but a songwriter who is a singer and musician. He has an innate ability to write a song that touch on a true emotional level- songs like "We Danced," "He Didn't Have to Be," or "She's Everything" come to mind. But he also has an incredible touch for pointing out the Sienfeldian nuances in life on fun stuff like "Ticks," "I'm Gonna Miss Her," or "Online." His ability to riff on the ironies of life in his funnier songs are a gift. On both sides of that coin, Brad has country music fans loving every word. American Saturday Night is another wonderful combination of this same pen and paper gumbo that country music has come to like about him. Fatherhood may be the reason for a slightly (only slightly) more serious and mature musical theme on this album. During an interview on GAC, Brad admitted that this album is more serious, more thoughtful than previous albums, and that it does show through. From imagining his new son growing up in "Anything Like Me", to the thought of life with a new love in "I Hope That's Me" and the first radio single "Then", he’s on top of his game pulling on heartstrings with excellent lyrics and great melodies. The more lighthearted "American Saturday Night" is commentary on the multiculturalism of America and the current radio single, “Welcome To The Future,” inspired by the election of an African-American President, has meaningful and tangible lyrics. But not to worry, there’s still some comedic relief form of "Catch all the Fish" and "The Pants.” The only disappointment? That there was not a hymn or instrumental song on the album. Found on Brad's previous albums, the hymns were usually a beautiful touch and perhaps something he’ll readdress on future albums. That the regular rocking guitar instrumental is missing isn’t a complete surprise considering an album full of them was released late last year, but they have been solid additions to previous album. Also, a little Kung Pao Buckaroo fun (the old-timers are a blast) would have kept a unique theme going- seeing that it’s the only recording Little Jimmy Dickens is doing these days, it’s a great call-out to some of the greats. This is truly a fantastic album, superior in nearly every way. Lyrically, musically and emotionally, he has hit his stride as an artist.

Sounds Like:
Steve Wariner’s Voice With Jerry Reed’s Humor

Track Highlights (suggested iPod adds):
American Saturday Night
Welcome To The Future
Anything Like Me
Catch All The Fish

The Verdict:
Four And A Half Stars Out Of Five

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