This Is Country Music Review - Taste Of Country

Country superstars are held to a higher standard because their new albums are inevitably compared to previous efforts. Brad Paisley has set a pretty high bar, and reaches it just about with his eighth studio album, This Is Country Music. The album is built like Dolly Parton: a little top-heavy, with everything past the halfway point struggling to stand out from what weve seen from other albums. Its worth the $10-14 youll spend at Walmart or at digital retailers when its released today because there are some truly precious moments, including a daring duet with Carrie Underwood that promises to be his next single. The duet, Remind Me, is for anyone whos ever yearned for the goosebumps their spouse gave them in the early days of courtship. We didnt care if people stared / Wed make out in a crowd somewhere / Somebody would tell us to get a room / Its hard to believe that was me and you, Paisley sings before Underwood begs,Remind me / Remind me. The song is a risk for Paisley, because his voice struggles to stand up next to Underwoods. But whose wouldnt? Other highlights include the Josh Thompson co-written ballad A Man Didnt Have to Die. The song sings like James Wesleys Real, but Paisley adds a sharpness to the story that only a veteran songwriter like himself can conjure. A man dont have to die to go to hell / No, you dont have to die to go to hell, he sings during the chorus. In an instant, listeners are standing in every American town thats lost a factory, been ravaged by storms or forgotten by highways and mini-malls. There are 15 tracks on This Is Country Music probably three too many, but they are each unique to Paisleys pen and well-branded style. However, some may feel too familiar and almost predictable to his biggest fans. Theres the song for a guys guy (Camouflage), and the tender love song that holds nothing back (New Favorite Memory). An old man appears in Love Her Like Shes Leavin and then theres the dirty joke song that only the Machiavellian Paisley can pull off (Be the Lake). A few others will be decided upon by each listener. Some could argue Toothbrush is more a photograph from the Brad and Kim (Williams-Paisley, his wife) family album than a relatable hit, while others wont be able to say anything between the tears streaming down their faces. Clint Eastwood offers his voice and whistles in Eastwood, the token guitar instrumental. Once again, Paisley shreds. Youll love this album if youre just getting into his music, or are helplessly in love with all things Brad. If youre getting a little tired of Paisleys formula, you may just want to download your favorite singles; the title-track and Old Alabama are already available. This Is Country Music is a good detailing on a pretty sexy sports car. It still purrs like a kitten, but Paisley may consider adding some different rims or a little more chrome if he hopes to still turn heads in the future.