Similar artists

Albums

$17.49
$15.49

Country - Released April 21, 2017 | Arista Nashville

Hi-Res
Reuniting with Luke Wooten, the co-producer of Moonshine in the Trunk, Brad Paisley essentially supercharges that 2014 album for 2017's Love and War. Paisley hauls out all his old tricks, singing about the love of country and family, heartbreak, and middle-aged melancholy, then adds a heavy dose of superstar power, contracting Timbaland for two cuts, bringing in both Mick Jagger and John Fogerty for duets, then tipping his hat to classic country by inviting Bill Anderson to sing "Dying to See Her." Johnny Cash makes an appearance, too, with Paisley adapting the late singer's poem "Gold All Over the Ground" into a song, a subtle moment in an album largely lacking in them. While there is some appeal in this bright blast of sound, especially when he's in party mode -- "One Beer Can" in particular recounts the aftermath of a raucous adolescent bash -- it can also seem vaguely desperate, as if he's still clutching a reality that's faded into the past. Sometimes, Paisley acknowledges his advancing years: "Last Time for Everything" admits everything must come to an end, while the novelty "selfie#theinternetisforever" -- a sweeter version of his earlier "Online" -- accidentally reveals a curmudgeonly streak within the singer/songwriter. Strikingly, his invited elder statesman sound looser than he does, with Fogerty tearing into the title track and Jagger savoring all the punch lines on "Drive of Shame." Inadvertently, these two songs highlight the main problem with Love and War, which is Paisley's focus on having hits. While he never pushes too hard -- even the Timbaland tracks don't call attention to the beats -- the shiny production, shopworn jokes, and eager melodies have the cumulative effect of seeming too ready to please any audience that comes his way. Since Paisley still has his skills, this is often enjoyable -- he knows how to craft songs and can play a mean guitar -- but it's hard not to hear Love and War and think Paisley would be a little bit better off if he learned a lesson from Jagger and Fogerty: sometimes, it's better not to try so hard. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$17.49
$12.99

Country - Released May 23, 2011 | Arista Nashville

Hi-Res
Consciously backpedaling from the all-encompassing embrace of American Saturday Night, Brad Paisley narrows his definition of what constitutes modern country on his seventh collection of new songs, This Is Country Music. Gone are the casual multiculturalism, the allusions to the age of Obama, the subtle instrumental flourishes that suggested a world outside of country; whenever Paisley chooses to broaden the horizons on This Is Country Music, he brings in Don Henley to duet on a power ballad or kicks up the reverb for a bit of landbound surf-rock. From the album title right on down to a rousing tribute to “Old Alabama” -- a tribute so clever it seamlessly references a handful of the band’s '80s hits, its chorus playfully inverting “Mountain Music,” then enlists the group to sing the punch line -- Paisley celebrates the strict confines of country, gently bending its topical borders but adhering to country customs so strictly he even convinces Clint Eastwood to whistle a Morricone melody on a spaghetti Western instrumental tribute to the actor. Here’s where Paisley’s skills as a craftsman come into play. Always a traditionalist -- the kind who saluted the Grand Ol Opry by regularly having Bill Anderson and Little Jimmy Dickens come out to do some cornpone humor on his albums -- he builds a song with care but is keenly aware that he’s living in 2011, not 1965. Even when he’s determined to rein in his ambition, his music is rich and surprising. His silly novelties (“Camouflage” and “Be the Lake”) are underpinned by a sly sense of humor not readily apparent on their hammy choruses; he has an eye for details, whether it’s how a relationship builds (“Toothbrush”) or how a soul erodes in this modern world (“A Man Don’t Have to Die”); he opens the album by singing “You’re not supposed to say the word cancer in a song,” then breaks that very rule a few songs later; his twanging Telecaster may echo back to Don Rich, but is equally indebted to the shredders of the ‘80s. Paisley’s determination to keep This Is Country Music lean and lanky does mean it’s not as wily as his other records, but his consummate skill as a musician and big heart are always evident, always keeping things compelling. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$17.49
$12.99

Country - Released January 1, 2003 | Arista Nashville

Hi-Res
$22.49
$18.49

Country - Released April 9, 2013 | Arista Nashville

Hi-Res
If Brad Paisley signaled a tentative stylistic retreat via the title of 2011's This Is Country Music, the name of its 2013 sequel, Wheelhouse, is a fake-out. By no means is he returning to familiar territory here; he's stepping far outside his "Southern Comfort Zone," as Paisley puts it on the record's first single. There, he admits how he misses his Tennessee home but he's seen the ways he's grown and never would have seen the world without leaving what he already knew, a kind of self-evident truth that passes for a major revelation in the polarized world of 2013, where residents of both red and blue states are very happy within the confines of their county. Paisley has taken it upon himself to narrow the gap between city and country and, in that sense, Wheelhouse in general and "Southern Comfort Zone" in particular are cousins of sorts to his multi-cultural paean "American Saturday Night," only blown up to an international scale. Throughout the album, Paisley finds something to celebrate in every little corner of the world, or at the very least, the countries where his career has taken him. He titles an instrumental in Chinese, he writes a very English character sketch in "Harvey Bodine" (shades of the Kinks, or even Blur's "Ernold Same"), the Mona Lisa moves him to write a love song, and he rhapsodizes about "Karate," which a battered woman uses to exact revenge on her abuser. "Karate" is one of those tricky juggling acts Paisley pulls off with grace; another is "Those Crazy Christians," where he admires faith while harboring doubts of his own, never taking potshots at those who believe -- but there are times on Wheelhouse where Paisley simply has too many balls in the air and they're destined to fall. They come crashing down on "Accidental Racist," a well-intentioned attempt to get good ol' boys to reconsider the perspective of African-Americans undone by on-the-nose lyrics by Paisley and guest rapper LL Cool J, whose presence is simultaneously admirable and heavy-handed. Other odd grace notes abound, ranging from the too-dense spoken sample collage and "Dixie" interpolation on "Southern Comfort Zone," to the choice to bring both Mat Kearney and Charlie Daniels in as rappers, leaving teen heartthrob Hunter Hayes to play guitar and Eric Idle to sing. Paisley houses all these quirks underneath a looming cloud of arena rock atmospherics borrowed from U2, then accentuates everything with shouted harmonies laid on way too thickly, an expansive, ambitious production that remains admirable even with when it's unsuccessful. Usually, Wheelhouse suffers when the cross-cultural ambition is too great -- the wickedly funny "Oustanding in Our Field" samples Roger Miller and features a sly Dierks Bentley cameo, two moves so natural they wind up illustrating the labor that lies elsewhere -- but when Paisley does pull it all together, as he does on "Karate" or the joyous "Beat This Summer" (as effervescent a song as he's ever cut), the results are so good they wind up proving his point that more country singers should step outside their wheelhouse. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$17.49
$12.99

Country - Released August 16, 2005 | Arista Nashville

Hi-Res
As anybody who follows country music knows, Brad Paisley is acknowledged among audiences and critics alike as the new traditionalist standard-bearer for the 2000s -- the new guy that not only keeps the fire burning, but also rakes in the cash, having number one hits along with good reviews. He's not big and brassy like Toby Keith; he's the heir to George Strait, Randy Travis, and Alan Jackson, the guy who hails back to George Jones, Merle Haggard, and Buck Owens but is savvy enough not to play to overly serious Americana fans, the listeners who like their country music somber. That's not Paisley -- he may take his music seriously and will sing a serious ballad or two, but he also likes to crack wise and have a little fun. Although that's certainly preferable to colorless alt-country singers, Paisley has been known to overdose on fun, favoring a cute turn of phrase or a knowing wink to his audience. Of course, humor has always played a big part in country -- George Jones, one of Paisley's heroes, made novelties his stock-in-trade -- but there was a terminal cutesiness that threatened to overwhelm his otherwise excellent third album, Mud on the Tires. Thankfully, Paisley has reigned in this trait on its superb follow-up, 2005's Time Well Wasted. Paisley hasn't suddenly become a humorless bore -- how could he be when he persists on reviving the Grand Ole Opry's old-fashioned cornpone radio plays, heard here on "Cornology," which, like "Spaghetti Western Swing" before it, features George Jones, Little Jimmy Dickens, and Bill Anderson and adds Dolly Parton for good measure (which naturally results in some silly boob jokes: "he turned around to see two huge 38s pointed right into his face"). The difference is, Paisley no longer leans hard on either his silly or sentimental streak, preferring to lay back and let everything flow naturally. That gives his already attractive music a greater appeal, since his humor is now sly and lived-in, a perfect match for his faithful but not dogmatic country. As should be expected by any deliberately traditionalist musician, there are no surprises, no left turns here -- Paisley remains indebted not only to George, Merle, and Buck, but to how George Strait fused this holy trinity into a fresh yet familiar sound that encompassed the best of Bakersfield, Texas, and Nashville. Change can be overrated, particularly in regard to traditionalist music, and Paisley benefits from mining the same musical vein each time around. He's turned into a genuine craftsman, both as a songwriter and musician, and now with four albums to his credit, he's hitting his stride. His band sounds looser, warmer than it did on Mud on the Tires -- and they're given another dazzling showcase for their prowess on the frenzied "Time Warp," which is as delirious as prime Speedy West & Jimmy Bryant -- and Paisley's singing is relaxed and assured. These are welcome subtle improvements, but what makes Time Well Wasted Paisley's best record yet is the writing. Song for song, this is his best set of tunes, whether it's one of his ten originals or the sharply selected professionally written numbers that round out the album (these are highlighted by the sentimental but not saccharine ballad "Waitin' on a Woman" and a duet with Alan Jackson on Guy Clark's "Out in the Parkin' Lot"). Although Paisley hasn't abandoned goofy humor -- indeed, "I'll Take You Back" has mock crying built into its chorus, and a pivotal line in "Alcohol" concerns how it makes "white people dance" -- this tendency is balanced by wittier jokes and his knack for keenly observed human nature, best heard in the savvy "Alcohol," but not isolated to that, either. It's not just that the words are stronger, but the music is weathered and sturdy, sounding familiar on the first spin and getting stronger with each play. Each of Paisley's prior albums gained stature with repetition, but Time Well Wasted is not only richer than his first three records, it's more gripping upon its first play. Paradoxically, it demands attention partially because Paisley isn't trying too hard to deliver a classic, nor is he working overtime to please his fans. Instead, he lays back and delivers his songs with the ease of an old pro, which means for the first time, he's made a record that can hold its own next to his idols. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$17.49
$15.49

Country - Released November 2, 2010 | Arista Nashville

Hi-Res
Hits Alive is a somewhat misleading title for Brad Paisley’s first career overview, suggesting that it’s nothing but a live album when it instead pairs a disc of studio hits with a disc of concert recordings culled from his 2010 H20 Tour. Over the course of these two discs and 25 tunes, almost all of Paisley’s Top Ten country hits appear in some fashion -- the main omissions are 2001’s “Wrapped Around” and 2009’s “Welcome to the Future,” both of which peaked at number two, while “Alcohol,” “Mud on the Tires,” and “Online” appear on both discs -- which is enough to make this a representative introduction to Paisley’s sharply updated traditionalist country, particularly because the live disc also gives him some room to roam instrumentally, showcasing the fiery guitar skills that are as distinctive as his dry sense of humor. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$17.49
$15.49

Country - Released August 22, 2014 | Arista Nashville

Hi-Res
Ambition got the better of Brad Paisley on 2013's Wheelhouse, coaxing him into the briar patch that was "Accidental Racist" -- an ill-conceived cross-cultural duet with LLCool J which generated a flurry of headlines that camouflaged how the album straight-up flopped on country radio. Wheelhouse was Paisley's first record since Play not to go gold, and even that is misleading because that 2008 effort was an instrumental album and those never sell in large numbers; subtract that from his stats and the 2013 record achieves the ignoble status of his first-ever album not to reach gold and, perhaps more importantly, his first not to generate a number one single. Paisley slyly alludes to this slump, singing "I guess I've been in a dry spell, but that's about to change" on "Crushin' It," the opening track of his 2014 album Moonshine in the Trunk, a phrasing that suggests his dip in sales lasted longer than a year -- which, in a way, it has. His sales started decreasing around the time of the open-hearted, far-ranging American Saturday Night, so perhaps it's no surprise that he's attempting to turn back the clock on Moonshine in the Trunk, stripping back all his experimentations and declining every detour so he winds up with a record that could function as a de facto sequel to 2007's 5th Gear. Moonshine in the Trunk is all gleaming steel, hard edges, sleek rhythms, and power ballads, state-of-the-art modern country that doesn't dare make a big deal of any of Paisley's eccentricities outside of his squealing guitar. Restless guy that he is, Paisley doesn't quite abandon every one of his quirks: specifically, he plays around with rhythm, setting "Crushin' It" to a thumping disco beat, pushing "River Bank" along to a stuttering syncopation, and underscoring "Limes" to an electronic loop. These dance-friendly beats go down smoothly because the emphasis is on the twang of the Telecaster and Paisley's drawl, signatures as prominent as his sense of humor which also surfaces on Moonshine in the Trunk -- quite genially on "Going Green," a wry tale of a redneck choosing to sacrifice for the sake of the environment, and quite nastily on "High Life," where a bunch of white trash sue their way toward millions. No matter how much he rhapsodizes about the logos across the caps in this great "Country Nation," these two novelties suggest where Paisley's sympathies lie: he's too smart, too worldly to pander to his base, so he'll take sly jabs and disguise his wide-eyed futurism within the nostalgia of "American Flag on the Moon." Most of all, he's savvy enough to know when to play it safe, which he does throughout Moonshine in the Trunk, turning out high-octane, highly enjoyable songs about trucks, water, speed, and making out with girls who don't realize they're beautiful enough to be a model. This is, for want of a better word, his wheelhouse, and while he may not be leaving his comfort zone here, Moonshine in the Trunk proves his strengths remain mighty potent. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$17.49
$12.99

Country - Released June 19, 2007 | Arista Nashville

Hi-Res
Brad Paisley is in a strangely nostalgic mood on 5th Gear, its title both a reference to its status as Paisley's fifth studio album and to the numerous car songs scattered across this album. Those car songs aren't mere celebrations of magic machinery; they're infused with nostalgia -- he holds to a very teenage interpretation of the power of the car, meaning that the automobile is the embodiment of freedom, and this isn't his only gaze back to adolescence, either. He's even writing letters back to his 17-year-old self, consoling him that things are gonna turn out OK after all is said and done, which gets to the core of 5th Gear: Paisley is happy about how things have turned out but he still can't help but look back just a little wistfully. He may be a little melancholy about his teenage wildlife, but he acknowledges that things don't get any better than this in not one, but two songs -- in "It Did," where a storybook romance just grows stronger, and "Better Than This," where he says the only way the party could improve is if there were a 1,000-gallon keg and Merle and Willie provided a live soundtrack. It's a curious mix of acceptance and regret, but it's appropriate for somebody who is starting to realize that he's settling into his mid-thirties, recognizing that things are changing, sometimes not always in comfortable ways. Case in point: he snipes at Internet nerds sequestered in their basements, lying about themselves on MySpace, in "Online," an obvious joke that comes just a bit too close to bullying, but he saves himself with his smarts -- not just verbal (obvious they may be, the jokes are cutting) but musical, as he ends it with a marching band that delivers an aural punch line set up by the words. This isn't the only time that he tells jokes (and that's outside of his traditional cornpone down-home Grand Ole Opry schtick that closes his records): there's the wonderful "Ticks," which has the best pickup line in many a moon, and he pulls off a great musical joke on "Mr. Policeman," where he captures a getaway with a torrid instrumental break that slows down into a very funny quote of "In the Jailhouse Now," capped off by a bizarre, unexpected, yet fitting allusion to South Park's Cartman. That fleeting joke, along with "Online" and a duet with American Idol winner Carrie Underwood, is one of the clearest indications that Paisley is a modern guy, but as always his greatest trick is that he's modern while being proudly traditionalist, never copping to the arena rock bombast of Garth Brooks, never going for a boot-scooting shuck-and-jive crossover, and never succumbing to the goofy Big & Rich cabal. Paisley just lies back and turns out songs that flow naturally, then pumps them up with hot-wired guitar. Even if he's from West Virginia, this is the sound of modern-day Bakersfield and he proves that this lean country sound never grows old provided it's executed right and with good songs, which is what Paisley always does. This is a form that's flexible -- depending on the attitude, it can sound old, it can sound contemporary, and Paisley is both a classicist and a modern guy, at once sounding like his idols but sounding like nobody else in 2007. He distinguishes himself on 5th Gear by deepening his attitude with that longing look back at his own past, which combined with his reliable sharp wit, strong songs, and blazing guitar, gives this album some considerable weight. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$12.99

Country - Released June 30, 2009 | Arista Nashville

An American Saturday Night is not an unusual topic for a country song, but Brad Paisley's celebration is. Paisley sees a typical weekend night as a cultural collision of French kisses, Italian Ices, Canadian bacon, and margaritas, a place where Mexican and Dutch beers chill side by side in a bucket of ice. If he leans too heavily on labels, referring to those beers by brand name, it's merely a reflection of Paisley's uncanny knack for capturing the casual contemporary details of American life at the tail-end of the 2000s. It's not just the pile up of iPhones and international video chats on "Welcome to the Future," the first country anthem of the Obama era, it's how he'll pick up prescription for his girl and flips macho stereotypes on their head on "The Pants." He's a thoroughly modern man and that attitude helps invigorate his traditional country, a sensibility that's welcome on American Saturday Night, which veers toward the mellow despite its rollicking title track or the breakneck "Catch all the Fish" and the odd burst incongruous gurgling synth. On the whole, American Saturday Night is one of his dreamier albums, filled with swaying slow dances, sweet love tunes, and the occasional brokenhearted blues, all delivered with a worn-in ease. Paisley prevents things from getting too relaxed by juxtaposing his every-guy vocals with spitfire guitar, something that gooses even the sleepiest tempos, just like how he spikes his party tunes with sly humor. He never lets things get too serious or too maudlin, he cracks jokes at himself and his friends, he lets everybody into his Saturday night party, because he knows that what makes an American party -- and what makes America -- is how all the best things wash up on the U.S. shores. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$1.99
$1.49

Country - Released May 13, 2016 | Arista Nashville

Hi-Res
$17.49
$15.49

Country - Released April 21, 2017 | Arista Nashville

Hi-Res Booklet
$17.49
$12.99

Country - Released November 4, 2008 | Arista Nashville

Hi-Res
$17.49
$12.99

Country - Released October 10, 2006 | Arista Nashville

Hi-Res
Brad Paisley has made it no secret that he wants to be seen as part of a tradition of country singers, one that hails back through not just through his obvious musical forefathers Buck and Merle, but stretches back to such Grand Ole Opry mainstays as Jimmy Dickens and runs through George Strait, the gold standard for contemporary country singers. So, it should come as no surprise that when he decided to record a Christmas album -- humbly titled A Brad Paisley Christmas -- he followed the examples of his heroes and kept things simple, cutting an 11-track record that captures the spirit of the season while staying true to the sound of his band. Unlike Buck, Paisley didn't write a bunch of new material for his holiday album: he covers a bunch of standards, including Buck's "Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy," adding a handful of originals to the mix, plus a seasonal variation on his cornpone comedy sketches that traditionally close his albums. It's simple and unassuming, but it's also tremendously entertaining, more so than most contemporary Christmas records. That's because Paisley not only has a sharp ear for picking songs that work for his band, he also lets his band work, giving them the room to turn such standards as "Away in a Manger," "Winter Wonderland," and "Silver Bells" into songs that sound like Paisley and his band -- and on top of that, he's thrown in some new songs that meet these high standards, like the whimsical "Penguin, James Penguin" and the lazy, jazzy "364 Days to Go," which provides the perfect soundtrack to a snowy night wrapping presents. In fact, that sentiment applies to A Brad Paisley Christmas as a whole: it's a sweet, warm, big-hearted Christmas record with more musical weight than the average modern country record -- or, in other words, it has more in common with classic Christmas records, and it feels every bit a classic holiday record itself. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$12.99

Country - Released June 1, 1999 | Arista Nashville

$1.99
$1.49

Country - Released March 11, 2019 | Arista Nashville

Hi-Res
$1.49

Country - Released July 27, 2018 | BMG

$1.99
$1.49

Country - Released November 15, 2018 | Arista Nashville

Hi-Res
$10.99

Country - Released May 29, 2001 | Arista Nashville

$17.49
$15.49

Country - Released April 9, 2013 | Arista Nashville

Hi-Res
$18.49

Country - Released April 9, 2013 | Arista Nashville