Song of the Day #4,621: ‘Holdin’ On To You’ – Brad Paisley

Here’s a simple heartbreak track from Brad Paisley’s debut album, 1999’s Who Needs Pictures.

Listening to the song in preparation for this post, my first instinct was to offer it up for one of my favorite musical game shows: Dead or Dumped? Is this song about a man who broke up with his girlfriend/wife, or a man who suffered through her death?

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Song of the Day #1,094: ‘It Never Woulda Worked Out Anyway’ – Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley’s mischievous side was apparent right from the start, with this B-side to the ‘Who Needs Pictures’ single as early evidence.

‘It Never Would Worked Out Anyway’ is the opposite of its counterpart song more than just physically. Both tunes are sung by protagonists who have fallen out of relationships, but while the singer of yesterday’s song is lost in sad nostalgia, today’s narrator has opted for petty revenge.

Paisley expertly embraces this juxtaposition on all of his albums. He places earnest love songs against both heartbreak ballads and sarcastic put-downs. In the grand country tradition, he offers up something for everyone.

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Song of the Day #1,093: ‘Who Needs Pictures’ – Brad Paisley

For my latest installment in the weekend series, I’m turning to one of the newest additions to my stable of favorite artists — Brad Paisley.

I discovered Paisley about a year and a half ago and he’s quickly become a staple in my musical rotation. He’s one of those artists who has evolved over the years as both a writer and performer, making him a great candidate for a series of posts that presents his career chronologically.

So welcome to two months of Brad Paisley Weekends! (Dana, I bet you’re longing for the Ron Sexsmith days right about now…)

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Song of the Day #551: ‘He Didn’t Have to Be’ – Brad Paisley

As my Brad Paisley theme week continues, I will now move on to another aspect of the man’s music that contributes to his enormous appeal: Brad Paisley is sweet.

I’m sure numerous essays have been written about the appeal of cowboys to modern women, especially sensitive and polite cowboys. Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights has all the women I know panting like lapdogs because he epitomizes that concept, even if he generally trades the cowboy hat for a football helmet. He’s a little macho and a little blunt but he’s also charming as hell and deep down he’s a teddy bear.

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Song of the Day #550: ‘Me Neither’ – Brad Paisley

About once every two years I discover a new artist who joins the ranks of my favorites. Often it’s an established artist who’s just new to me… maybe somebody I’d heard of but never heard, or somebody who somehow managed to escape my radar altogether.

Over the past decade or so, artists who have joined this club include Josh Rouse, Lucinda Williams, Tift Merritt, Shakira and Stew. These are people whose collected works I quickly gobbled up in an effort to own and appreciate everything they’d ever recorded, people whose names were added to the growing list of all-time favorites.

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