Time Well Wasted

Time Well Wasted

4.5 12
by Brad Paisley
     
 

Brad Paisley's previous album, Mud on the Tires, went double platinum, and Time Well Wasted ought to see that and raise it a couple. Paisley's calling card remains boogie, blues, ballads, and a lotta righteous twang. He is, after all, one hotshot guitar picker -- as he demonstrates, often, here -- and a songwriter of witSee more details below

Overview

Brad Paisley's previous album, Mud on the Tires, went double platinum, and Time Well Wasted ought to see that and raise it a couple. Paisley's calling card remains boogie, blues, ballads, and a lotta righteous twang. He is, after all, one hotshot guitar picker -- as he demonstrates, often, here -- and a songwriter of wit and depth, more than most mainstream heartthrobs could ever muster. He comes out of the gate with guitar blazing on a hot-rockin' love song, "The World," and barely lets the listener take a breath before rolling out one of his instant classics, "Alcohol," a clever southern rock anthem in which the demon drink speaks in the first person about its pervasive and lasting influence in both personal and world history. The tune builds from a solid thump into a roaring maelstrom of snarling guitars, honky-tonk piano, and soaring harmonies, all serving a memorable observation: "I been makin' a fool out of folks just like you / and helping white people dance." Paisley's idea of a power ballad is more rustic than most. The dobro- and acoustic guitar–tinted soundscape on "When I Get Where I'm Going" sets the stage for a song that muses on the better world that awaits in heaven, as Paisley is joined by Dolly Parton on the spiritually resonant, triumphant choruses. In a textbook example of piling on, Alan Jackson comes by to swap wry verses and harmonies on "Out in the Parking Lot," a stomping bit of honky-tonk brio that only makes the Brad Paisley juggernaut doubly awesome. There's no time wasted here.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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.
Entertainment Weekly - Chris Willman
He represents the convergence of Buck Owens and legendary Buckaroos fretman Don Rich in one package: part Hee Haw hoariness-monger, part guitar hero. (A-)

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/16/2005
Label:
Arista
UPC:
0828766964226
catalogNumber:
69642
Rank:
9561

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Brad Paisley   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar,Guitar (12 String Electric),Hi String Guitar (Acoustic),Guitar (Baritone)
Jerry Douglas   Dobro
Little Jimmy Dickens   Track Performer
George Jones   Track Performer
Dolly Parton   Track Performer
Scott Hamilton   Background Vocals
Tim Owens   Track Performer
James Burton   Electric Guitar
Eric Darken   Percussion,Vibes
Carolee Cooper   Background Vocals
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle,Mandolin
Kevin Grantt   Bass,Background Vocals,Upright Bass
Kendall Marcy   Banjo,Background Vocals
Bobby Terry   Bass
Bernie Herms   Piano
Kenny Lewis   Bass,Background Vocals
Bryan Sutton   Mandolin
Wes Hightower   Background Vocals
Rod Fletcher   Background Vocals
Robert Arthur   Track Performer
Michael "Mike Dee" Johnson   Dobro,Steel Guitar
Norah Lee Allen   Background Vocals
Justin Williamson   Fiddle
Jim "Moose" Brown   Piano,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Background Vocals
Ben Sesar   Drums
Gary Hooker   Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Guitar (12 String Electric)
12 Steps   Background Vocals
Whisperin' Bill Anderson   Track Performer
Dennis J. McCall   Background Vocals
Kung Pao Buckaroos   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Guy Clark   Composer
Tim Owens   Composer
Neal Cappellino   Engineer
John Goodwin   Composer
Kevin Grantt   Tic Tac
John Kelton   Engineer
Darrell Scott   Composer
George Teren   Composer
Brian David Willis   Engineer,Digital Editing
Jason Lehning   Engineer
Willis R. Nance   Composer
Kendall Marcy   Engineer
Bobby Terry   Composer
Adam Hatley   Digital Editing
Kelley Lovelace   Composer
Rivers Rutherford   Composer
Wynn Varble   Composer
Richard Barrow   Engineer
Brady Barnett   Digital Editing
Robert Arthur   Composer
Brad Paisley   Composer
Frank Rogers   Composer,Producer
Don Sampson   Composer
Christophe Dubois   Composer,Executive Producer
Lee Thomas Miller   Composer
Peter Tilden   Composer
Ashley Gorley   Composer
Hank Williams   Mastering

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