(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
Yesterday, I wrote about how MSN.com named Taylor Swift's 2008 Fearless and Miranda Lambert's 2007 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend as two of their "21 Essential 21st-Century Albums." But there's one other country album on that list -- this one from a man -- also from that same time frame. It's Brad Paisley's American Saturday Night. They call the 2009 album his most immediate offering to date and use this record as proof that Paisley is not some small-minded good ol' boy. I'd agree with all that, although I'm admittedly biased. MSN.com likes it for the title track, "Welcome to the Future" and "The Pants." I like it for "Water," "No," "Catch All the Fish," "Anything Like Me" and "Oh Yeah, You're Gone." And so on. But whichever track list you love the most, you have to admit this album is easily one of the century's most essential.