September 10, 2008
Brad Paisley may be in Keith Urban’s league as a guitarist, but having them trade off verses in a song just rams home the fact that Urban is leagues beyond Paisley as a vocalist. It’s a pretty flimsy song to begin with, lacking the lyrical wit of a “Girls With Guitars” or the clear-eyed realism of a “Wrong Side of Memphis.” The first verse, sung by Paisley, is as mundane as country radio gets.
But then Urban starts singing, and the song comes to life. There’s an intense sincerity to his vocal, while Paisley sounds like he’s phoning it in. When Paisley suggests starting a band, it sounds like he’s doing it to alleviate his boredom. Urban sounds like starting a band will save his life. Much like “Shiftwork”, this is a textbook case on how a great singer can elevate material.
Listen: Start a Band