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Album Review: Brad Paisley is talking ‘Love and War’

Grade: A

According to both AllMusic and CMT Artists, Brad Paisley was probably the most prominent male country artist to come about in the early 2000s. Both sites have a strikingly similar description of the country superstar.

Paisley, born in Glen Dale, W. Va., first started practicing music at 8 years old. He was able to start performing at his local church, before playing at a local Rotary Club, where he was “discovered” by Tom Miller of WWVA radio. After he graduated from Belmont University, he signed with EMI Music, producing his own records. On top of his music, nowadays he also dabbles in cameos, such as a soundtrack in “Cars 2,” as a guest on “South Park” and even in his own published a memoir: “Diary of a Player.”

If anyone says they don’t know Brad Paisley, you can still be fairly certain they have heard his song “Today.” “Today” is a song all of us seniors can look to for support for our future. The line “Bring on tomorrow, I’ve got today” has certainly been my anthem this week.

If you’ve ever thrown a party, you know how the kid in “Bobbie Threw a Party” feels. The song starts with a party being thrown, but there is “nothing in this world to ruin your whole summer like one beer can.” “One Beer Can” is a fun lesson in how to clean up your messes, especially before your parents get home.

Timbaland is featured in “Solar Power Girl” and “Grey Goose Chase.” In “Grey Goose Chase,” it sounds like an older version of a country song, very quickly paced and upbeat and fun. All it could be missing is a fiddle, or perhaps Dwight Yoakam.

You may not have ever heard an artist approach the topic of broken homes like this. In “Solar Power Girl,” Paisley incorporates all the hope of escape from a harsh home with the idea of sunlight and warm weather. This single is definitely my favorite on the album. It is intriguing and very unique and generally reminds me of biology class for some reason.

“Drive of Shame” served as my first experience with Mick Jagger, who partnered with Paisley on this track. The style of this track sounds a lot more like soft rock than country. Personally, I would not have paired the two togetherbut it is an interesting mix.

“Go to Bed Early” is the epitome of sweetness. If you’ve got someone you love and have ever had a perfect day with them, you will understand the feel of this song. A very lovely song to share with someone, I’ve listened to it 10 times over.

I was not sure how I felt about this album at first. I had to play the whole thing twice before I made up my mind. The first half of the album is a bit strange. It is not the usual Paisley style, so I assume it was a bit more experimental. In fact, the beginning has more of a rock and bluegrass influence. The second half of the album is classic Paisley and downright beautiful. Slower tunes, very twangy, but as always, very well written. Check it out and take some time to figure out how you think too.

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