When misinformed people say that Country music is all about loss, whining that your wife left and took your dog, your car and your beer… Brad Paisley is the artist I think of that turns that stereotype on its head.

I think the first song I heard by this guy (or at least, the first which I knew to be him) was Celebrity, which mocks celebrities of our age and their ridiculously high status in society. I couldn’t help but laugh. I heard a few more songs I liked, and I started checking out some of his albums. While I have to say I enjoy his radio songs, I think you miss some real gems if you don’t get the album.

What I particularly love about him as an artist are his (often) high energy tunes and the creative lyrics of his songs. The first time I listen to a new album by Brad Paisley, I’m glued to the speaker, because I know his words are the best part. I am rarely disappointed. Even if it’s not a funny song (there are usually several of those), the lyrics just come across as more thoughtful than many artists of today. It’s the little things that make the most impact.

I’ve played many of his songs for my mom and my sisters, and they loved them, too. Whether he’s being the eternally optimistic guy trying to pick up a girl in Me Neither, or he’s cleverly plotting to smoke a box of Cuban cigars for half price in The Cigar Song, he’s an entertainer at his finest. The creativity shines through in his romantic songs, too, like Little Moments and The World, which just seem extra special, because it sounds like they’re describing a particular lady, yet I still feel that they apply to me and my relationship.

In short, the music of Brad Paisley makes me smile and melts my heart. Although it’s not my favorite of his albums, I think This is Country Music, and its title track, live up to their name, giving a fair representation of what the genre has become.

Hear (or watch) a few of the songs I mentioned above, as well as a couple new ones.

Celebrity:
My first, and still one of my favorite, Brad Paisley songs.

This Is Country Music:
Brad Paisley is a talented guitarist, and you can tell it's something he loves. Most of his albums have a few guitar/instrumental tunes, and he has an entire guitar album.

He Didn't Have to Be:
A very sweet song. It makes me cry almost every time.

When I Get Where I'm Going (duet with Dolly Parton):
Another thing I admire about Brad Paisley is that, while most Country artists seem to have a Christian background (from reading their Thank You message in the CD booklet), he actually puts one or two gospel/Christian songs on each album.

Southern Comfort Zone:
Around the world in 80 days? Watch Brad Paisley do it in five and a half minutes. ;)

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Country music. Love it? Hate it? Haven't given it a chance in a couple decades? ;) Why not?