Time Well Wasted
First Appeared in The Music Box, September 2005, Volume 12, #9
Written by T.J. Simon
Based upon the commercial success of his recent and rather impressive release Time Well Wasted, West Virginia native Brad Paisley is the country music sceneís new shining star. Anchored by the strength of his hilarious and catchy hit Alcohol, Paisleyís fourth album is a rarity among mainstream outings in that itís built to please both the Red State/NASCAR crowd as well as urban, alt-country hipsters. The success of the effort can be attributed to Paisleyís commitment to coupling his clever and funny lyrics with impressive instrumental arrangements.
In fact, folks who listen to mainstream country radio should prepare themselves for hearing an awful lot from Paisley over the next year as Time Well Wasted is full of deserving, surefire hits. With its fast, finger-picked guitar passages, humorous lyrics, and memorable chorus, Iíll Take You Back provides a perfect example. Another winner is You Need a Man, which finds Paisley assessing a single womanís home by noting that the place lacks dead animals on the walls and strewn copies of Maxim; "This place could use a manís touch," he slyly states. Furthermore, his duet with Alan Jackson on Parking Lot will be sure to please fans of both artists as it recounts an enjoyable slice-of-life with a pleasant fiddle accompaniment.
When Paisley sets aside his posture as a country music humorist, the results remain remarkably strong. Time Well Wastedís opening track The World is a sweet devotion of love that is filled with brainy wordplay, and Easy Money confirms that Paisley is not an artist who takes his fame and good fortune for granted. The discís lone instrumental Time Warp is a breathtaking display of guitar acrobatics that switches gears from jazzy rhythmic strumming to blazing, hoedown-style excitement. Even the more nondescript numbers such as Raininí You and his duet with Dolly Parton on When I Get to Where Iím Going are never painful to hear.
Unfortunately, Paisley mars the final few moments of Time Well Wasted by attempting some spoken-word comedy skits that are both unfunny and annoying. It also would have been nice if Paisley had expanded Uncloudy Dayís old-time ode to Atlanta into a full song rather than the mere taste that he provides. However, despite these missteps, Time Well Wasted not only is on track for being the most enjoyable country release of the year, but it also is a testament to the notion that an artist doesnít need to play to the lowest common denominator in order to achieve success.
Time Well Wasted is available
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2005 The Music Box