Last week, I told y'all that I'd comment on the Brad Paisley album. I would have done it sooner, but I had a bunch of things to take care of earlier this week, chores and all.
The album was worth the wait, but some songs still have to grow on me. There's 16 cuts, plus two hidden tracks from that Kung Pao Buckaroos stuff. That whole KPB is such a neat concept of Paisley weaving in his influences/sense of humor into his album.
As you'll find out, "Letter To Me" is my favorite song of the disc. It rivals Paisley's debut album as his best.
Brad Paisley, right, with Little Jimmy Dickens, at his Fan Club Party, June 6 at the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, Tenn.
"All I Wanted Was A Car"
Paisley wastes no time starting the album with the album's theme. It's about a guy who's obsessed with cars, and that's all he thought about. It's pretty humorous, and who can't remember wanting a car when they were a teenager? Paisley takes that sentiment a step further with this character's automobile addiction.
A great song with funny, creative lyrics. When I bought the album, I didn't want to listen to it right away, because radio has been playing the daylights out of it. Someday, I'm going to come back and listen to that song, again and again. It continues a theme of what I like to call "country comfort" songs. Paisley likes to sing about getting out of town and having fun out in the country. And you know what? That's me. Thank God there's a lot of wide open spaces not far from where I live.
One of the funniest songs I've heard in ages, and you can think of so many people you know, and say, that's them. I haven't seen the video yet, but I know it's going to be great. What would have been really cool is having Kip from the movie Napoleon Dynamite in this video. I should start calling this "The Kip Song". Kip "chatted with babes online all day", but in real life he wanted to be a cagefighter. In the song, the character reveals the only time he'd been to Los Angeles was to play the tuba in the Rose Bowl parade. At the end of the song, there's a marching band instrumental to accentuate the point. Simply hilarous!
"Letter to Me"
The most emotional and sentimenal song of the year! It's about writing a letter to the 17-year-old version of yourself. I had to fight back tears the first few times I heard it, and then, tears started rolling down my face by the third or fourth time. It struck such a personal chord on so many levels. Because you think about how insecure you are when you're young. It's really great that Brad showed a vulnerable side with this song. The chorus where it says 'you've got so much going for you, going right' reminds me of the encouragement my father constantly gives me. And then he sings, "each and every time you have a fight, just assume your wrong and dad is right". I still need to live by that one. "And you should thank Mr. Brancman, she spends so much extra time, it's like she sees a diamond underneath and she's polishing you until you shine". That could describe so many people from teachers, friends and former employers - people who have all touched and improved my life. I'm going to play this song for non-country fans, and hopefully, all of the great things I've been telling them about the genre will impact them at once!
"I'm Still A Guy"
This is a cool, relatable song for all guys. Women need to know that we can be sensitive and kow tow to them, but at the end of the day, we see a lot of things differently.
"Some Mistakes" isn't really about mistakes at all. It's about falling in love by accident. And it's a good mid-tempo song with a funny, yet serious message. Love, ironically, does happen by accident many times.
This song, to me, feels so much like a sequel or maybe, a pre-requel to a song on Paisley's debut album, "We Danced". It walks the listener through a relationship, and it's refreshing to listen to every step of the way.
This is the funny, fast song with lots of great guitar - joining BP tunes like "It Never Woulda Worked Out Anyway", "Me Neither" and "Two Feet of Topsoil". This song takes a humorous look at a high speed chase.
"If Love Was A Plane"
Great analogy song with an introduction of an airline hostess announcing a flight. Would people fall in love if they knew it might not work out? I don't know. Good question, and that's for each listener to decide. It talks above love between ordinary people as well as famous folk, with the common thread that love is unpredictable.
By far, the schmaltziest song on the disc and one that's 100 percent geared towards the pop audience. I wish this duet simply would have been released on the Carrie Underwood album. There's some great vocals on here, but being straight-up pop, it doesn't belong on a Paisley disc.
"Better Than This"
This one's pretty cool. A bunch of good ole boys sitting around, thinking about what could make the night better. Their creativity gets pretty good - a busload of beautiful women, an impromptu Merle Haggard/Willie Nelson concert, some food from Emeril LaGasse or a ride with NASCAR legend Richard Petty. Funny what the countrified mind can come up with.
"With You, Without You"
"With You, Without You" seems like a melodic cousin to "I've Been Better". I like the sound, tempo and vocals, but I'm not crazy about the lyrics - "I can be in love with you, with or without you." Sounds, kind of obsessed with an ex-girlfriend-esque.
This is just a spoken track where the Kung Pao Buckaroos reveal that George Jones is living up to his nickname, "No Show", and that Vince Gill is joining the troupe.
"Bigger Fish to Fry"
The KP Buckaroos shine in this one - probably their best song yet. A funny concept for a song - sinners who say, they have "minor vices" and the devil will have "Bigger Fish to Fry".
"When We All Get To Heaven"
Only Paisley has the personality to follow a song like "Bigger Fish" with a hymn like this one. I think it's great that he's returned to the old practice of including a gospel number on each album. It shows humility, and it's also good to see an artist showcase another side of their talents. Paisley does an exceptional job with this one.
It's always great to hear an instrumental, especially by a talented guitarist. And especially in an era where most songs on the album are so radio-driven. The instrumental seems to tell a story in itself, but that story is for you, the listener, to decide.
"Hidden Tracks 1 and 2"
The hidden tracks are mediocre. The first one is outtakes of Little Jimmy Dickens' outtakes, introducing the KP Buckaroos. The other includes the veteran Opry star, telling jokes, but he only gets to tell 3 of them on the disc. The funniest one? "A lady walked into a bar and sat on a stool with a duck under her arm, and the guy sitting next to her said where'd you get that pig? She said that ain't no pig. He said 'hell, I was talking to the duck'. Good stuff.