Album Review: Brad Paisley | “Moonshine in the Trunk”

Moonshine in the Trunk by Brad Paisley country musicBrad Paisley’s Moonshine in the Trunk is exactly what you’d expect of the country star’s 10th studio album – party songs mixed with a little love, quirky lyrics and his signature guitar licks. Its release was infused with just as much humor as some of its songs, in true Paisley fashion. After a few months of #LeakingMoonshine on Paisley’s Twitter, the album officially dropped Aug. 26 and became his eighth to hit #1 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart. Paisley stirred up attention releasing tracks without permission from his label, Arista Nashville, and had fellow celebrities contribute to his fun.

Paisley tweeted that he was looking for a CD he really thought he had in his truck, and this quickly followed:

But Paisley certainly brought the album to life with his leaking locations.

“I wanted this to be a modern honky-tonk record, but not one that’s a ‘cry in your beer’ honky-tonk record,” Paisley said in a “Rolling Stone” magazine interview. “More like a honky-tonk record that Buck Owens would’ve made.”

He accomplished that goal in the first four songs on the album, which represent the themes running through all 15 tracks.

1. The crisp pop of a beer can usually signifies the start of a great night out or a relaxing day on the water. In this case, it kicks off the album by opening the first track, “Crushin’ It.” The promise of crushin’ cold Bud Light cans every weekend carries many of us through the workweek and keeps us livin’ for the weekend. He co-wrote the song with Kelley Lovelace and Lee Thomas Miller.

2. Just when you’re longing for the weekend to arrive, “Riverbank,” the lead single off the album, follows in perfect time. It peaked at #2 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart and quickly became a song of the summer. It will have you daydreaming of a simple afternoon on the river with an inner tube, friends and plenty of laughter. “Riverbank” was co-produced by Paisley and Luke Wooten. Paisley also co-wrote this one with Lovelace, and their clever rhymes prove they’re a dynamic songwriting duo.

We’d sail around the world and go to shore in a dingy / But ‘til that dream comes true, why don’t ya grab your bikini.

“Crushin’ It” and “Riverbank” along with two more party tracks from the album – “Moonshine in the Trunk” and “Limes” – certainly accomplish the modern honky-tonk goal Paisley was shooting for.

3. Paisley slows down with the second single from the album, “Perfect Storm.” It paints a beautiful picture of a woman using a potentially record-breaking number of analogies in just under four minutes.

If she was a drink she’d be single-barrel bourbon on ice – smooth with a kick, a chill and a burn, all at the same time / She ain’t just the song, she’s the whole mixed tape / She’s sunshine mixed with a little hurricane.

This love song leaves ladies with a desire to be depicted like this. Men, it might not be a bad time to help your kids with their homework. Remember thinking, “When will we use this in real life?” Your time is now, my friends. Paisley also co-wrote this one with Miller and co-produced it with Wooten. “Shattered Glass,” “You Shouldn’t Have To” and “Cover Girl” are three more tracks on the album that illustrate Paisley’s sweet side.

4. “High Life” brings the first bit of humor to the album. The classic upbeat Paisley song depicts a “low life” family’s journey to becoming “thousandaires.” Grandpa dyin’, Mama slippin’ on ice out front of Chick-fil-A and Carrie Underwood singin’ a song like a poem Brother wrote took this family to the top. Paisley and Underwood collaborated on the track as a joke inspired by a lawsuit claiming they ripped off the song “Remind Me.” Paisley co-wrote “High Life” with Chris DuBois, Brent Anderson and Lovelace. Three more songs – “4WDP,” “Gone Green” and “JFK 1962” – add Paisley’s quirkiness to the album.

Overall, Moonshine in the Trunk is everything Paisley’s fans could hope for. He distributed party, love and humor throughout the album to make it flow. It’s nothing drastically new or groundbreaking, but why change a good thing?

Twitter: @BradPaisley

Rated 5 out of 5 Stars

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