COUN­TRY

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music - Polly Coufos

WITH his fifth album ( sixth count­ing last year’s Christ­mas col­lec­tion) Brad Pais­ley marks him­self as the best all- round con­tem­po­rary main­stream artist Nashville has to of­fer. A su­perb gui­tarist, singer and song­writer, the ever- in­ven­tive Pais­ley keeps find­ing new ways to look at mod­ern life and put th­ese ob­ser­va­tions in mem­o­rable set­tings. Pais­ley writes non- nov­elty songs that re­main funny on re­peated lis­ten­ings. On­line , a dis­cus­sion of chat- room habits, de­liv­ers the mem­o­rable tag ‘‘ I’m so much cooler on­line’’. He then gives the song a wicked mu­si­cal punch­line cour­tesy of a school march­ing band. The rac­ing Mr Po­lice­man ends with a blis­ter­ing gui­tar solo and a coda that ref­er­ences Jim­mie Rodgers and South Park . The boy’s nearly as smart as he is funny. Bal­anc­ing the laughs with some eye- moist­en­ing bal­lads, a jaw- drop­ping in­stru­men­tal ( Throt­tle­neck ), a duet with Car­rie Un­der­wood, some com­edy from the Kung Pao Bucka­roos and a gospel song, Pais­ley may have set­tled on a for­mula, but it shows no signs of wear­ing thin.

5th Gear Brad Pais­ley Arista/ SonyBMG

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