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For Brad Paisley, 5th Gear is more than a clever reference to the number of albums in his career. It also identifies the gear in which an engine is expressing the full extent of its capabilities and force. That's a good analogy for where Paisley is right now. The reigning CMA Male Vocalist of the Year and ACM Top Male Vocalist, Paisley has now scored ten #1 singles -- six consecutively -- with 5th Gear launching three in a row with "Ticks," "Online," and "Letter to Me."
Track Listing 1. All I Wanted Was a Car 2. Ticks 3. Online 4. Letter to Me 5. I'm Still a Guy 6. Some Mistakes 7. It Did 8. Mr. Policeman 9. If Love Was a Plane 10. Oh Love (feat. Carrie Underwood) 11. Better Than This 12. With You, Without You 13. Previously (feat. Kung Pao Buckaroos) 14. Bigger Fish to Fry (feat. Kung Pao Buckaroos) 15. When We All Get to Heaven 16. Throttleneck
Highlighted by the smash first single, "Ticks," a goofy-sexy ode to nudity al fresco, Brad Paisley's FIFTH GEAR maintains his string of albums neatly balanced between light pop-oriented material and more traditional country. The latter is best exemplified by the twangy guitar instrumental "Throttleneck," the reverent "When We All Get To Heaven," and the tuneful "Bigger Fish To Fry," featuring guest vocals by Vince Gill, Bill Anderson, and Little Jimmy Dickens.
Elsewhere, a lovely ballad duet with Carrie Underwood, "Oh Love," keeps an eye to Nashville's present as well as its past. As on most of Paisley's albums, the main lyrical topic, even more than the usual love songs, is what it means to be a man in contemporary America: "I'm Still A Guy" is perhaps the most obvious song on the topic, but the country rocker "Mr. Policeman," the wry character study "Online" (a song about Internet personas at odds with reality), and the surprisingly philosophical opener "All I Wanted Was A Car" flirt with the concept as well.
Rolling Stone (p.72) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "Smart, low-profile Nashvillean Paisley's sixth album features not one but two songs about how adulthood beats adolescence."
Entertainment Weekly (p.71) - "[T]he guy's a vivid nostalgist, and his duet with Carrie Underwood is a harmonic delight." -- Grade: B
Brad PaisleyAfter five albums -- the double-platinum fourth was crowned Album of the Year by the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music -- the West Virginia favorite son has established a fresh sound and a distinct creative path. Rooted in traditional country sounds, yet as modern as a hybrid vehicle, Brad Paisley's music draws on humor, sincerity, compassion, instrumental prowess and unique song topics to give him a style all his own."5th Gear is something you reach when you're on a long, good stretch and you're really rolling," Paisley says. "This album, and this time in my career, feels like that. We are pushing things further in every way -- musically, lyrically and in our concerts."Indeed, by this point, the multi-threat guitarist, singer, songwriter and entertainer has placed himself among the leaders of his generation of country music stars. He's been nominated for a whopping 38 CMA Awards since 2000, the year he won the Horizon Award. In 2006, besides winning Album of the Year for Time Well Wasted, he also took his third Musical Event of the Year honor, this time for "When I Get Where I'm Going," his hit duet with Country Music Hall of Fame member Dolly Parton. His streak continued into 2007, when he won the prestigious Top Male Vocalist honor at the Academy of Country Music Awards and Male Vocalist of the Year from the Country Music Association.In the end, Paisley figures he is indeed in 5th Gear now; he and his band are running at top speed and firing on all pistons, and he's honed his songwriting and his guitar-playing ability to where he's not afraid to push forward a little further."I think this album is really a candid snapshot of who I am and what me and my band can do," he says. "We challenged ourselves, and I'm really proud of what we've done."
All I Wanted Was a Car
Letter To Me
I'm Still A Guy
If Love Was a Plane
Better Than You
With You, Without You
Bigger Fish To Fry - (featuring Little Jimmy Dickens/Vince Gill)