Brad Paisley is an artist I will always be a fan of. He was one of the first ever Country acts I got into and I still hold him way up there with the greats. With the current country music market being what it is and with the genre having an ever growing fan base, artists like Brad seem to have been put to the sidelines a little bit, especially with younger stars emerging all the time and the genre stylings changing.
Much like Zac Brown Band, Brad is a ‘live show’ artist, someone who belongs on the stage and where he is at his strongest.
Love and War is Brad’s eleventh studio album. It has an interesting mix of tracks with interesting collaborations such as Mick Jagger on the track Drive Of Shame which is as country rockin’ as you would imagine and the more surprisingly collaborations with Timbaland but the tracks with him aren’t what you would worry they would be, they are actually very Country and very upbeat, fast paced and energetic in particular on Solar Power Girl.
Love and War is another collaboration and with John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival. It is one of the strongest off the album with an upbeat, toe tappin’, country rock sound. Dying To See Her with Bill Anderson is quite pretty but not one I am likely to remember first off.
Despite the choice of collaborations the majority of the album is ‘very Brad’. Some of the songs are similar to past material which doesn’t make the song’s bad, but just a bit samey. There are some great guitar solos which you would expect and hope for with Brad being a phenomenal guitar player. The songs are all great in theory but nothing jumps out at me like Water, Wheelhouse, Whiskey Lullaby, Welcome To The Future and so on…not that I only like tracks that start with W, that is a coincidence.
Brad still uses his comedy stylings with the song Selfie#theinternetisforever which I really like, it is very catchy and it made me laugh when he played it at C2C Festival in London and the set up for the song was great. The song basically says it all and it’s about time someone called the selfie takers out in a song because the selfie world is a bit too much – I don’t really get it, it’s not a thing with many of my generation so it baffles me why people do things such as Mondays Selfie etc.
When I listen to a Brad Paisley album, in particular this one, I do think he releases songs that he can envision translating well in a live performance so when I go in with that in mind, I hear the songs differently. Brad does stay true to a traditional and authentic country sound which is great and lost on a lot of artists of his generation these days. Today which was a very successful single is one of the most memorable tracks and is the Then of the album.
Gold All Over The Ground which is an adaption of a Johnny Cash poem and the first time the words have been set to music, is a nice, traditional sounding down tempo tune with nice instrumentation.
Love and War has done well since its release and I hope it continues to do so as Brad does deserve it and overall it’s a good album, not his best but it is good and if it is your first time listening to Brad then you are likely to be very pleased and hardcore fans I am sure will be very happy too. Again, Brad is one of the best live performers around and I would be more than happy to see and hear any of these songs live as Brad never disappoints in that area.
Love and War by Brad Paisley