5th Gear

Brad Paisley

Arista, 2007


REVIEW BY: Elizabeth Crowder


New father Brad Paisley's 5th Gear offers a wide selection of reminscent, sentimental, hilarious and inspiring tracks, which has become the M.O. of this rising star in the country world. 

This is Paisley's sixth studio album, following up on the tremendously popular Time Well Wasted and the Brad Paisley Christmas from 2006. His wife, Kimberly Williams Paisley (from movies like Father Of The Bride and the television show According To Jim) gave birth to their son, William Huckleberry Paisley, in February of this year, and this new role in Paisley's life seems to have affected his music for the better.

On the lighter side of the album, we have "Online," an ode to online dating, where "Online I'm out in Hollywood / I'm 6 foot 5 and I look damn good," though in reality he is "5 foot 3 and overweight / Sci-fi fanatic / mild asthmatic," the point being that he is so much cooler online, naturally. The hilarious video for this song includes Jason Alexander in the role of the tuba-playing subject of the song, with cameos from William Shatner as his mother and Maureen McCormick (Marsha Brady) as the next door neighbor who likes Alexander's character for who he really is. Seinfeld fans will also see some other familiar faces, which I will exclude from this review so they go check it out. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Another winner is "Ticks," a pickup line disguised as a catchy song which says that the singer just wants to see the girl out in the moonlight, then check her for ticks. "I'm Still A Guy" also highlights how no matter how metro you make some men, you can't take the man out of him. 

"All I Wanted Was A Car," "Mr. Policeman" and "Throttleneck" display Paisley's guitar picking capabilities and the seamless band he has worked with for years. Instrumentally, these guys know what they are doing and have a blast while working on each album, which is evidenced by the Kung Pao Buckaroo clips and outtakes. One includes the timeless "My wife was looking for cars the other day and said she wanted something that went from 0 to 160 in 10 seconds ... so I bought her a bathroom scale."

Some veterans of country, including Little Jimmy Dickens, Bill Anderson and now Vince Gill to replace a missing George Jones, all join for another round in "Bigger Fish To Fry."

Yet hands down my favorite track is the intense "Letter To Me," where Paisley shares the things he would tell a 17-year-old Brad. Included are lyrics like "You got so much up ahead / You'll make new friends / You should see your kids and wife / And I end by saying / Have no fear / these are nowhere near the best years of your life." Words like this strike your heart and force you to think back on where you were at that age and where you are now. 

Guests also include Carrie Underwood on "Oh Love," showcasing how perfectly their voices match each other. In every album Paisley has ever released he has, at minimum, one knockout ballad, and this is it for 5th Gear. A close second is "It Did," a simple song saying that in life there are times you stop and say that life can not get any better than this moment ... then it does.

This CD is something anyone who even remotely enjoys country music would enjoy, and that anyone who likes music at all should take notice of.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2007 Elizabeth Crowder and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Arista, and is used for informational purposes only.