Single Review: Brad Paisley, “Anything Like Me”

A common element that runs through Brad Paisley’s songs is a style of conversational storytelling. To many it seems simple and authentic while others just feel it’s simplistic without real depth. Depending on the song, either opinion is relevant or in some instances, both views are valid within the same song. “Anything Like Me” just may be one such song, but leaning closer to the positive than negative. The song is written in the trademark conversational tone, but the personal sentimentality of the subject matter is strongly present.

When Paisley discovers that he’s going to have a baby boy, he takes the common parental saying of “I hope your children give you the same trouble that you’ve given us” to heart. Using his own youthful temperament and experiences as a barometer, he both looks forward to and dreads being a parent to a boy that might turn out to be so much like him.

The song leaves out the fact that a little girl could present many of the same challenges, but the sweetness of the intended sentiment generally shines through. The strongest part of the single, however, is the understated production that is almost all acoustic with the electric instruments still being gentle and unobtrusive.

Written by Chris DuBois, Brad Paisley, and Dave Turnbull

Grade: B+

Listen: Anything Like Me

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26 Comments

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26 Responses to Single Review: Brad Paisley, “Anything Like Me”

  1. TomNo Gravatar

    …if country music still is taking a slice of life and make it sound good, then brad paisley succeeded again with this one. thank god, there are still some good ol’ country boys around.

  2. It never really dawned on me that the song doesn’t mention how a little girl can present her own set of challenges. Maybe Martina can tackle that!

    I really like this song though. There are a few areas in which it could be a bit better, but the production is just perfect.

  3. BobNo Gravatar

    Your B+ grade seems just right. I guess the writers can justify not mentioning the challenges of having a girl because they mention in the opening verse that the father knows the child will be a boy.

  4. It’s not a big deal to me, but I noted it because of the first verse that sets things up like he hadn’t thought of the possibility that the child would be like him until he found out the gender:

    I remember sayin’ I don’t care either way
    Just as long as he or she is healthy I’m okay
    Then the doctor pointed to the corner of the screen
    And said, “You see that thing right there, well you know what that means”

    I started wondering who he was going to be
    And I thought heaven help us if he’s anything like me

    Then again, this might also be because the child becomes more of a reality when he learns the gender.

  5. Kevin John CoyneNo Gravatar

    The gender angle was one of two thoughts that I had listening to this. I agree with Leeann that a girl might also pose the same challenges, and will add that a boy won’t necessarily do any of the things suggested in the song, let alone all of them.

    But the second and more frequent thought I had was that all of the negative consequences in the song could be avoided by, you know, active parenting.

  6. BobNo Gravatar

    Good point Leeann when you said “I noted it because of the first verse that sets things up like he hadn’t thought of the possibility that the child would be like him until he found out the gender:”

    My wife and I didn’t know in advance that our first child would be a girl (now 30) followed by a boy two years later. The challenges were largely different in our girl and boy case but I like to think we handled them well by the “active parenting” Kevin mentioned.

  7. I wonder if all the things mentioned in the song can definitively be avoided by active parenting though?

  8. BobNo Gravatar

    In response to Leeann’s comment “I wonder if all the things mentioned in the song can definitively be avoided by active parenting though?” No! Sometimes you get help from others that is totally unexpected. The song mentions a speeding ticket. I wish I had the chance to thank the cop who gave my son that speeding ticket.

  9. It actually seems that the parents in Paisley’s song (presumably his) were demonstrating active parenting without smothering.

  10. Kevin John CoyneNo Gravatar

    It’s a generational thing. I don’t think that most parents today would allow children to climb tall trees or ride a bike without protection. Certainly a child can be taught not to get into fights.

    It’s Paisley’s passive voice in the song that comes off to me as a little odd. I wouldn’t call saying you can’t climb a very tall tree or play ball near a neighbor’s house smothering.

    Then again, the stereotypes of what a boy will be interested in are so lazy here that I’d characterize it as a lack of imagination more than anything else. “If the Good Die Young” did this so much better.

  11. grannaNo Gravatar

    Another boring book written by Paisley. I sometimes almost fall asleep listening to some of his music! Pick it up more Brad. Make your voice more interesting. Put some life into your voice.

  12. I wouldn’t call saying you can’t climb a very tall tree or play ball near a neighbor’s house smothering.

    No, you’re right, that’s not smothering. But just saying not to do something doesn’t necessarily stop a kid from doing it. However, watching the kid like a hawk every second to prevent the possibly inevitable “disobedience” would be smothering. Then again, I’m not a parent, so my philosophies on such matters could change when I become one.

    As for Paisley’s voice, I guess it’s a matter of taste. It doesn’t seem lifeless to me, but the criticism of it is pretty common, so I’m just not hearing what others are in that regard. For me, while not quite as good, his voice is like Alan Jackson’s. It’s laid back.

  13. Kevin John CoyneNo Gravatar

    Play areas have just generally been made safer since when I was a child. The things that we used to have and do in the schoolyard was I was an elementary school student would never be allowed today.

    Anyway, I’d probably find the song more enjoyable if he was wondering about what his child would grow up to be and thinking of all of the possibilities, rather than using the child as a roundabout way to talk about his own childhood, which was done so amazingly well on “Letter to Me.”

  14. I like the way this song sounds better, but I agree that “Letter to Me” is conceptually and lyrically better. I like “Letter to Me”, but I had trouble with the melody.

  15. I can relate to the events in this song as someone who lives in a rural area. Official play areas may be better here, but kids are still very exposed to long stretches of land and trees where good supervision isn’t always practical without making them stay indoors.

  16. Kevin John CoyneNo Gravatar

    Yeah, it’s probably an urban vs. rural thing. Our trees tend to be surrounded by cement and two-way streets!

  17. Pingback: Brad Paisley "Anything Like Me" | "Anything Like Me" Lyrics | Brad Paisley Music | Dixie Streams Online Radio

  18. Cory DeSteinNo Gravatar

    Playgrounds now are built with a foam base to prevent hard falls, swings only go so high, and who actually even lets their kid out to “play till the street lights come on” its a different world now. Even from just when I was a young kid in the 80s

  19. Corey,
    It happens here, I swear.

  20. Soul Miners DaughterNo Gravatar

    Am SO bored with Brad Paisley and his narcissistic songwriting. Who cares about his personal life in each and every song… that he tries to pass off as “good ol’ country boy” tunes. Give me a break!

  21. JohnnyNo Gravatar

    I think this is a great song. I couldn’t have wanted a better Artist to do this song. Soul miner maybe you need to go back to when things were simple and realize its not all about the hood and gangs and sex in the songs to make it a good song. I think america needs to get back to the simpler ways like what Brad sings about. I stand my ground on this. I believe a well written song like this is and will be something all Dad’s can relate to, or at least most dad’s.
    I truly love the song and how it was presented.

  22. Charly StuangstabalakNo Gravatar

    There’s a lot of gender stereotyping in Brad Paisley’s music. This is just the latest one. Remember that cheesy song “Im Still A Guy” where he talks about his “pair.” Not many country songs talk about genitalia but Paisley does it in both songs. And he gender stereotypes in both too. And he patronizes women in the song where he thinks its cute that his chick got mad and started cursing at people, and also in the one where he goes on about how women are always late. A lot of people think country music singers have bad values and Brad paisley is an example of this. Also he’s kinda mean : ever listen to “Online” which is basically him picking on losers. Yeah they are losers, but does he have to be so mean about it? And then there’s “Two People Fell In Love:” No offense Bra, but not all babies are born from two people who love each other. Sometimes some dude just gets a chick knocked up even if he doesn’t love her. Maybe Brad’s gender issues come from Chely Wright. They used to be dating and Brad probably taxed it. But Chely is now a lesbian; maybe Brad is feeling insecure because he couldnt provide what a woman could! So he takes it out on women in his songs.

  23. Chaarlie,
    Be careful with the Chely Wright/Paisley attacks. That’s not the way we do things here.

  24. klarkNo Gravatar

    Erm.. I’m supposed to see the single review for “Stuck Like Glue” but it directed me here..

  25. steveNo Gravatar

    i do understand how some could take the song as being gender biased. but ask almost any father after he learns that he will be a father. inside almost every guy hopes that it is a boy. and i think that this song is in that moment that he hopes more than anything that the baby is healthy. but the slight tilt of a father wanting a boy. brad has proven time and again his ability for the guitar solo and acoustic nature.

  26. CassidyNo Gravatar

    Love this song. So glad Brad Paisley won entertainer of the year at the CMA awards! I just got his new album ‘Hits Alive’ too and its so good. It’s a mix of all his best live recordings and hits. Check out this video of him performing a special “Live on Letterman.” He’s definitely an amazing entertainer. http://www.cbs.com/late_night/liveonletterman/brad_paisley/video/

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