It's not that Brad has anything against the success of the so-called pop crossover Country artists. He just prefers to carry on the sounds of the Country legends he grew up listening to. Brad's 1999 debut album sold more than one million copies. Expectations are even higher for Paisley's new album, "Part II."
A recent Billboard magazine review of Brad Paisley's new album, "Part II," reads, "Put simply, if a better country music record is issued this year, we want to hear it."
The West Virginia native earned immediate respect from critics and his peers with his debut album "Who Needs Pictures." Last year, Paisley received the Country Music Association's Horizon Award, given to an artist who has demonstrated the most significant creative growth and development. And, this past February, Brad's dream of joining the world famous Grand Ole Opry came true when he was added as the institution's newest member. So, how did Brad Paisley impress the Country music industry so early in his career?
"My whole goal as an artist," he said, "is to keep country music alive. I really love traditional country music. There's nothing wrong with a lot of the stuff that's out today, but I lean towards the heartfelt honesty of the old stuff."
That's also the goal of the Grand Ole Opry. But, Brad's allegiance to traditional Country music has had its cost. He was shunned by an American morning television show, which claimed he was "too Country." The song "Too Country" from Brad Paisley's new album features guest appearances by legends Buck Owens, George Jones and Bill Anderson, who were among Brad's musical influences.
Brad adds plenty of steel guitar and fiddle to give his songs their traditional sound, but he's a storyteller who feels that it's the lyrics that ultimately sell the song. He said, "I think the strength of country music is the lyrics, the words. You can listen to the words and it should take you places and it should make you feel things that you weren't going to feel if you hadn't heard that song."
Ironically, most of the songs on "Part II" were written at the same time as the tracks included on Brad's first album. He collaborated on one ballad with singer Chely Wright, who he's rumored to be involved with romantically. Brad won't confirm or deny the rumors, but admits the songs on "Part II" are an honest reflection of his personal life.
The album debuts at Number 3 this week on Billboard's Country Albums chart. And, its first single moves into the Top 10 on the Hot Country Singles chart.