Brad Paisley will be releasing his fourth single, “Country Nation” from his Moonshine in the Trunk album on September 14th. Paisley has had a successful career in Country Music, scoring 32 Top 10 singles on the US Billboard Country Airplay chart, 19 of which hit #1. “River Bank” was the lead single from his latest album and peaked at #2 on the Country Airplay chart, and “Perfect Storm” followed hitting #1 on the same chart. “Crushin’ It” was the third single from the album and peaked at #9 on Country Airplay. Now Brad is back with another single, “Country Nation”, which is guaranteed to be at least a Top 20 hit.
“Country Nation” will be released as a single on September 14th, but has already had early adds and has peaked at #37 on the Hot Country chart. This latest single reaffirms an earn-and-spend, work-and-play culture that country music panders to in order to attract both the spend-happy consumers and the brands they love as advertising partners. Brad lists off all of the common imagery associated with the country music genre and southern culture as a whole. Sweet tea, ball caps, football teams, and beer are among the listed, with subtle nods to religion as well.
The song is built mainly around football team mottos and state nicknames as the chorus proclaims, “We’re Mountaineers, volunteers/ We’re the tide that rolls, we’re Seminoles/ We’re the herd the long steer/ We drive Ford and Chevrolet/ Shoot twenty-four and eighty-eight/ We crank up our music Friday nights/ On two thousand country stations/ Yeah, we’re one big country nation, that’s right.” Paisley runs through the regular clichés associated with the genre, with lines like “If ya want to know who we are/ It’s on the logos of our caps”. “Country Nation” is meant to appeal to the working class, blue collar community.
Brad is an artist who likes to experiment with his music, trying new sounds and techniques, but never going too far over the line. Brad has dabbled with the Bro Country theme that took radio by storm, but more with the lyrical content than the sound itself. He has mainly stuck to his own sound, just varying it a little. You are guaranteed to hear Paisley’s excellent musicianship on his songs, and this one’s no different. “Country Nation” isn’t really another assault on the genre (not like Sam Hunt’s, Thomas Rhett’s, or Luke Bryan’s music), but it doesn’t help it any either, which is why we can let this slip by and not hate on it much.
My only real complaint with this single is just that it’s so generic that it’s actually quite boring. If it were coming from a newer artist I might be harsher on it, but since Paisley does put out great songs for the most part, we can look the other way when he releases a dud every now and then. “Country Nation” doesn’t really have anything new or exciting going for it, therefore it will probably blend right in and get lost on country radio. That being said, it will definitely reach the Top 20 without any problem. It just might even reach the Top 10, but I doubt it will hit #1, it just isn’t good enough or energetic enough (and a song needs to be either good or revved up to hit #1 now).
Brad Paisley has made a career out of being a fun-loving and energetic entertainer and doing what he can to make the listener forget their mundane problems for a while. He doesn’t hit the serious notes too much, and when he does, he tends to do it in a more subtle way, the exception definitely being “Whiskey Lullaby”. Fans expect Brad to supply the up-beat, happy, fun, feel good songs, and he has no trouble delivering. Paisley fans will no doubt like this new single, because it’s very much like the rest of his singles (except a bit boring). It’s not one I’ll be spinning, but like I said, a lot of fans will. I’ll just wait for Brad’s next offering.
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