Album Review of
Time Well Wasted

Written by Joe Ross
June 11, 2014 - 12:00am EDT
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With much of Brad's original material, splendid vocalizing and excellent guitar playing, his 66-minute "Time Well Wasted" album is a great addition to this West Virginian's musical canon. It also includes his latest hit, "Alcohol," recorded with live audience. The "medicine and poison to help you up or make you fall" that wry-witted Paisley sings about might also just be an appropriate analogy for the many moods and emotions that he can convey with his songs. "She's Everything" and "Love is Never-Ending" are strong love songs on the album. The album's opener, "The World," is a fresh outlook about how one's undying commitment and devotion can make another feel important, special and needed. "Easy Money" is a somewhat autobiographical account of the various band members who used to work as roofer, truck driver, salesmen, garbage man and hot dog stand operator. 

Besides featuring many superior instrumentalists in the idiom, the cornerstone of Paisley's music is his lyrics. He finds ways to engage and draw us in with multiple catchy hooks and messages that often both humorous and powerful. "You Need a Man Around Here" shows that he's pretty perceptive when he sings about a woman's place needing a bass on the wall, beer, Maxim and Field & Stream magazines, and someone to kill the spiders. 

Brad offers some rousing collaborations. With Alan Jackson, "Out in the Parking Lot" is a Guy Clark/Darrell Scott song about partying on the fender of someone else's truck at the local honky tonk. In the gospel vein, "The Uncloudy Day" only spans 53 seconds, recreates a scratchy LP sound, and serves as the prologue to a song with Dolly Parton. She contributes her defining harmony vocals to the reflective "When I Get Where I'm Going," about what's ahead on that evergreen shore, a home where no storm clouds rise.

"Time Warp" is a barn-burning instrumental that allows many of the stellar accompanists to shine. The CD features players Jim "Moose" Brown, Ben Sesar, Kevin "Swine" Grantt, Justin Williamson, Randel Currie, Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Bryan Sutton and others. A host of vocalists also appear. On the bonus closing track, "Cornography," we hear fun narrative with Little Jimmy Dickens, George Jones, Bill Anderson and Dolly Parton. At first, I questioned the rationale for ending the album with this "corn," but then I realized it as his offbeat way to pay respect to these Grand Ole Opry greats. If the sketch annoys you, just skip the last track. 

 "Time Well Wasted," Paisley's fourth album, has an eclectic and unique way of appealing to a very wide audience. Part singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, and humorist, Brad Paisley has produced an album that has mainstream sensibilities and strong, personalized signature sound and personality. For those who don't believe in Brad, they can "kiss his backstage pass." (Joe Ross)