Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

American Saturday Night by Brad Paisley

Country's most underrated star capped a decade-long run of crisp, self-penned hits with his most complete album yet. The Obama tune ("Welcome to the Future") attracted its share of ink, but Paisley's liberalism, optimism and multiculturalism fall safely within the confines of Nashville's most important ideology: commercialism. (The title track praises our mongrel nation for such revolutionary impulses as Dutch beer, Canadian bacon and Brazilian leather.) The real risk-taking emerges on his songs about women, which, as on the brilliant "The Pants," manage to be funny, sexy and sensitive: "In the top drawer of her dresser there's some panties/ Go try on that purple pair with the lacy frill/ With your big old thighs I bet you can't get in 'em/ With that attitude of yours, hell, I bet you never will."