Brad Paisley's easy charm makes him one of country music's most likable stars. Even haters give the guy props for his guitar skills. But he's not a risky artist; you pretty much know what you're getting by this point. His eighth album, This Is Country Music, sticks to a familiar formula: a couple of traditional-sounding songs, a few slow cuts about love and life, and a jokey number or two with twisted wordplay. Paisley makes it all sound rather effortless, especially when he kicks back and lets the songs casually roll out. This Is Country Music's best songs — the title track, "Old Alabama," "Be the Lake" — celebrate a simpler way of life, something the cautious and easygoing Paisley knows well. — Gallucci
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