Review: Paisley has a winner with 'Wheelhouse'
Brad Paisley, "Wheelhouse" (Arista Nashville)
The title of Brad Paisley's new album, "Wheelhouse," could imply the country music star is sticking with what he does best. Indeed, the 17-song album — the first in which he's listed as sole producer — presents several songs extending his reputation for clever, sometimes comic, twists on love ("Death of a Married Man"), modern life ("Beat This Summer") and sentimental romanticism ("I Can't Change the World").
But Paisley also has a history of taking chances, and that's never been truer than on his new album. The song "Accidental Racist" opens with a guy being confronted by a Starbucks clerk for wearing a Lynyrd Skynyrd shirt that features a Confederate flag. The lyrics go on to explore the tension between "Southern pride and Southern blame," complete with a rap break by LL Cool J.
"Southern Comfort Zone" similarly confronts the regionalism that leads some Southerners — and many current country singers — to boast about life in the rural South. Paisley loves where he's from, he sings, but acknowledges that seeing the world has opened his mind to the perspective of others in a positive way.
Yes, Paisley knows what he does well. But "Wheelhouse" proves he's not content with playing it safe.
Fergie, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Heidi Klum all get an F on this week's Fashion Offenders.Watch Video »
Diva Double Date
Beyonce and Alicia Keys double date with their famous hubbies on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
Where Are They?
See what the cast of "American Beauty" is up to today.Watch Video »
J.Lo's Mini Me
Jennifer Lopez shares an adorable photo of her look-alike daughter, plus more celebritots on social media on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
Prince Harry, Jessica Alba and more stars who threw out the first pitch at baseball games.Watch Video »
Sofia Vergara poses in a revealing neon bikini while her "Modern Family" castmates hit the beach in Australia on Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »