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Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley Christmas – 2006 (Arista)

Reviewed by Brian Wahlert

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CDs by Brad Paisley

After two number one albums, six CMA Awards nominations each of the past two years and wins this year for best album and vocal event, Brad Paisley is undoubtedly at the top of the pantheon of country stars. Now he releases his first Christmas album.

The album contains a good mix of traditional Christmas songs and new ones. "Away in a Manger" is a highlight - Paisley turns in a standout fiddle-and-steel version of this traditional carol. He also does a fine job with "Silver Bells," drenched in steel guitar, and the Buck Owens/Don Rich classic, "Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy."

Paisley also wrote four of the songs himself. "364 Days to Go" perfectly captures the joy a child feels during the holiday season and the bittersweet end, when the presents are all unwrapped and soon "we'll be...back to reality."

A very special highlight is "Born on Christmas Day," a song Paisley wrote as a boy. Through the combination of an old live recording with a new studio recording, Paisley duets with his 13-year-old self. Even at that age, he was quite a talent!

In short, this is a highly enjoyable Christmas album.