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Brad Paisley
Time Well Wasted
Arista Records

There are a few secret artists that modern country music tends to hide away, playing one or two of their more pop/crossover tracks, but avoiding playing their real country music. Brad Paisley is on about his fourth record by my estimation, and I can't recall ever hearing anything but his crappy songs (that fishing song excepted) on the top 40 radio. That's just selling this young man short. For those of you who are like me and appreciate country music for honky tonk pianos and twanging guitars, then you owe it to yourself to listen to Brad Paisley. Each of his records is filled to the top with personality and soul, things that top 40 country lacks in spades.

Building on the fine foundations he's laid on past records, Paisley scores big again with Time Well Wasted. The first thing that drew me to the man was his ability to twang a telecaster with the best of them. I'd put him up against the greats (Redd Volkaert, Marty Stuart, James Burton) and expect him to impress them as much as they've obviously made an impression on him. Paisley is young, but his playing is mature and very, very excellent. Don't believe me? Check out the leads and comping on "Alcohol" or the super speedy runs on "I'll Take You Back", not to mention the trade-off solos on "You Need A Man Around Here". Paisley shies away from the real shit-kickers on this record, leaving off clean fast paced tonk like his last record, Mud On The Tires. But there is still plenty of real country honk to keep any guitar pickers waiting for the next riff or run.

The other thing that really makes Paisley shine is his ability to turn a phrase with the best of the country writers. And I do like a man that writes his own tunes more than the top 40 folks who draw from the Nashville songwriter's pool. And it seems that the folks around the Opry are starting to take some notice, too. Dolly Parton makes a guest appearance on "When I Get Where I'm Going", Alan Jackson chimes in on "Out In The Parking Lot", and the master of the telecaster himself, James Burton, stops by for the rambling tale of "Cornography"… which is a crazy little western tale that wraps the album with a big, cheesy smile.

Bear witness, BC… Brad Paisley may be the youngest of the accepted Nashville stars to really keep the spirit of country music alive and kicking… Now if we could just get them to play this good stuff on the radio, not just the ballads and slow songs. Stupid top 40 country stations… be more better.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
01. The World
02. Alcohol
03. Waitin' On A Woman
04. I'll Take You Back
05. She's Everything
06. You Need A Man Around Here
07. Out In The Parkin' Lot (w/ Alan Jackson)
08. Rainin' You
09. Flowers
10. Love Is Never-Ending
11. The Uncloudy Day
12. When I Get Where I'm Going (feat. Dolly Parton)
13. Easy Money
14. Time Warp
15. Time Well Wasted
16. Cornography (feat. James Burton & the Kung Pao Buckaroos)

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