My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Single Review: Brad Paisley – ‘Anything Like Me’

In his comedy routine Bill Cosby used to refer to the Mother’s Curse: “I hope that when you get married you have children that act the same way that you act.” Brad Paisley explores that theme in his latest single, “Anything Like Me.” The narrator of the song is an expectant father who envisions the future — and his own past — upon learning that his unborn child will be a son. He reminisces about his own formative years, about climbing trees and playing football, as well as getting grounded for skipping class and his first broken heart, and speculates that “it’s say to say that, I’m gonna get my payback, if he’s anything like me.”

Produced by Frank Rogers and written with Dave Turnbull and Chris DuBois, “Anything Like Me” finds Paisley traveling in familiar territory. The song is strikingly similar to “Letter To Me”, which also dealt with an adult protagonist reflecting on his youth, but lacks the 2007 hit’s emotional punch. Comparisons between the two songs are inevitable, and that can only work to “Anything Like Me’s” detriment because a recycled theme is never as effective the second time around. It is not a bad song by any means; it is well written and the production is tasteful and understated. However, I can’t help but think that it is a focus group-driven product calculated to appeal to a key demographic of country radio listener, as well as a blatant and artistically lazy effort to tap into the success of an earlier record. Maybe I’ve spent too much time listening to Jamey Johnson’s new album this week, but I’d rather hear Paisley do something with a little more of an edge to it.

Grade: C+

Listen to “Anything Like Me” here.

5 responses to “Single Review: Brad Paisley – ‘Anything Like Me’

  1. Ben Foster September 28, 2010 at 8:15 am

    I like this song, partly because of the acoustic-based production, but I wouldn’t call it the best thing Brad’s ever done, and I agree that it bears a strong similarity to “Letter to Me.”

  2. Occasional Hope September 28, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    It’s not bad, but not terribly interesting, and as you say not remotely original.

  3. NashvilleReality Check October 13, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    OK ..The goal is to make an album the public likes and will purchase …correct? (otherwise why release it?) And part of your job as a reviewer is to help music fans make informed decisions about music worthy of their hard earned money .right?

    Since you think Jamey Johnson’s work has an “edge” and Brad Paisley’s is “artistically lazy” and is a “focus group-driven product” then I have a suggestion. After looking at recent sales for both artists you (and Jamie’s label) might want to reconsider some of that that focus group stuff….looks like its working!

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