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Brad Paisley

American Saturday Night – 2009 (SonyBMG)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley has grown up on his eighth album. Yes, the West Virginian maintains a sense of humor, but apparently aging has left its mark on a maturing singer who has never forsaken his country roots. That is ever so apparent in songs like Anything Like Me and Oh Yeah, You're Gone. The former finds Paisley looking at the passage of time through his son's life in a tender, but not sappy look. On the latter, he's a five-year-old boy who doesn't get what he wants, which his grandfather notices. The young man learns good lessons from the old man about not getting everything in life. Paisley previously made humor of high tech, but not on the second single Welcome to the Future where he talks about the changing world, including U.S. racial relations, as being a fact. His number one hit Then also looks at time in the form of a relationship that grows with a tenderness to his vocal delivery. Water recalls summer fun and chicks.

Paisley does not shy away from humor. The Pants is extremely catchy with very hooky chorus amidst the lines "It's not who wears the pants/It's who wears the skirt." Catch All the Fish is a good time drinking song that also works. You Do the Math indicates that a woman is needed to have a relationship. On other CDs, Paisley was veering towards novelty territory a bit too much at times, but here he stays just on this side of being too cutesy.

Paisley, once again, shows several different sides of his musical personality, including great guitar playing from country to blues (She's Her Own Woman), and it all sticks. Getting older isn't so bad with Paisley at the wheel.