Throwback Community Review – Brad Paisley’s “We Danced”

Welcome to Country Perspective’s newest weekly feature, Throwback Community Review! Many of you enjoyed a previous similar feature The Past Pulse of Mainstream Country Music and it was one of the main inspirations behind this feature. It’s quite simple: each week there will at least one of these. I will present some information about the song and of course a video to listen to it. You will then take to the comments delivering your thoughts and a grade, on a scale from 1-10. Your grades will be averaged to get the community grade for the song. The comments will be open for a few days before I close them to tabulate the average. Songs from any era of country music could go show up here and I’m open to suggestions for future featuring in this space.

Last Week’s Community Grade: Chris Young – “Aw Naw”2.4

This week we take a look at…

Artist: Brad Paisley

Song: “We Danced”

Released: June 26, 2000

Written by: Brad Paisley and Chris DuBois

Producer: Frank Rogers

Background: This was the fourth and last single from Brad Paisley’s debut album Who Needs Pictures. This song reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart after debuting at #58 on July 1. This was Paisley’s second #1 hit. It peaked at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

See you in the comments with my own thoughts and grade!

 

Community Grade: 

Review – Chris Janson’s “Power of Positive Drinkin'”

Chris Janson Power of Positive Drinkin'

One of the breakout artists in mainstream country music this year has without a doubt been Chris Janson. His smash hit “Buy Me A Boat” went #1 on the Mediabase Country Airplay chart and as of October has sold over 740,000 copies in the United States. In addition it landed him a major label deal with Warner Nashville and is set to release his first album with them of the same name on October 30. So it’s been a pretty good year for one of the co-writers of “Truck Yeah.” It’s just a shame he wastes his talent on terrible songs like “Buy Me A Boat.” If you go back and read my review on that single, you’ll see I got plenty of criticism for calling the song bad. While it is better than a lot of schlock at country radio, that doesn’t make it a good song and I still stand by my review. But I concede that Janson does have talent and is capable of making good music. So with the announcement of Janson’s second single “Power of Positive Drinkin’,” I came in listening to the song with an open mind in hopes that maybe he stepped up the quality on this single.

Unfortunately it’s not much better than “Buy Me A Boat.” The song is about a man whose truck has broken down, his air conditioning has broken and his woman has left him. So what does he do? He goes down to the bar and drinks his problems away. And that’s pretty much it. He doesn’t allude to why she left him nor does he learn his lesson. Nope. The moral of this song is basically all of your problems can be solved by drinking excessively. So there’s hardly any meaning behind this song. The mark of a good drinking, heartbreak song is an underlying lesson learned from being dumped and feeling blue. There’s a sense of sorrow and darkness about it, as you go to a place you never fathomed you would. This song comes off as cheery and paints being dumped by your woman as some excuse to party. This is why I didn’t like Kenny Chesney’s “Save It For A Rainy Day” as much as many of you readers did. A drinking, heartbreak song is sad and a partying, drinking song should celebrate getting a break after busting your ass off at work. This song tries to be both and you can’t do this.

The other big issue with this song is the production, or the lack thereof. The vibe I immediately got from this song was it sounded almost just like Blake Shelton’s “Neon Light.” The production (and even the lyrics) sounds so much alike, from the overall slickness to the unnecessary machine sounds. It feels more like a pop rock song than a country song. And when you throw this half-assed production behind half-baked lyrics (written by Janson, Chris DuBois & Mark Irwin), you get this generically mediocre song. Not to mention Janson’s vocals are butchered by the production too. This makes absolutely no sense and is unnecessary, especially when Janson has a good voice. It’s another example of mainstream country producers getting too cute and trying too hard to pander to the current trends of country music.

I really wanted to enjoy “Power of Positive Drinkin'” from Chris Janson, but I just can’t. There are so many issues going on with this song, that I wouldn’t blame you if you disliked it more than “Buy Me A Boat.” On top of these issues it’s just such a forgettable song. It’s also completely overshadowed by Mickey Gilley’s “Power of Positive Drinking.” Maybe on Janson’s new album there will be some quality songs, but so far I haven’t been impressed by his first two singles. I’m pretty positive that this drinking song is one of the mediocre I’ve heard from mainstream country music in 2015.

Grade: 2/10

Review – Brad Paisley’s “Country Nation” Is Hokey Schlock

Brad Paisley Country Nation

I hate to say I told you so, but I told you so. I called this back in August 2014 when I reviewed Brad Paisley’s new album Moonshine In The Trunk. This is what I wrote regarding “Country Nation” in my review:

I guarantee it was created for the sole reason to play in bumpers on ESPN during college football season.

Sure enough this prediction has come to pass for the 2015 college football season, as this song has been playing on ESPN on the opening weekends of college football season. Paisley was the special guest picker on College Gameday in week one. This has what it’s come to for Brad Paisley: he’s essentially become Kenny Chesney. Point out as many good Chesney songs as you want, but at the end of the day many roundly mock him for his cheesiness and the same is happening to Paisley now. Both deserve it. I didn’t plan on reviewing “Country Nation,” but Paisley decided to take it a step further and release this as a single to country radio. He forced my hand and now I’m going to give it the criticism it deserves.

“Country Nation” is one of the most cliché, corporate, formulaic song I’ve heard this year (written by Paisley, Chris DuBois and Kelley Lovelace). Out of all the terrible singles this year, I think this single had the least amount of effort put into it. This song is literally about nothing. It opens up with Paisley singing about steel mills and other blue-collar worker colloquialism. But this doesn’t define us. No, it’s the logo on our caps according to Paisley. Then Paisley goes into full laundry list mode and I cringe extremely hard:

We’re Mountaineers, we’re Volunteers
We’re the Tide that rolls, we’re Seminoles
We’re a herd of Longhorn steer
We drive Ford and Chevrolet
Cheer 24 and 88
We crank up our music Friday nights
On two thousand country stations
Yeah, we’re one big country nation, that’s right

I don’t know whether to laugh or throw something. Perhaps both! He name-drops popular college football team’s nicknames, which ensured ESPN would pick it up. By the way I should probably mention I’m a huge college football fan who has had to sit through years of terrible music during the season and this one may be the worst yet. The only one that I would say top it is Fall Out Boy’s “Centuries.” For those who also watch college football, you’ll know what I mean. Back to the name-checking: next Paisley mentions Ford and Chevrolet. Sucking up to corporations! Anyone with a brain could see through this. Then he subtly mentions NASCAR, as the 24 and 88 reference NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. It should be noted that Paisley also has a strong affiliation with Hendrick Motorsports, which I know because I’m a NASCAR fan too and Paisley sucks up to the team every season on social media. He then tops this big bowl of sucking up off with kissing up to patriotism and country radio.

You get the picture? This is the most nauseating, kiss ass song ever. Paisley essentially writes a love letter to his corporate benefactors and calls it a song. Some may say I’m being too harsh, but remember Paisley’s history of music. He’s been making huckster cornball music for years and he’s now reached the point of making so much of it that it’s at an over-saturation point. You can only go to the same well so many times before people are absolutely sick of it. It shows that Brad Paisley is bored with his music and just throwing out songs that he can knock out in his sleep. He’s desperately pandering to mainstream relevance by releasing songs like this to country radio.

“Country Nation” is a perfect example of why Paisley and country radio currently get no respect. There is no creativity, effort or emotion put into this song. Sure, it has a country sound and the instrumentation isn’t offensive, but who cares? When the lyrics are so by the book and pandering, you essentially tune the song out and ignore it. This will probably be the final single from Moonshine in the Trunk for Paisley, as it’s the fourth single from it. The only good single released from it, “Perfect Storm,” unsurprisingly has been the best performing from it, as it reached #4 while the others didn’t go above #12. I don’t expect “Country Nation” to go above it either and it’s really what it deserves. Avoid this song at all cost and hope Paisley learns his lesson from releasing embarrassing crap like this song.

Grade: 2.5/10