As someone who often labels himself as somewhat of a purist when it comes to country music, it may surprise some to learn that I am a Brad Paisley fan. Not only does the man have incredible guitar skills, but there’s also enough country about him that it even makes a lot of his goofiness worth listening to, especially when there’s usually enough strong material in the albums to make it all worthwhile.
So, how does Love and War stack up? What does it have to offer?
In terms of Paisley’s catalog, it definitely sits right near Moonshine. It has some good songs to offer, including “Today,” “Dying to See Her,” and “The Devil is Alive and Well.” “Gold All Over the Ground” is a particular highlight.
Other moments are not so bright such as “selfie#theinternetisforever” which is largely a joke. And “One Beer Can” is also largely void of any real substance, but it does have a certain charm to it that is at least infectious.
But I also won’t lie and say that there’s still something fun about these songs, especially “Drive of Shame.” Laugh and criticize me all you want: perhaps it’s just that Paisley at this point has almost become a guilty pleasure for me. These songs have no right to be as much fun as they are, but, somehow, they make me smile.
I’m not going to lie: in terms of quality, this album is very much lacking. And I probably enjoyed it a lot more than I should have. But the truth is, sometimes we need an album like that in our life to remind us not to take everything so seriously. This album, much like a lot of Paisley’s recent work may become a guilty pleasure for me. Am I proud of it? Not particularly, but I can’t exactly say I’m ashamed, either.