American Saturday Night

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Last year’s mostly instrumental Play was an unexpected detour from the deliberate artistic course Brad Paisley has taken since debuting a decade ago. American Saturday Night returns to previous form, but not without making a few tweaks and taking a few chances. Without straying too far from the smart songcraft, tasty guitar work and open-hearted sentiments that fans expect, Brad finds here a more personal and vulnerable voice than ever before (literally, in the case of the slinky falsetto on “Everybody’s Here”).
American Saturday Night is first and foremost a summer album, and tongue-in-cheek tunes like “Water” and “Catch All the Fish” are destined to be heard throughout the season at campouts and backyard parties. But the serious moments really soar—the title cut offers a melting-pot view of America not often heard on country radio lately, and several songs touchingly address the topic of his growing family (“I Hope That’s Me,” “Anything Like Me,” “Welcome to the Future [Reprise]).” Altogether, American Saturday Night is another sterling entry in an increasingly imposing body of work.

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