Moonshine in the Trunk

Moonshine in the Trunk

by Brad PaisleyBrad Paisley


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Ambition got the better of Brad Paisley on 2013's Wheelhouse, coaxing him into the briar patch that was "Accidental Racist" -- an ill-conceived cross-cultural duet with LLCool J which generated a flurry of headlines that camouflaged how the album straight-up flopped on country radio. Wheelhouse was Paisley's first record since Play not to go gold, and even that is misleading because that 2008 effort was an instrumental album and those never sell in large numbers; subtract that from his stats and the 2013 record achieves the ignoble status of his first-ever album not to reach gold and, perhaps more importantly, his first not to generate a number one single. Paisley slyly alludes to this slump, singing "I guess I've been in a dry spell, but that's about to change" on "Crushin' It," the opening track of his 2014 album Moonshine in the Trunk, a phrasing that suggests his dip in sales lasted longer than a year -- which, in a way, it has. His sales started decreasing around the time of the open-hearted, far-ranging American Saturday Night, so perhaps it's no surprise that he's attempting to turn back the clock on Moonshine in the Trunk, stripping back all his experimentations and declining every detour so he winds up with a record that could function as a de facto sequel to 2007's 5th Gear. Moonshine in the Trunk is all gleaming steel, hard edges, sleek rhythms, and power ballads, state-of-the-art modern country that doesn't dare make a big deal of any of Paisley's eccentricities outside of his squealing guitar. Restless guy that he is, Paisley doesn't quite abandon every one of his quirks: specifically, he plays around with rhythm, setting "Crushin' It" to a thumping disco beat, pushing "River Bank" along to a stuttering syncopation, and underscoring "Limes" to an electronic loop. These dance-friendly beats go down smoothly because the emphasis is on the twang of the Telecaster and Paisley's drawl, signatures as prominent as his sense of humor which also surfaces on Moonshine in the Trunk -- quite genially on "Going Green," a wry tale of a redneck choosing to sacrifice for the sake of the environment, and quite nastily on "High Life," where a bunch of white trash sue their way toward millions. No matter how much he rhapsodizes about the logos across the caps in this great "Country Nation," these two novelties suggest where Paisley's sympathies lie: he's too smart, too worldly to pander to his base, so he'll take sly jabs and disguise his wide-eyed futurism within the nostalgia of "American Flag on the Moon." Most of all, he's savvy enough to know when to play it safe, which he does throughout Moonshine in the Trunk, turning out high-octane, highly enjoyable songs about trucks, water, speed, and making out with girls who don't realize they're beautiful enough to be a model. This is, for want of a better word, his wheelhouse, and while he may not be leaving his comfort zone here, Moonshine in the Trunk proves his strengths remain mighty potent.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/25/2014
Label: Arista
UPC: 0888430552821
catalogNumber: 305528
Rank: 9318

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Brad Paisley   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals
Emmylou Harris   Background Vocals
Carl Jackson   Background Vocals
Gordon Mote   Piano
Kendall Marcy   Synthesizer,Banjo,Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Clavier,fender rhodes,Hammond B3
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo
Wes Hightower   Background Vocals
Luke Wooten   Percussion,Background Vocals
Randle Currie   Pedal Steel Guitar
Justin Williamson   Fiddle,Mandolin,Violin,Cello
Ben Sesar   Percussion,Drums
Gary Hooker   Electric Guitar
Carrie Underwood   Background Vocals
Jasper Paisley   Harmonica
Kenny Lewis   Electric Bass,Background Vocals,Acoustic Bass
Brent Anderson   Background Vocals
Mrs. King's Class At Montessori Academy   Children's Chorus

Technical Credits

Tom T. Hall   Composer
Tim Owens   Composer
Kendall Marcy   Engineer
Kelley Lovelace   Composer
Brad Paisley   Composer,Programming,Producer,Tic Tac
Luke Wooten   Producer,Engineer
Gary Hooker   Tic Tac
Lee Thomas Miller   Composer
Kyle Manner   Engineer
Chris Dubois   Composer
Kenny Lewis   Composer
Brent Anderson   Composer

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