Brad Paisley – “This Is Country Music”

Blake Boldt | December 8th, 2010

Brad Paisley“This Is Country Music,” a song that Brad Paisley debuted on the CMA Awards show last month, has soared up the charts and earned raves from fans who relate to the familiar topics: trucks and tractors, Mama and little towns. All things that are good and fine and well. This is just the type of song that tends to inspire fist pumps and a few head nods, one that insists the genre’s greatness is beyond dispute.

Paisley also proves his musical chops here, but the real treasure is an ample dose of fiddle and banjo that quickly gets shuffled to the background in favor of his showy electric guitar playing. As country radio begins spinning ballads for the winter season, “This Is Country Music” manages to stand out for the sound of Paisley’s trusty Telecaster, as unnecessary as it is, pushing forward his message.

While that message–country music is the greatest music–may be a worthy one, the presentation here is awkward and forced. As the reigning Entertainer of the Year, Paisley, with his aw-shucks grin and awe-inspiring guitar skills, has emerged as Music Row’s leading ambassador, presenting modern country with a traditional bent. He’d seem to be the perfect spokesman for the format, but he presents some shaky arguments for what makes country music so valuable. It very well may be the last province for artists singing about Jesus or cancer, but those subjects aren’t always written about with any emotional insight. And it’s not just country music fans that have to handle life’s challenges and heartaches, just as it’s not the mere presence of country concepts–Jack Daniels, dirt roads, dead grandpas–that make a great song.

Nashville has become the home for nearly all of popular music’s commentary on the military, so when Paisley uses the third verse to address the fallen soldiers, the emotion does come across as warm and genuine. “Are you haunted by the echo of your mother on the phone,” he sings over a whining steel guitar. “Crying as she tells you that your brother isn’t coming home?” The rest of the subjects he sings about–a boss-hatin’ employee, a fun-lovin’ Friday night partier, for starters–are described in only the simplest terms, the perfect design for an ADD listener.

The vocal performance is humble and heartfelt as usual, but Paisley struggles when operating in his upper register, especially in the song’s weak chorus: “Turn it on, turn it up, and sing along,” he suggests. “This is real, this is your life in a song.”

“This Is Country Music” becomes the latest in a growing line of songs about songs, and one eventually gets worn down by the “I’m country” argument that have become a staple of the genre. Thou doth protest too much, yes? That Paisley rattles off a series of classic country song titles like “He Stopped Loving Her Today” and “Stand By Your Man” only invites unfavorable comparisons to this piece of pandering. The song is likely to split listeners into two different camps: “This Is Country Music!” and “This Is Country Music?” The new National Anthem it’s not, but it’s bound to be Paisley’s next chart-topping smash.

Thumbs Down

  1. Hoggy from Oz
    December 8, 2010 at 7:28 am

    I like the song, but I do believe it could have been written better, or perhaps spun from an original angle such as “American Saturday Night”. Hopefully his new album is more creative than this.

  2. Thomas
    December 8, 2010 at 7:38 am

    …a song like a quilt – a little too patchy for my liking, but overall it works.

  3. Phil
    December 8, 2010 at 7:46 am

    This is what today’s Country music wants to make people think it’s about. It hasn’t been about music or any of those things for some time now. And it’s all just a thin vail to cover up what it truly has become, and it’s about none of those things he describes in the song. It doesn’t come across as real or heartfelt or genuine to me because of it, and neither does today’s Country Music or today’s artists in general for that matter. The song should be called this is what Country Music used to be.

    If Brad were being honest he would say Country Music is now nothing more than another genre that bases its own successes and failures on a popularity contest and personality and image and the quarterly profits of Wall Street and however many units of whatever an artist can sell in a week over substance and creativity and honesty and integrity and believability. And that strategy is bound to fail unless it truly does become about the music again, and not the personality and image masquerading as such. My opinions of course.

    Good review of the song.

  4. Cutting the Treacle
    December 8, 2010 at 7:47 am

    this is sh*t. this is a repellent piece of trash that i suspect would even be beneath the standards of gary levox. this is country music fans getting it, good and hard.

  5. Ben Foster
    December 8, 2010 at 7:51 am

    “Do you sing a song about other songs instead of saying something new? This is country music, and we do.”

    If I didn’t know better, I would have thought @DrunkenMartina was sober when she tweeted that.

    I smelled pandering as soon as I heard this song, but it might have worked if it had just delved a little deeper than the typical cliches of today’s country music. I do like the production, but the song itself could hardly be more of a dud.

  6. Paul W Dennis
    December 8, 2010 at 7:57 am

    I would give this song a upward pointed thumb. It isn’t great, but then great songs are few and far between

  7. luckyoldsun
    December 8, 2010 at 8:14 am

    This song will climb to wherever it does on the chart and then disappear. It’s bland and pandering. Five years from now, no-one will be hearing it.

    There have been some country “songs about other songs” that were themselves great.
    The first one that comes to mind is Vern Gosdin’s “Set ‘em Up Joe.” (“Every night I run a needle through ‘Walkin the Floor’.”)

    Any others?

  8. Karlie Justus
    December 8, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Great review, Blake!

  9. Jon
    December 8, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Good record.

  10. stormy
    December 8, 2010 at 9:04 am

    Does it say anything about prision or getting drunk?

  11. Lewis
    December 8, 2010 at 9:20 am

    It’s kind of funny that Brad premiered the song on the CMA Awards after a few pop performers (Rascal Flatts, Taylor Swift, Kelly Clarkson/Jason Aldean) had performed and then Reba McEntire singing Beyonce and Kid Rock performing afterwards. The performance of the song seemed to mock what country music has now become in some sense and that is country music straddled with pop artists (Uncle Kracker, Kid Rock, Kelly Clarkson, Darius Rucker, etc.) though there are some new artists that are holding true to country music in some sense (Easton Corbin, Sunny Sweeney, The Band Perry to name a few).

    Though I like Brad, I feel that this song should have been timed differently like at the beginning of the show or at the end. And this type of song has worked for many artists (Gary Allan’s “Songs About Rain” as an example where at the end names of songs about rain are mentioned).

  12. Razor X
    December 8, 2010 at 9:21 am

    this is sh*t. this is a repellent piece of trash that i suspect would even be beneath the standards of gary levox. this is country music fans getting it, good and hard.

    That’s a rather extreme reaction to an inoffensive record. It may not be single of the year material but it’s not trash.

  13. Fizz
    December 8, 2010 at 9:42 am

    One question for Paisley: “Are you sure Hank done it this way?”

    Of course, I’d like to believe the song is actually meant as a sneaky parody. A parody so sneaky that listeners and radio programmers alike won’t recognize as parody because one group is so brain-numbed by this type of song, and he other because they think they’re having their egos stroked.

  14. Jon
    December 8, 2010 at 9:56 am

    @Stormy Why don’t you listen to it and see?

    @Fizz One question for Paisley: “Are you sure Hank done it this way?”

    Great, yet another person who doesn’t understand what Waylon wrote.

  15. Fizz
    December 8, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Who said I did? I was applying the song title (and the first verse, if you will) to the Paisley song. That’s all.

    And by the way, how do you, Jon, know what Waylon meant? Are you actually Waylon? The ghost of Waylon/ His shrink? How are you qualified to give an opinion on what Waylon “meant/” And what, exactly, do you mean by “meant?”

    Eat a couple jars of prunes and take a good dump. You’ll feel a lot better, I promise.

  16. stormy
    December 8, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Jon: Look up. See that thing over your head? That’s the joke.

  17. BAMBI
    December 8, 2010 at 10:49 am

    It’s not so bad. I don’t really like songs about country songs, though. I’d prefer an actual country song. About any one of the topics he mentioned. Well except maybe tractors. He didn’t mention ticks or water, did he?

  18. Lewis
    December 8, 2010 at 10:57 am

    Two songs that would describe country music right now: “Country Ain’t Country No More” and “Murder On Music Row”. Both songs are about 10 years old but they apply today.

  19. Mike Parker
    December 8, 2010 at 11:28 am

    This is a song most artists could make work. But the handful that could… Alan Jackson, George Strait, Garth Brooks… are all ambassadors for country music. Brad Paisley has assumed that role, and he’s giving a mission statement here. And, frankly, his definition of what country does could be much, much worse. Imagine if this song was written from Rascal Flatts perspective.

    As an opener to an album, and as a live song, it totally works. I don’t think it’s a great single. This won’t make Brad any new fans… but those who are fans now will eat this up.

    On a side note, one night at a club my bandmate had the notion that he wanted to sing the B&D song “Play Something Country.” The unrehearsed result sounded like something from the AC/DC country catalog. It was in thought that performance we taught our audience the meaning of irony. I have a feeling there will be plenty of similar performances of this in honkeytonks across the country.

  20. Noeller
    December 8, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Here’s the irony of the situation: If you wanna tell us what Country music is, you shouldn’t have to actually beat us over the head with it. All those songs and singers that you name-check in there to really drive home your point? They didn’t become legends by screaming “this is Country, this is Country, this is Country!!!” over and over again. They just go out there and actually made Country music. When Country is real — you don’t have to tell me, because I’ll be able to feel it.

  21. Jon
    December 8, 2010 at 11:58 am

    All those songs and singers that you name-check in there to really drive home your point?

    There are no singers named in the song, and no song titles mentioned until the vamp at the end.

  22. Fizz
    December 8, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    You want the phone number for the exterminator? You’re doing an awful lot of nitpicking.

  23. Lewis
    December 8, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Brad sings in his song: “You can’t sing about cancer.” or something like that to an effect.

    But you can sing about Alzheimer’s Disease (Tim Rushlow’s “She Misses Him” and Brett Elredge’s “Raymond”) or Down’s Syndrome (Tammy Cochran’s “Angels In Waiting” written about her two brothers who died of Down’s Syndrome) or AIDS (Reba McEntire’s “She Thinks His Name Was John”. I believe that there’s a cancer song somewhere in the mix but there have been plenty of other songs about diseases in country music.

  24. Mike Parker
    December 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    uh Lewis, you might want to listen again. The hook is “this is country music… and we do” I believe Craig Morgan had a song about cancer on the charts just recently… She’s Tough, or something like that.

  25. Brady Vercher
    December 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    He actually sings, “You’re not supposed to say the word ‘cancer’ in a song,” which isn’t the same as not being able to reference it or even making it the focus of a song.

  26. Fizz
    December 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    What about the song about two dudes on a plane, one of them going to visit his brother in the hospital, who’s got the Big C. “Where I’m From,” or something.

  27. Mike Parker
    December 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    From the forthcoming Brad Paisley Christmas album…

    “you know Dasher and Dancer and Cancer and Vixen… Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen…”

  28. Jon
    December 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    @Fizz Pointing out that Tammy Cochran’s brothers died from cystic fibrosis, not Down’s Syndrome, would be nitpicking. Pointing out that there’s no factual basis whatsoever for a piece of Noeller’s criticism of the song isn’t, and neither is pointing out that the “this” in “this is country music” doesn’t refer to the song itself.

    Of course, some of us remember songs like “Country Is” (Tom T. Hall), “Bright Lights And Country Music” (Bill Anderson) and other songs that “pandered” to country audiences over the years by talking about distinctive characteristics of country music. I wouldn’t put this one in the same class as those two, but on the other hand, I don’t have to in order to point out that, unless you’re prepared to spank Tom T. and Whisperin’ Bill for the crime of “pandering,” too, you’d be well advised to point out exactly how Paisley’s song differs from theirs.

  29. bll
    December 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Tammy Cochran’s brothers died from Cystic Fibrosis; rarely is Down’s Syndrome fatal.

  30. Fizz
    December 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Personally, I take Noeller’s post to be more about name-checking (or song-checking in this case) in general, and from that perspective, the point seems valid enough. In this song, it could just be one more ingredient of the satire. I hope it is, anyway.

  31. Chris N.
    December 8, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    “Country Is” isn’t about country music, it’s about literally living in the country. “Bright Lights and Country Music” is about going honky-tonking to get over a broken heart. Neither aims to define country music, and neither is pandering.

    This, on the other hand, is five minutes of nonstop pandering, fluffing the core country audience by implicitly telling them that they’re better than other people — more caring, more religious, more patriotic, etc. It insults the intelligence of everyone involved, Brad included.

  32. Fizzthe
    December 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Guess Jon was too busy nitpicking over what constitutes nitpicking to give those two songs careful scrutiny.

  33. Fizz
    December 8, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    And I was too busy getting that one off to notice I’d screwed up my own name.

  34. K
    December 8, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    this is sh*t. this is a repellent piece of trash that i suspect would even be beneath the standards of gary levox. this is country music fans getting it, good and hard.

    Then it isn’t it ironic Rascal Flatts have never relased a song that name checks country music or its musicians?

    If you’re going to compare the two, it’d help if you were actually on topic. I suspect Brad has recorded plenty of songs that are worse than their worst material- “Ticks,” “Online,” “Anything Like Me” and “This Is Country Music.”

    Ever heard of Eric Church, Jason Aldean, or Craig Morgan? They’ve made careers off of cheap namchecking and “I’m so country because…” songs.

    Rascal Flatts? Not so much.

  35. stormy
    December 8, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Would it be “nitpicking” to point out that “Country Is” is about living in the country and not country music.

  36. gloria
    December 8, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Sorry,this is harse, but it’s the way I feel about Brad. He is a suck up and the Country Music Industry’s little pet, golden boy..whatever you want to call it. He reminds of the boys in school that suck up to the teacher to get a good grade and strut around like they are God’s gift! IMO, his entertainer award was fixed. They put new acts in there that haven’t been headlining a tour long and Keith Urban who did tour some, but didn’t have a full blown tour. The industry knew he had to get it this time. It was probably his last chance because the little princess will be back next year and we know he won’t get it then. JMO! This song is awful, but of course it will fly up the charts cause teacher says so!!

  37. Noeller
    December 8, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    the only point I care to make is that this is by far Brad’s poorest single, and an artist of his talent is expected to put forth a much better effort.

  38. Mike Parker
    December 8, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I’ll admit I haven’t been able to sit through a Rascal Flatts song in a while… but I believe their equivalent to something like this was a rip off of the old joke about playing a country song backwards. I looked up the lyric “backwards,” and yep… worse than I remember. At least Paisley embraces country music (whatever his definition of it) and doesn’t outright make fun of it.

  39. ...
    December 8, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    brad’s a sell out, plain and simple. any time an incredibly talented musician (brad’s guitar playing is superb and he can make a mean ballad when he wants) stoops to making music for the lowest common denominator is terribly depressing. i understand wanting to be commercial and get radio play, but between the over reliance on joke-y songs and the caveman attitude of stuff like this and “i’m still a guy”, i don’t think i’m a fan anymore. i used to love early brad paisley, but he’s too much to bear.

  40. Razor X
    December 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I’m a little surprised that what seems to be a rather innocuous song has turned out to be so polarizing.

  41. Noeller
    December 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    …and another thing that just sorta popped into my head while reading some comments: I don’t like Brad saying that *his* definition of what Country music is, is the definitive one. The better title for this song woulda been “This is MY Country Music”. ‘Cause there’s a lotta stuff in there that he mentions as being integral to the genre, which don’t fit into my (and I would think a lot of others) view of the genre and what I love about it.

    Again, the bottom line is — Don’t tell me, show me.

  42. Leeann Ward
    December 8, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I’m with Chris N and I’m typically a Paisley fan. This is a disappointment, but aI expect to get back on the wagon with the next song.

  43. Jon
    December 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Would it be “nitpicking” to point out that “Country Is” is about living in the country and not country music.

    It wouldn’t be nitpicking if it were true, but it’s not.

    I have a sneaking feeling that it bothers me more to disagree with Chris N. than vice versa, but I’m going to do it anyway. “Country Is” is about a frame of mind, not about living in the country, and most definitely not about literally living in the country. It says “country is living in the city,” it says “country is what you make it,” it says “country is all in your mind [and] heart.” And it explicitly relates these things to the music – listening to the music, singing your part.

    Furthermore, its statements about what country is are so relentlessly positive that if Chris were right, and it was literally about living in the country, it would be doing exactly the kind of pandering that he says Paisley’s doing – even though Paisley’s are simply about the subject matter of country music, and are, for the most part, on the money (do I really need to rehearse the long list of Christian themed country hits, from “Can The Circle Be Unbroken” to “Temporary Home?”).

    Similarly, the indispensible element in Anderson’s song is the country music; the difference between the happy, up-beat loser in love in that song and the unhappy, lonesome loser in love in “City Lights” (which song is built around the same bright lights that are part of this one’s title) is the country music; in “City Lights,” the lights can’t take away or hide the singer’s loneliness, while in “Bright Lights And Country Music,” they can – because they’re combined with country music.

    So, while I don’t think this song is a great one by any means (although it boggles my mind that Noeller thinks “Ticks” is a better song and/or record), I don’t think it’s a bad one. And more importantly, I don’t see anywhere that it tells the country music audience – explicitly or implicitly – that it’s better than anyone else, and therefore I see little or no substance to the “pandering” characterization.

  44. Thomas
    December 8, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    …well razor x, it’s a tricky little tune. you can believe for good reasons that he just did with this one what he didn’t dare or wasn’t allowed to do with “too country”. on the other hand, it’s loaded with stereotypes and gets dangerously close to pandering that even the beautiful melodic and instrumental framework can’t quite save it. if that’s not a recipe for polarising…

  45. Noeller
    December 8, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Are you SERIOUS? Ticks is 100x better than this travesty! At least Ticks was creative and original! This is another list song that really feels like it’s been done a billion times over.

    You might not get the humour in a song like Ticks, but it’s a creative and well done song!

  46. Mike
    December 8, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    Country music stations are playing it over and over already – had to turn the radio off. The song is simply lame. I think it was written in a total rush. Brad needs to take a rest, slow down, and refocus. Just my opinion.

  47. Jon
    December 8, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    @Noeller I get the humor, but my mind is still boggled. Just kind of goes to show that assessing quality in art is a little tricky.

  48. Lewis
    December 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    I probably will take a wild guess and that this will be the title of Brad’s next album and that it’ll be an album of cover songs a la Alan Jackson’s “Under The Influence” and others and that this will be the only “NEW” song on the album.

  49. Fizz
    December 8, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Oh no, GLoria, don’t start that up again. Ol’ Jon wants to think his vote counts. Keep up that line of talk and he’ll tear up his NARAS card in despair.

    What “qualifies” you to speak on what Bill Anderson “meant” in “Country Is?” Did you write it? Because otherwise, you’re not qualified.

  50. Jon
    December 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    @Fizz 1. Gloria’s talking about the CMA’s awards, not the Grammys. 2. The great Bill Anderson wrote “Bright Lights And Country Music,” not “Country Is.” The latter was written by the great Tom T. Hall.

  51. Chris N.
    December 8, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    That argument is so tortured I think it might violate the Geneva Conventions. If “Country Is” and “Bright Lights and Country Music” are songs about country music, then practically every country song with the word “country” in it is a song about country music.

  52. Jon
    December 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I don’t believe I said that either of those songs is about country music, Chris. But more to the point, I’d like to know specifically where and how this song tells listeners that they’re better than other people, or even that the music they listen to is better than what others listen to. Because I’m not hearing that.

  53. Rick
    December 8, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    I’ve listened to the song and read all the comments here, and have come to the firm conclusion I really don’t give a sh*t about any of it. I’ve never been a fan of Brad’s music and as time goes on I find it less and less bearable. This guy can pick a mean guitar but he has a mediocre signing voice and too many of his songs sound like they came from the same cookie cutter.

    Chris N. said: “…fluffing the core country audience by implicitly telling them that they’re better than other people — more caring, more religious, more patriotic, etc. It insults the intelligence of everyone involved, Brad included.” I can see how the concepts of being “more religious” and “more patriotic” could insult the intelligence of a dyed in the wool, card carrying liberal like yourself Chris, but since Brad is a fellow Obamavoter comrade doesn’t he earn a pass on this just for his feel good duplicity? Hmm…

  54. Fizz
    December 8, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Aha! So you didn’t write it!

  55. ewew
    December 8, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    everything about this song is awful. another in a long line, seems like everyone one is worse than the last, he just out does himself… brad is one of the worst new country musicians, sure he can play guitar, but lots of guitarist can play as well or better as he does in rock!!!!

  56. Chris N.
    December 8, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    Oh, for pity’s sake.

    “Of course, some of us remember songs like ‘Country Is’ (Tom T. Hall), ‘Bright Lights And Country Music’ (Bill Anderson) and other songs that ‘pandered’ to country audiences over the years by talking about distinctive characteristics of country music.”

    “This is Country Music,” like many modern country songs, enumerates for the core country listenership the values that they’re presumed to share with country music itself. In doing so it reassures the listener that those values are the correct ones, and argues by elimination that other genres do not honor those values.

  57. Lewis
    December 8, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I was thinking about Barbara Mandrell’s “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool” just now and this song and Brad’s song are total opposites of one another.

    Barbara released her song in 1981 at the time that country singers like Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and Eddie Rabbitt were having major hits on the pop charts and the song was about “country bumpkins/or singers sticking to their roots” and “I took a lot of kidding because I never could fit in” and “I still act and look the same what you see ain’t nothin’ new” and took it in part as a rebellion of those singers who jumped over to pop radio.

    Fast forward to now in 2010-2011 and we now have pop singers going country and Brad Paisley trying to convince everyone that “This Is Country Music” but I don’t think that Uncle Kracker, Kid Rock, Kelly Clarkson, Darius Rucker among many others who are jumping over to country radio after their careers in pop radio cooled down and Brad calling everything “This Is Country Music”.

    Perhaps as I said before that his performance of the song at the CMA Awards was ill-timed because it had preceded several pop artists that had performed and afterwards with Reba singing Beyonce’s song “If I Were A Boy”. And I noticed that nobody gave Brad a standing ovation for the song either. So basically no one is totally convinced that “This Is Country Music”.

  58. Laura
    December 8, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    WAIT A SECOND – “Anything Like Me” is a great song! A well-written, relateable, beautiful song. How could you say that it’s bad?

  59. Razor X
    December 8, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    Barbara released her song in 1981 at the time that country singers like Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and Eddie Rabbitt were having major hits on the pop charts and the song was about “country bumpkins/or singers sticking to their roots” and “I took a lot of kidding because I never could fit in” and “I still act and look the same what you see ain’t nothin’ new” and took it in part as a rebellion of those singers who jumped over to pop radio.

    Yes, because Barbara was such a staunch traditionalist ….

  60. idlewildsouth
    December 9, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    “In doing so it reassures the listener that those values are the correct ones”

    But, what if that’s true? Someone’s values have to be better than someone elses, right? Mostly a joke.

    Honestly, I like the lyric about the solider not coming home, and the guitar intro enough, that the rest of it doesn’t bother me so much. I realize this isn’t the best logic, but for my taste, Brad’s bad is still a lot better than some other big names’ good. I’ll take it.

  61. Wow...
    January 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I’ve never seen such a whiny, nit-picking group of pessimists in my life. Brad’s just trying to sing a fun song, he’s not trying to sing the be-all, end-all definition of what country music is and should be about. He’s not trying to force any “values” onto the listener. If you don’t like it, turn the channel when it comes on. If you dislike Brad that much, don’t buy his albums. Sometimes songs are just songs.. you don’t have to dissect every word. You don’t gotta compare Brad to Hank, Lefty, Waylon, Ernest, or Bob F’n Wills, he’s just being himself, and I happen to like that.

    And as far as the Kid Rock & Uncle Kracker comparison? Let’s be serious. Brad didn’t start singing country music to supplement his income after a failing rap career. If one of those guys were to sing a song about what country is, maybe I would understand your case here, but Brad’s not them. Although his music may be poppy at times, I grew up about 15 minutes from where he did… Along the Ohio river outside of small country towns in WV.. and he’s not some poser like these others from Detroit. Ever heard of WWVA? The Jamboree at the Capitol Music Hall? I’d say that’s country enough.

    Maybe this song doesn’t perfectly represent what IS country music, but you pathetic losers are MOST DEFINITELY not what it’s about.

  62. Damien
    January 1, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I really like this song. I love the electric guitar solo really cool.

  63. Leah
    January 7, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    I LOVE Brad Paisley! Can’t wait for his new album; I already preordered it from his site, ! <3 :)

  64. Tyrone
    January 9, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    People, its just a song, and not a bad one at that. I’m a big Brad fan first because of his guitar playing. Imagine that, a music star who actually is an amazing musician. Most of his lyrics are tongue in cheek but he has a great sense of humor and pokes fun at the little things and people who take themselves too seriously. Brad is country precisely because he is just being who he is and is not trying to be another Hag, Johnny, Willie, George, Hank, etc… These people or times will never be replicated so why try? However, he does respect and pay homage those that came before him. Given alot of the current crop, he rises to the top. Not because he is some type of teacher’s pet but because he simply is that good.

  65. WAYNOE
    January 9, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    This song has grown on me a bit. THe guitar solo, like most of his, does not fit. It just blows up on you in the middle of the song. I mean, enough of the “let’s try to fit in as many licks into one secon as we can” crap and play a tune that fits the melody and tempermant of the song.

    @WOW – Kid Rock’s career is not, nor has it, failed. Do your research.

    @Rick – Brad is an Obama lover? yuck!

    April 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I have to say that this is a great song, unlike many of you people how disagree and say that its a terrible one. Well, I have to say that country music still exists today even if you folks think that its ”no more”. Brad is making tribute to the ones that made country music great, like George Strait, Johnny Cash, etc.

    Does any other modern genre today say absolutely anything about making tribute to the singers that made their genre famous? NO. The R&B of today is a completely different thing from what it was in the days of Lionel Richie. The Pop of today completely erased the past of what it was, with artists like the Bee Gees, ABBA, an others, being forgotten and abandoned. The popular genre(s) of today have 4 different names, but all sound exactly the same: R&B, Pop, Rap and Electronic. I mean all of these genres are just a mixture of Rap and Electronic music turned into a nasty mix, like if it was a atomic bomb. And Rock? I’m afraid my friends that it has very little representatives today, and none highlight what the genre used to be.

    So really, were left out with Country. And even if many deny this, country music still exists. Why? because it may have become louder, with more instruments but the main idea is still the same. It tells everyday life in vivid colors. And Thats what Brad Paisley tries to say.

    Thank you very much for criticizing the ONLY genre of music that still remembers where it came from.

  67. Andrew B.
    June 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    I absolutely love this song! I think it’s a song that everyone needs to hear – it shows what an amazing music genre country music is. I think this is one of those country songs that’s so great that it’ll make even the biggest country music hater in the world see country music for what it really is: REAL music about REAL life.

  68. Timmy Tommy
    June 12, 2012 at 11:41 am

    This song is stupid. Country music isn’t that great, anyway, and the song is just celebrating lame cliche after lame cliche. I have to listen to country thanks to my significant other, but I don’t think its very good. Celebrating country music is stupid. Country should be mocked not celebrated.

  69. Andrew B.
    June 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Timmy Tommy, you’re obviously a troll. If you don’t like country music, why do you even bother commenting on a country music blog site? And country music is great music – it’s the only music genre in which people sing about things in life that actually matter (family, love, God, etc.) as opposed to most pop music which is all about partying and flirting. The point of this song is that in country music, people don’t care about being popular, they care about putting out great songs that actually mean something. And that’s why country music is so great; that’s why country music should be praised, not mocked. I’m sorry you can’t appreciate good music, but please, instead of trolling the people who do appreciate it, go listen to whatever music you do like. Okay?

  70. Timmy Tommy
    June 12, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Um Andrew B says that “in country music, people don’t care about being popular, they care about putting out great songs that actually mean something.”

    Doubtful. First off, country is full of trend followers. When Garth Brooks and Clint Black became popular in 1989, lots of imitators (some of Garth, some of Clint) followed. When Shania broke through in 1995, newcomer females imitated her dress style and her songs. In the late 1990s and later, the trend seemed to be island flavored music, and everyone from Tracy Lawrence (Cowgirl Says Goodbye) to George Strait (I Just Want To Dance With You)to – especially – kenny chesney got on board. In the early 1990s when neo traditionalism Clint Black style was popular, Mark Chesnutt was talking about how country he was. In 1999, when pop influences were more popular, Chesnutt was recording “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” and “This Heartache Never Sleeps.” In the early 2000s, patriotic songs were all the rage for a while. But that trend seems to have died down a good bit.

    Country is about popularity, too. If a singer on a major label fails to have hits on radio and develop a large fan base, that singer gets fired from the label. Country is about following trends, too.

    As for country songs being “meaningful,” there are a gazillion songs on the air right now about how awesome trucks are, about how nice women’s butts are,et cetera et cetera. Sure, some country songs are meaningful, but then again so are some pop songs. Many pop songs and many country songs are not meaningful.

    Sorry you don’t like my posting here. I do not like country but as I said I know about it because I have family members who listen. If you can’t take an alternate point of view, you need not read my posts. But I will post when and where I wish.

Tagged In This Article

// //

Current Discussion

  • Paige: Oh damn. :( I never commented here and I haven't been listening to any music at all since Thanksgiving (it …
  • Dave W.: Just read the news here. Will miss E145 very much - love this site. All the best to you Juli …
  • Leeann Ward: Oh, dang! This is real. Farewell to the most generous, informative, quality, intelligent, consistent, ethical country music blog! You …
  • bll: Thanks Juli for all the great articles and information; you'll be missed by me and I suss several others. Best …
  • Both Kinds of Music: I hope people appreciate the irony that one of the best "Americana" albums is titled Metamodern Sounds in COUNTRY Music.
  • Barry Mazor: I would not rule out that possibility..There's a different set of voters involved..
  • Dana M: Does anyone else think that Brandy Clark actually has a good chance of winning since this isn't a country awards …
  • Juli Thanki: UPDATE: Brandy Clark got a Best New Artist nom. BEST AMERICANA ALBUM: Rosanne Cash -- The River & The Thread John Hiatt -- Terms …
  • luckyoldsun: Glenn Campbell is great and I'd love to see him get an award, but the words of that song may …
  • Casey Penn: Juli, it was an honor to write for you here on You're good at what you do, and The …

Recently Reviewed Albums

  • walkerandthetexasdangers3
  • deadmanstown
  • tom t hall storytellers
  • paulthorntooblessed
  • duhksbeyondtheblue
  • kelleymickwee
  • sandrarhodes
  • candi staton