Street Sounds: Paisley keeps it real and twangy

Brad Paisley: This is Country Music

Country artist Brad Paisley wears his signature white cowboy hat on the cover of his new CD

Country artist Brad Paisley wears his signature white cowboy hat on the cover of his new CD

Nashville based mega-star, Brad Paisley’s got it all: talent, image, looks. What else is needed?

On his eighth album, This is Country Music, Paisley lays it on the table with the title and then proceeds to open a grab bag.

Paisley is good enough to buck the Nashville music machine and his expressive chops and articulate guitar are all over the 15 songs herein.

His Telecaster talks in the grand tradition of Roy Clarke and Glen Campbell and Paisley is the new face of guitar-based slick country music. But unlike Campbell, Paisley doesn’t have any really cool, fringe-type songs. Yeah, and Waylon Jennings cut a version of MacArthur Park, but that was then, and this is country music now –– Paisley style.

Camouflage boasts a Springsteen-style sing-a-long chorus (circa Born in the USA) backed with a scorching honky-tonk instrumental –– that alone makes the song.

As an instrumentalist, Paisley is contributing to the cause. As a vocalist, he’s melodic and clear; easy on the ears.

Remind Me (with Carrie Underwood) is a contender for a single you don’t want to admit liking. It’s a guilty pleasure; perfect for wistful singing on a long drive. Add Old Alabama (featuring Alabama, of course) to that.

This is Country Music is a good album that demonstrates Paisley’s command of the slick country genre circa 2011 –– there’s a lot of beer, ol’ red, white and blue, God, redneck girls, cancer, more beer and layoffs –– just keepin’ it real and twangy.

–– Dean Gordon_Smith is the music reviewer for The Morning Star. His column, Street Sounds, appears every Friday.