Monday, March 14, 2011

Brad Paisley, "Old Alabama" (featuring Alabama)

My interest level in Brad Paisley's new album quickly plummetted when I heard the first single and title track "This Is Country Music."  Instead of restoring my interest, the disappointing second single only threatens to kill it stone dead.  "Old Alabama" is meant as a tribute to the legendary country super-group Alabama, but poor execution makes it come off more like a parody.

The song's verses are unimportant.  The song exists for the sole purpose of throwing together some Alabama references, sampling their hit "Mountain Music," and having Randy Owen sing a guest vocal.  Obviously, it begs the question of "Why not just listen to Alabama?" (I asked a similar question of Kid Rock's "All Summer Long" - Why not just listen to "Sweet Home Alabama"?) Brad brings very little of his own style and personality to either the lyric or performance - He just sounds like he's trying to be Alabama.  When he goes so far as to start singing about "love in the first degree-yee-YEEEE," it just sounds awkward and jarring to listen to.

Is this what an Entertainer of the Year-winning artist's career has come down to?  Can he only sing songs about other songs instead of making a statement of his own?  Such uninspired material does not offer much hope of Brad's music becoming interesting again, nor does it offer an enticing preview of the album to follow.

Hey, here's an idea - Let's just listen to the real "Mountain Music" song instead.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)