Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Brad Paisley – American Saturday Night

Let’s be blunt – this pic’s all about the feller in the back, isn’t it?…


John Seroff: A surprisingly egalitarian bit of junkpop country with a strong resemblance to L. Buckingham’s “Holiday Road”, “American Saturday Night” offers Paisley’s solid Nashville shreddin’, jingo-less national pride and some fairly clever lyrics featuring what’s likely to be CMT’s first not-so-snide on-air reference to Amstel Light. What’s missing is a set of teeth and the scant narrative progress of say, Miley’s “Party in the USA”. “Saturday Night” doesn’t really go anywhere; it’s content to amiably idle. For the first seven or eight listens, until it begins to cloy a bit, you’ll likely be happy enough to have it around.

Alfred Soto: From the girl who wandered in from a Taylor Swift song looking for a good time to the Delta Ki frat brothers chowin’ down on Canadian bacon on their pizza pies, this is as generous as a sensibility gets without smarm. Paisley doesn’t give a fuck what or who you do, and his unprepossessing guitar chops and aw-shucks drawl provide the reassurance. When indie fans moan about country music’s parochialism, please play this loud.

Chuck Eddy: I’m pretty sure college fraternities don’t really come from Greece, and I’m not sure French kisses were invented in France, and I finally decided to look Amstel Light up (Amsterdam, duh). But this has such a bright Damn The Torpedoes bounce and chug and twang to it I almost don’t mind that the only actual immigrant human being Brad mentions is his great great great granddad.

Anthony Easton: Not the liberal argument in favour of multiculturalism that the initial reviewers thought, but one of assimilation and cultural appropriation. Paisley’s pop instincts are unmatched, he knows what people want, and this album is post-Obama democratic catnip. That said, the guitar works hard furrows, the vocals are exquisite, and everyone is having fun.

Pete Baran: There are two approaches to this record. Is it a celebration of multicultural America or a criticism of the massive import debt that the current US economy labours under? Of course, as a good time country song, it can quite possibly be both, and not trouble you. But however much I want to parse it as good liberal country, I cannot really get past the bog standard, dull as you like country rocking sludge behind it. It goes on and on and on and on just like a particularly dull American Saturday Night.

Martin Skidmore: A pleasant enough country boogie backing as Brad lists some foreign things that typify American life. He doesn’t seem to quite take a position on this, but I think he’s for this assimilation of diverse cultures — except not that diverse, as he does rather focus on white cultures. Anyway, there may be a debate there, but the song doesn’t have much substance to support it, and it’s musically entirely forgettable.

Rodney J. Greene: The sentiment threatens to devolve into hokum, but I could easily imagine Brad Paisley as one not loathe to admit to his hokeyness. At any rate, this isn’t as moving as his last statement about polycultural America, but it’s a damn sight catchier and harder-rocking.

Edward Okulicz: Smooth and friendly, so slick you can imagine it means whatever you want it to. The “America as big tent” philosophy is kind of emptily expressed but perfectly pleasant, and overall it’s four minutes well spent, if not worth making a huge effort for. Like multiculturalism, it just sort of happens, for better or worse.

Matt Cibula: Love to him for the good intentions and for not being a xenophobic asshole, but like usual I like him in the abstract much more than in reality. Dude could be our Mellencamp but he also wants to be Chicken-Fried Hendrix; he’s too self-conscious to be the former and too self-effacing to be the latter, but maybe someday he’ll get there.

3 Responses to “Brad Paisley – American Saturday Night”

  1. Yanks vs limeys.

  2. What I wrote about his latest album, a few months back:


  3. Beautiful blurb, Easton.