With his new album in hand, many people are quick to point out that Brad Paisley hasn’t had a No. 1 single since way back in 2011 with “Remind Me.” While that might be true, we hardly think it’s an indicator of Paisley’s success or his position in the hearts of country fans. As with all legacies, the story ebbs and flows. There are times when the new kids will set the charts on fire, and those guys who are making good music but aren’t offering anything shiny and new just won’t chart as high. Let’s not confuse chart-topping and panty-dropping with talent, though.
Paisley’s fans may not buy enough copies of Moonshine in the Trunk to land him at the top again, but they still love him and they’ll still show up for his concerts. Paisley’s brand of humorous songs about cliché themes doesn’t need to be No. 1 for Paisley to rake in the money, and fans to continue to name him among their favorite artists. Everything about Moonshine leads us to believe this just another chance for Paisley to prove our point.
To a certain extent, Paisley is delivering the same good stuff he’s always delivered. “Gone Green” falls right into Paisley’s line of humorous songs as he tells the story of a redneck who goes too far when he’s trying to be good to our planet. Equally amusing is “High Life” — another pairing up with Carrie Underwood, this time so they can laugh through the one about the rednecks who inherited a boatload of money. Paisley also returns to his more sober storytelling ways when he explores his son’s fascination with the moon landing in “American Flag on the Moon.” He even addresses breaking the glass ceiling in “Shattered Glass.” And, of course, there are the typical love songs like “Perfect Storm” and “4WP.”
Where a lot of critics are rearing their ugly heads is at songs like the first single, “River Bank,” and “Crushin’ It.” We’re seeing a lot of claims that Paisley is writing partying and drinking songs just to fit in with the frat-boy stylings of Luke Bryan and Florida Georgia Line. However, even the quickest of glances could tell you Paisley was rockin’ the party song before Bryan and FLA-GA were even in college. “River Bank” is pretty reminiscent of “Mud on the Tires.” And it’s hard not to draw comparisons between “Crushin’ It” and “Alcohol.” However, Paisley has also lit up the party with tracks like “Start a Band” and “American Saturday Night.” So don’t hate, haters. Paisley is doing what he does best: catering to the greatest common denominator.
Moonshine in the Trunk may not top the charts, but we’re sure the album will see plenty of spins and we’re expecting serious radio play from the singles. We love “River Bank” but it’s already on its away to being overplayed. And we’re pretty sure that’s exactly what Paisley was hoping for.