Sometimes, Brad Paisley gets too clever for his own good. His new album, "Moonshine in the Trunk" (Arista Nashville), has some of his best moments in years, with the bluesy, country-rock charmer "You Shouldn't Have To" and the title track, a barnburner that reminds fans that Paisley really is an underappreciated guitar player.

However, much of "Moonshine in the Trunk" gets bogged down in cutesiness, with "Limes" showing how Paisley has never met a metaphor he didn't like. On "Country Nation," he still clumsily oversteps, the way he did last album with "Accidental Racist," making you wish he had a better sounding board.

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"Moonshine in the Trunk"


BOTTOM LINE A mixed bag of cool country and tired cliches.