5th Gear

5th Gear

5.0 7
by Brad Paisley

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The chunky rock guitar riffing that kicks off "All I Wanted Was a Car" seems out of place at first, but when the song gets going, Brad Paisley is right where he belongs -- wailing a country thumper about a 16-year-old’s focus on making enough money to buy a car. Paisley, a formidable picker, is given wide berth on 5th Gear to show off his six-string mastery,


The chunky rock guitar riffing that kicks off "All I Wanted Was a Car" seems out of place at first, but when the song gets going, Brad Paisley is right where he belongs -- wailing a country thumper about a 16-year-old’s focus on making enough money to buy a car. Paisley, a formidable picker, is given wide berth on 5th Gear to show off his six-string mastery, but it's not flash without substance. As five previous albums have demonstrated, Paisley is a true multi-threat artist. His husky, expressive voice is in fine, personable form, and his songwriting is doubly strong. The sly, boogie-fied single "Ticks" comes complete with an instant-classic pickup line in "I'd like to check you for ticks," a sentiment we have hardly heard the last of. In typical Paisley fashion, abundant good humor is rampant, from the assertions of male prerogative in the gentle stomp of "I'm Still a Guy" to a send-up of chat room anonymity, “Online,” told from the viewpoint of a geek who can "grow a foot and lose a bunch of weight" when he logs on for a "three-way" IM with two girls at once. But there are also plenty of thoughtful moments, such as the lilting ballad "Letter to Me," in which Paisley looks back on his 17-year-old self and offers some sage advice about life and love gleaned from harsh experience. Deeper still, on the acoustic-based reflection "Oh Love," a sumptuous exultation with Carrie Underwood on harmony vocals, he explores the complex dichotomy of life's "simple truth" and "biggest mystery." Alternately beautiful and rambunctious, 5th Gear captures Paisley in overdrive.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Brad Paisley is in a strangely nostalgic mood on 5th Gear, its title both a reference to its status as Paisley's fifth studio album and to the numerous car songs scattered across this album. Those car songs aren't mere celebrations of magic machinery; they're infused with nostalgia -- he holds to a very teenage interpretation of the power of the car, meaning that the automobile is the embodiment of freedom, and this isn't his only gaze back to adolescence, either. He's even writing letters back to his 17-year-old self, consoling him that things are gonna turn out OK after all is said and done, which gets to the core of 5th Gear: Paisley is happy about how things have turned out but he still can't help but look back just a little wistfully. He may be a little melancholy about his teenage wildlife, but he acknowledges that things don't get any better than this in not one, but two songs -- in "It Did," where a storybook romance just grows stronger, and "Better Than This," where he says the only way the party could improve is if there were a 1,000-gallon keg and Merle and Willie provided a live soundtrack. It's a curious mix of acceptance and regret, but it's appropriate for somebody who is starting to realize that he's settling into his mid-thirties, recognizing that things are changing, sometimes not always in comfortable ways. Case in point: he snipes at Internet nerds sequestered in their basements, lying about themselves on MySpace, in "Online," an obvious joke that comes just a bit too close to bullying, but he saves himself with his smarts -- not just verbal (obvious they may be, the jokes are cutting) but musical, as he ends it with a marching band that delivers an aural punch line set up by the words. This isn't the only time that he tells jokes (and that's outside of his traditional cornpone down-home Grand Ole Opry schtick that closes his records): there's the wonderful "Ticks," which has the best pickup line in many a moon, and he pulls off a great musical joke on "Mr. Policeman," where he captures a getaway with a torrid instrumental break that slows down into a very funny quote of "In the Jailhouse Now," capped off by a bizarre, unexpected, yet fitting allusion to South Park's Cartman. That fleeting joke, along with "Online" and a duet with American Idol winner Carrie Underwood, is one of the clearest indications that Paisley is a modern guy, but as always his greatest trick is that he's modern while being proudly traditionalist, never copping to the arena rock bombast of Garth Brooks, never going for a boot-scooting shuck-and-jive crossover, and never succumbing to the goofy Big & Rich cabal. Paisley just lies back and turns out songs that flow naturally, then pumps them up with hot-wired guitar. Even if he's from West Virginia, this is the sound of modern-day Bakersfield and he proves that this lean country sound never grows old provided it's executed right and with good songs, which is what Paisley always does. This is a form that's flexible -- depending on the attitude, it can sound old, it can sound contemporary, and Paisley is both a classicist and a modern guy, at once sounding like his idols but sounding like nobody else in 2007. He distinguishes himself on 5th Gear by deepening his attitude with that longing look back at his own past, which combined with his reliable sharp wit, strong songs, and blazing guitar, gives this album some considerable weight.

Product Details

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Brad Paisley   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Little Jimmy Dickens   Track Performer
George Jones   Track Performer
Dolly Parton   Track Performer
Eric Darken   Percussion
Ron Block   Banjo
Chris Brooks   Drums
Jay Dawson   Mellophonium
Kevin Grantt   Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Vicki Hampton   Background Vocals
Mike Haynes   Trumpet
Sam Levine   Saxophone
Gordon Mote   Piano,Keyboards,Clavinet,Music Box
Aubrey Haynie   Fiddle,Mandolin
Ron Black   Banjo
Kendall Marcy   Banjo
Tim Lauer   Keyboards
Kenny Lewis   Bass Guitar
Bryan Sutton   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Mandolin
Roy Agee   Trombone
Wes Hightower   Background Vocals
Randle Currie   Steel Guitar
Justin Williamson   Fiddle,Mandolin
Jim "Moose" Brown   Piano,Hammond Organ,Wurlitzer
Ben Sesar   Drums
Gary Hooker   Electric Guitar,12-string Guitar,Guitar (Baritone)
Carrie Underwood   Vocals,Background Vocals
Joe Murphy   Tuba
Tom Baldrica   Tuba
Randy Box   Conductor
Brentwood High School Marching Band   Track Performer
Joe Murphy   Tuba
Mike Johnson   Dobro

Technical Credits

Jeff Stevens   Composer
Tim Owens   Composer
Jim Dawson   Arranger
Steve Bogard   Composer
Chris Brooks   Arranger
Neal Cappellino   overdub engineer
Jay Dawson   Arranger
Steve Marcantonio   overdub engineer
Kristin Wilkinson   Arranger
David Lee Murphy   Composer
Brian David Willis   Engineer,overdub engineer
Jason Lehning   overdub engineer
Kelley Lovelace   Composer
Jim Beavers   Composer
Aimee Mayo   Composer
Casey Beathard   Composer
Richard Barrow   Engineer,overdub engineer
Brad Paisley   Composer
Marvin Green   Composer
Frank Rogers   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Ben Sesar   Composer
Christophe Dubois   Composer,Executive Producer,Audio Production
Hillary Lindsey   Composer
Trent Willmon   Composer
Lee Thomas Miller   Composer
Eliza E. Hewitt   Composer

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5th Gear 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brad Paisley has produced another successful album! He has really stepped up a knotch with his music, including going all and out on a soft duet with Carrie Underwood in Oh Love, which produces a soft romantic sound. Not only does he produce slow and sweet songs, but he also brings back out his country self in songs such as Ticks. Lastly, he also produces songs which are based upon his personal memoirs, such as in his song Letter to me. Brad Paisley brings all types of music onto this album that any country fan would enjoy!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I lOVE this CD!!! I't's awesome! There is a song for everyone on here.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jam packed with goodies, makes you laugh, makes you listen , makes you just wanna tap your foot or get up and dance. My favorites are Bigger Fish to Fry, If Love was a Plane, With You Without You, Oh Love, and Mr Policeman, and love Brad's guitar pickin - too much! All the songs are great! Grab a CD and have a listen!
Guest More than 1 year ago
wow- love this album! Brad is so funny, yet also tender and deep in the same album, which takes alot of talent to do. I love, in particular, the duet with carrie underwood which I cannot stop playing! It is lovely. A clear winner overall- this album will go far. And with the female vocalist of the year, singing with the male vocalist of the year, it should be a huge hit.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is amazing...I've always liked Brad but this CD is the best! From Ticks..cooler on line...doesn't get better than this...they are all amazing and the gospel song at the end is truly wonderful! I recommend this to everyone who likes to tap their foot, nod their head, laugh, cry, etc...all emotions packed into one CD!! WELL WORTH THE PURCHASE! :"
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album has it all - emotion, excitement, and fun. Paisley has produced one of the finest albums I can recall. This album is a must have for anyone that enjoys country or southern rock.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brad and his band are all extraordinary performers as is evident on 5th Gear "as well as all his pervious albums"! Anyone who enjoys great guitar, touching lyrics, hilarious lyrics, beautiful harmonies, and just plain good music will enjoy every song! It's really not just for country fans. Give it a chance, and you WILL NOT be disappointed!!