Review: “Play” by Brad Paisley

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This new album from country music hitmaker Brad Paisley is a slight breath of fresh air – certainly it’s head and shoulders above 90 percent of the usual Nashville crap.  Play is mostly guitar-fueled instrumentals, and Paisley as a picker ain’t bad at all.  He does the usual country raveups and tosses in some stylistic detours like the surf thumper “Turf’s Up” or “Les Is More,” played in the style of guitar pioneer Les Paul.  Oh, he throws in some vocal tunes for the girls – “Start A Band” is a goof duet with Keith Urban and “Come On In” features the late Buck Owens.  Paisley even remakes his own hit “Waiting On A Woman” with a guest appearance by … wait for it … Andy Griffith.  B.B. King shows up to play and sing on “Let The Good Times Roll,” the obligatory kinda-blues number.  The album’s centerpiece “Cluster Pluck” features a traffic jam on guitars with guest pickers James Burton, Vince Gill, Redd Volkaert and many others.  Despite the stellar lineup, the song is pretty standard stuff. Upon first listen I was thinking, this is OK, but why is this boy trying so hard?  Maybe he wants to show everyone he’s more than just a pretty-boy country singer who happens to be a good guitar player.  So instead of trying to be George Strait, Brad wants to be, uh, Roy Clark?  Well, give Brad Paisley points for trying; Play is just what the title promises – some nice clean fun.

MP3: “Come On In” by Brad Paisley with Buck Owens

MP3: “Turf’s Up” by Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley official website

Stream the whole album for free

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