I’m just now coming to grips with the fact that, as the deluge of year-end lists gets more and more intense over the next couple weeks, I’m going to see Brad Paisley’s American Saturday Night popping up an awful lot, on account of it no longer being acceptable for anyone, let alone a critic, to say, “Oh, I like everything except country music,” even if, despite your respect for their craft, you just happen to find all that fucking pandering to lowest common denominator America and its undying love for self-affirming escapist bullshit to be completely stupid and offensive.
So I just tried listening to the record, and there are some things I like. Brad Paisley’s voice is strong and sturdy and comforting, so there’s that. He’s also really awesome at the guitar, and if you close your eyes, you can actually picture him playing his signature paisley-printed Fender Telecaster. His melodies are top-notch, of course, and he refrains from subtly hating gay people and foreigners, which is also really nice.
But he also wrote a song called “Welcome to the Future” about how it’s, like, super crazy that you can send emails and that black people don’t have to sit in the back of the bus anymore. We critics have talked ourselves into a such a tight corner that we can no longer expect something more insightful from our artists; we’re doing them, and their audience, a grave disservice, and it needs to stop, pronto. New year’s resolution?
The video, should you be so inclined, is after the jump.