August 17, 2005

LESS CORN:

Paisley's Pattern: On 'Time Well Wasted,' the Country Showman Offers More Beef, Less Corn (Bill Friskics-Warren, August 17, 2005, The Washington Post)

Brad Paisley's multi-platinum claim upon the country mainstream hinges on a nimble mix of sincerity and showmanship. On the one hand, this has resulted in a string of heart-tugging pledges of fidelity dating back to "He Didn't Have to Be," his 1999 single about a stepdad who embraces his new wife's kid as his own. On the other, it's accounted for some of the punchiest, most dexterous guitar playing this side of Dwight Yoakam's early hits -- and for Paisley's sometimes irksome penchant for corn-pone humor.

It's all here on "Time Well Wasted," the 32-year-old West Virginia native's fourth and best album. There's everything from "Waitin' on a Woman," a wry profession of undying love worthy of Alan Jackson, to the stratospheric "Time Warp," a dazzling flight of cowboy jazz in the spirit of '50s daredevil pickers Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant. (As a guitarist, Paisley is equally adept playing bluegrass, honky-tonk and rock-and-roll.) [...]

Paisley's reach as an entertainer harks back to a time when country singers worked a little bit of everything into their vaudeville-derived acts. In Paisley's case, though, this ecumenism has also contributed to the lack of respect he gets from alt-leaning listeners, many of whom came to country from rock and expect more depth from Paisley than his lyrics typically afford.

With Time Well Wasted, however, Paisley gives his detractors less to complain about.


Entertainment Weekly liked it too.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 17, 2005 12:00 AM
Comments

He is indeed quite a quitar player, from bluegrass to straight country to, well, he can turn around and strap on a Fender Telecaster and rip out rock riffs with the best of them. He can flat out play. He and his band rip through that amazingly energetic instrumental "Time Warp" without breaking a sweat.

My wife and I saw him in concert a couple of weeks ago, and liked it a lot. Fun show, and he is funny, too. Worth seeing, definitely.

Posted by: Jeff Brokaw at August 17, 2005 2:38 PM
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