Brad Paisley turns up the fun on latest album

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Brad Paisley turns up the fun on latest album
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: Singer/songwriter Brad Paisley and Justin Williamson perform on ABC's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on August 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: Brad Paisley (R) performs on ABC's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on August 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: Brad Paisley performs on ABC's 'Good Morning America' at Rumsey Playfield, Central Park on August 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 27: Brad Paisley performs during Moonshine In The Trunk album release pool party hosted by CBS Radio at the Cosmopolitan on August 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for CBS Radio Inc.)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 27: Brad Paisley performs during Moonshine In The Trunk album release pool party hosted by CBS Radio at the Cosmopolitan on August 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for CBS Radio Inc.)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 27: Brad Paisley performs during Moonshine In The Trunk album release pool party hosted by CBS Radio at the Cosmopolitan on August 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for CBS Radio Inc.)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - AUGUST 16: Brad Paisley performs at Cruzan Amphitheatre on August 16, 2014 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - AUGUST 16: Brad Paisley performs at Cruzan Amphitheatre on August 16, 2014 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images)
WEST PALM BEACH, FL - AUGUST 16: Brad Paisley performs at Cruzan Amphitheatre on August 16, 2014 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Larry Marano/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 27: Brad Paisley performs during Moonshine In The Trunk album release pool party hosted by CBS Radio at the Cosmopolitan on August 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for CBS Radio Inc.)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 15: Singer Brad Paisley attends the premiere of 'Planes: Fire & Rescue' at the El Capitan Theatre on July 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 15: (L-R) Brad Paisley, Kesha and Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges attend the premiere of 'Planes: Fire & Rescue' at the El Capitan Theatre on July 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 15: Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley and actor Brad Paisley attend the premiere of 'Planes: Fire & Rescue' at the El Capitan Theatre on July 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 15: (L-R) Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley and husband recording artist Brad Paisley attend the premiere of 'Planes: Fire & Rescue' on July 15, 2014 at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Barry King/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 15: Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley (L) and husband singer Brad Paisley attend the premiere of 'Planes: Fire & Rescue' at the El Capitan Theatre on July 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 15: (back row L-R) Actors Ed Harris, Patrick Warburton, Fred Willard, Wes Studi, Stacy Keach, Captain Dale Dye and Erik Estrada. (front row L-R). Producer Ferrell Barron, actors Danny Mann and Julie Bowen, executive producer John Lasseter, actor Barry Corbin, singer/songwriter Brad Paisley, director/screenwriter/writer Bobs Gannaway, actors Dane Cook and Hal Holbrook attend World Premiere Of Disney's 'Planes: Fire & Rescue' at the El Capitan Theatre on July 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JULY 15: Singer/songwriter Brad Paisley and actor Dane Cook attend World Premiere Of Disney's 'Planes: Fire & Rescue' at the El Capitan Theatre on July 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
RISING STAR - 'Episode 104' - The next episode of ABC's new groundbreaking reality series 'Rising Star,' airs SUNDAY, JULY 13 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Adam Rose/ABC via Getty Images) BRAD PAISLEY, KESHA, LUDACRIS
IRVINE, CA - JULY 12: Musician Brad Paisley performs at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on July 12, 2014 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images)
IRVINE, CA - JULY 12: Musician Brad Paisley performs at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on July 12, 2014 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images)
IRVINE, CA - JULY 12: Musician Brad Paisley performs at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on July 12, 2014 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images)
IRVINE, CA - JULY 12: Musician Brad Paisley performs at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on July 12, 2014 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images)
IRVINE, CA - JULY 12: Musician Brad Paisley performs at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on July 12, 2014 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images)
IRVINE, CA - JULY 12: Brad Paisley performs onstage during the 'Country Nation' tour held at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on July 12, 2014 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - Emmy Award-nominated 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight (11:35 p.m. - 12:41 a.m., ET), packed with hilarious comedy bits and features a diverse lineup of guests including celebrities, athletes, musicians, comedians and humorous human interest subjects. The guests for TUESDAY, JUNE 17 included Ludacris, Kesha, Josh Groban, Brad Paisley ('Rising Star'), Michael Stevens and musical guest Brad Paisley. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images)
JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE - Emmy Award-nominated 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' airs every weeknight (11:35 p.m. - 12:41 a.m., ET), packed with hilarious comedy bits and features a diverse lineup of guests including celebrities, athletes, musicians, comedians and humorous human interest subjects. The guests for TUESDAY, JUNE 17 included Ludacris, Kesha, Josh Groban, Brad Paisley ('Rising Star'), Michael Stevens and musical guest Brad Paisley. (Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 08: Singer-songwriter Brad Paisley attends the 2014 CMA Festival on June 8, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 08: Brad Paisley performs onstage at the 2014 CMA Festival on June 8, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
US singer Brad Paisley greets US troops during a surprise visit by US President Barack Obama to Bagram Air Field, north of Kabul, in Afghanistan, May 25, 2014, prior to the Memorial Day holiday. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 08: Brad Paisley performs onstage at the 2014 CMA Festival on June 8, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 08: Brad Paisley performs onstage at the 2014 CMA Festival on June 8, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 18: (EDITORS NOTE; THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN CONVERTED TO BLACK AND WHITE. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN CREATED WITH THE USE OF DIGITAL FILTERS) Musician Brad Paisley (R) attends the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 18, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Billboard Awards 2014/Getty Images for DCP)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 18: Singer Brad Paisley poses in the press room during the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 18, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 18: (L-R) Singers Josh Groban, Brad Paisley and Kesha and host Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges pose in the press room during the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 18, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 18: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Recording artists Josh Groban, Brad Paisley and Kesha attend the 2014 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 18, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Billboard Awards 2014/Getty Images for DCP)
RISING STAR - Country music superstar Brad Paisley, pop music sensation Kesha and hip hop artist and actor Ludacris have signed on to ABC's 'Rising Star,' which premieres Sunday, June 22 (9:00-11:00 pm ET/PT). (Photo by /Bob D'Amico/ABC via Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 47 -- Pictured: Musical guest Brad Paisley sits in with the 8G Band on May 14, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 03: Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley attend the 100th Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton on May 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kris Connor/FilmMagic)
NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 12: Singer-songwriter Brad Paisley speaks onstage during the T.J. Martell Ambassador Of The Year Awards at The Rosewall on May 12, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for T.J. Martell Foundation)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 03: Musician Brad Paisley (L) and Actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley attend the Bloomberg & Vanity Fair cocktail reception following the 2014 WHCA Dinner at Villa Firenze on May 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/VF14/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 03: Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley attend the 100th Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton on May 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 04: Musician Brad Paisley (L) and Richard 'Rac' Clark speak backstage during the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the Wet Republic pool at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on April 4, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/ACMA2014/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 04: Musician Brad Paisley (L) and Richard 'Rac' Clark speak backstage during the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the Wet Republic pool at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on April 4, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/ACMA2014/Getty Images for ACM)
NASHVILLE, TN - MAY 12: Singer-songwriter Brad Paisley speaks onstage during the T.J. Martell Ambassador Of The Year Awards at The Rosewall on May 12, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for T.J. Martell Foundation)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 04: Musician Brad Paisley rehearses onstage during the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the Wet Republic pool at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino on April 4, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/ACMA2014/Getty Images for ACM)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 16: Brad Paisley performs on stage on day 2 of the C2C Music Festival at O2 Arena on March 16, 2014 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Christie Goodwin/Redferns via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 16: Brad Paisley performs on stage on day 2 of the C2C Music Festival at O2 Arena on March 16, 2014 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Christie Goodwin/Redferns via Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 0003 -- Pictured: (l-r) Singer Brad Paisley during an interview with host Seth Meyers on February 26, 2014 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: (L-R) Recording artist Stevie Wonder and recording artist Brad Paisley pose backstage at 'The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on January 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Recording artists Pharrell Williams (L) and Brad Paisley perform onstage during 'The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on January 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Recording artist Brad Paisley performs onstage during 'The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on January 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Recording artists Pharrell Williams (L) and Brad Paisley perform onstage during 'The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on January 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for NARAS)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 27: Recording artist Brad Paisley attends 'The Night That Changed America: A GRAMMY Salute To The Beatles' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on January 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 08: Brad Paisley at the People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 08: Heidi Klum and Brad Paisley at the People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 08: Musician Brad Paisley performs onstage during The 40th Annual People's Choice Awards show at Nokia Theatre LA Live on January 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 08: Musician Brad Paisley (R) and model Heidi Klum attend The 40th Annual People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The People's Choice Awards)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 08: Host Kat Dennings (L) and recording artist Brad Paisley attend The 40th Annual People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The People's Choice Awards)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 08: Actress Malin Akerman watches singer Brad Paisley perform onstage at The 40th Annual People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 08: Musician Brad Paisley rehearses at The People's Choice Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The People's Choice Awards)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 10: Singers Sheryl Crow (L) and Brad Paisley attend the American Country Awards 2013 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on December 10, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Fox/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 10: (L-R) Singer Luke Bryan, wife Caroline Bryan, and singer Brad Paisley attend the American Country Awards 2013 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on December 10, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Fox/WireImage)
AUBURN HILLS, MI - NOVEMBER 23: Brad Paisley performs at The Palace of Auburn Hills on November 23, 2013 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 22: (Exclusive Coverage) Host Keith Bilbrey introduces Brad Paisley during Playin' Possum! The Final No Show Tribute To George Jones - Show at Bridgestone Arena on November 22, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Larry Busacca/NJ/Getty Images for Webster PR)
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By CHRIS TALBOTT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Brad Paisley is taking control of the conversation about Brad Paisley with the release of his new album, "Moonshine in the Trunk."

The unexpected criticism he and rapper LL Cool J received over the song "Accidental Racist," which was leaked ahead of Paisley's 2013 album "Wheelhouse," still stings, and Paisley says he felt - and still feels - betrayed.

"I'm not going to take this anymore," Paisley said. "I'm not going to take it when they tell me, 'You shouldn't have done that.' I'm a musician. Don't tell me I shouldn't have done that. I am going to say what I want to say, and this album is what I want to say right now."

Paisley enlisted friends old and new - Ellen DeGeneres, NASCAR's Jeff Gordon and even a NASA astronaut - to help him leak every song on "Moonshine in the Trunk" before its Aug. 26 release, trading jabs with his record label boss along the way.

"Whatever critic wants to give it two stars, I don't care," Paisley said. "Because guess what? People know better, they've heard it. They've heard it, and I got the first presentation of it."

The title song is a metaphor for charging headlong into life as if you have some serious motivation, and the album follows that philosophy. It's mostly Paisley's super-charged take on modern honky-tonk, meant for good times.

This time, when Paisley does take on progressive ideas, he does so in a way designed not to offend in any way. He calls it "a sort of bright sides at all costs thing."

Chris DuBois, Paisley's close friend and business partner for two decades, said the sudden furor over "Accidental Racist" left its mark on Paisley. The song was meant to be an exploration of the state of race relations, with Paisley and LL Cool J offering different perspectives. Each managed to anger critics with lyrics that were dissected in the blogosphere.

"It was disappointing because of how badly the song was misinterpreted," DuBois said. "It came from a real honest place where he was wanting to address the reality of racial tension in America and especially in respect to the South. ... What we were not expecting is that the song would be misinterpreted and Brad would be cast as a racist in the blog world and the mainstream press."

Reaction to the song gut-punched the album upon release: Though "Wheelhouse" debuted at number one on Billboard's country chart, it sold just over 100,000 copies its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. And the 41-year-old singer says he still felt some pushback as he rolled out "Moonshine," starting with lead single "River Bank." The song recently peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.

"What I don't like is that I'm held to a way higher standard than other people," Paisley said. "It's not fair. It's not fair in this town. When I do 'River Bank' and they go, 'Well, what else you got,' because it doesn't mention cutoffs and it doesn't do the things that everybody is complaining about, you know what I'm saying? I do have a song called 'Shattered Glass' on here, and I do have a song called 'American Flag on the Moon,' but they are positive, and they aren't things that people are going to get mad at me for."

Paisley wrote those two songs alone, and each has its genesis in his personal life. He looks at how things have changed for women in "Shattered Glass," a song inspired by his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, and her experiences with a career in entertainment. And he wrote "American Flag," a song about human potential, after his son looked at the moon and said he thought he could see the flag once planted there by astronauts. The chorus begins, "Tonight I dare you to dream, go on and believe in impossible things."

"I'm sure there are people who would criticize it for its naiveté," Paisley said. "But honestly I prefer to be naive if it means hopeful. The most naive of us might actually achieve something because they're too naive to know that that's not possible."

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