Single Review: Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood, “Remind Me”

A couple yearning to rekindle the fire in their relationship? Classic country. One asking the other if he/she remembers the old passion and the other chiming in “remind me”? That’s pretty good, too – and genuinely sexy in a way neither Brad Paisley nor Carrie Underwood has ever been on record. There’s no doubt that this single was loaded with potential.

So why doesn’t it feel like the big event it should be?

Mostly because it’s trying too hard to be a big event. Paisley crowds out “Remind Me” with guitar licks and drums, and he and Underwood wail up a storm as it progresses, both sounding technically better than ever but obliterating the song’s smoldering sensuality. They’ve mistaken an “I Need You” for a “Don’t You Wanna Stay.”

There are a few of your typical too-cute Paisley details as well, like an underwhelming second-verse story and the use of “made out” in a song that doesn’t warrant such lyrical smirks.

The core components are still appealing enough, mind. But a little revision – and re-envisioning – might have made the difference between a pleasant summer hit and a career moment.

Grade: B

Listen: Remind Me

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37 Comments

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37 Responses to Single Review: Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood, “Remind Me”

  1. I would really like to hear a live acoustic version of this song. I wonder if it would be any better?

  2. I’ve been debating for a day or two whether or not I wanted to do a proper single review of this one, but yeah. What Dan said, more or less.

    I feel about duets between Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood much in the same way I felt about duets between Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood: I genuinely don’t like the way their voices sound together. Their respective vocal timbres just don’t compliment each other in a way that I find at all pleasant to listen to.

    So Paisley’s 0-for-3 on single choices from this record, though this one is easily better than the first two.

  3. ADJNo Gravatar

    I think that the only problem that I have with the song is the heavy guitar during the middle of the song…towards the end of the last chorus. And yet, I honestly wasn’t suprised by it…lol, it is Brad Paisley, after all. It’s actually grown on me with each listen. :)

  4. KatieNo Gravatar

    ikes, yeah, agree Jonathan, don’t like the way their vocals blend together; mostly though i don’t like the way either one sings “remind me”. Otherwise I don’t think it’s a bad song. But yes, does remind me A LOT of “Need You Now”, except I vastly prefer NYN.

  5. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar

    I honestly felt the exact same way about the song, Dan, until about a few listens ago. It grew on me, and for some reason it’s taken on a “haunting” quality that I didn’t get from it before. And the funny thing is that the primary reason I couldn’t get into it at first –the colloquial, very simplistic verses (“make out”)– is actually what I’m starting to really like about it. It feels sort of charming. I don’t know, yo.

  6. I’m noticing Brad’s mundane detail problems lately too. I like the song pretty well, but I don’t love it. I actually think Carrie sounds better here than Brad does, but I still prefer their first duet to this one. The grade is about right.

  7. BrittanyNo Gravatar

    My favorite thing to happen this year so far:)

  8. CraigNo Gravatar

    Wow! I’m genuinely stunned as to how much criticism the song has actually received. In my opinion, this smashes any Country collaboration from the last 3-5 years and will dominate awards shows.

    This song is POWER. The vocals are immaculate (and don’t even get me started on Carrie — those pipes are above and beyond godly), the arrangement is perfect for the power-ballad sense that it gave off with the lyrics, and the lyrics are steamy, sensual, and so different from anything out there today. Plus, it’s fantastically-written. I don’t know why everyone keeps saying the arrangement was overdone with the sensual lyrics; it was MEANT to be a power ballad. Therefore, the arrangement was very suitable for the song itself.

    First review in a while I’ve seen on CU where I’d rank the grade higher than the one given. In my opinion, “Remind Me” is the best song of the past 2 years from any Country music artist or act because it’s got a storyline, rather than the incessant “she’s got a big rack”, “he/she stole my heart”, “let’s drink and party to good times and good music”, or “my family’s dying” themes that we’ve heard constantly. A+ material at its very finest, to be quite honest.

  9. DianeNo Gravatar

    All I can say is I love it!!!

  10. Hoggy from OzNo Gravatar

    The two strongest voices in country music: Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley’s guitar. Sure to be a huuuuugggeeee hit. I do like it better than any other “duet” released to country radio recently.

  11. MikeNo Gravatar

    I can never understand why “Oh Love” wasn’t a single release to radio back on the 5th Gear album. That song is far superior to this one (which isn’t horrible). Why release this and not that, I don’t know? The lyrics and productions especially tie together so much nicer in “Oh Love”; seems that song had a clear, well-planned goal that this did not.

  12. That must be my problem, Craig, I do not typically enjoy power ballads.

  13. I’ve come to the conclusion that Brad Paisley is just one big smirk, both lyrical and otherwise. It’s what really puts me off him these days.

  14. JakeNo Gravatar

    I wouldn’t say this is the best thing to come out of country music in the past two years. “The House That Built Me” would probably be a better contender for that.

  15. KatieRNo Gravatar

    It’s not the next “Whiskey Lullaby”, that’s for sure. Love that song.

  16. RussNo Gravatar

    There is just too much going on in this song. I just don’t understand how Brad continues to stray away from “Whiskey Lullaby” and “When I Get Where I’m Going” when it comes to his ballads. Those are probably his two most career defining moments and they came with stripped down instrumentation and letting the vocal carry its own weight. His last two or three albums especially, he has just turned into a country version of arena rock, with guitars and drums blaring on everything.

  17. TomNo Gravatar

    …the bombastic arrangement and carrie underwood’s ott-enthusiasm make it difficult to really, really like this record, but it fits in well with the, so far, rather modest releases of 2011. on a stand-alone basis i’m not thrilled about it – in the context of the whole album it might as well work quite nicely.

  18. Pingback: “The Voice” Gets Post-Super Bowl Slot; Spotlighting Randy Travis; New Music from Jaida Dreyer | Country California

  19. Sam G.No Gravatar

    It’s half of a nice song, but it goes downhill fast starting with the guitar solo. I’ve never understood what’s so romantic about two singers screaming declarations of love at each other. (Which is why the Jason Aldean/Kelly Clarkson collaboration just gives me a headache.)

  20. DevinNo Gravatar

    On another note, this song will undoubtedly be performed ad nauseum on award shows, and I just don’t see Brad being able to keep pace whatsoever. I still think he’s a good singer, but ever since he did “This Is Country Music” live last year, I’ve really started to question his live vocal abilities…

  21. GloriaNo Gravatar

    I love Carrie. Never really cared for boring Brad or his guitar playing. But the screaming and the awful sound in this song makes me want to turn off the radio. Don’t get where some think this is the best duet in 2 yrs…NO WAY! I’ve read more disappointment about this song than good. I guess it was built up so high. But putting two supposedly great artist together doesn’t always a great hit make.

  22. DiamondNo Gravatar

    I like it the more I hear it, kind of like Tara said. But Brad and his guitar…sigh. I know he’s great, but I longed for Vince Gill’s lighter touch. Vince and Carrie are superior to Brad and Carrie in my book. I have a hard time finding anyone who doesn’t love the live “How Great Thou Art” performance by Carrie and Vince from the “Girls Night Out” special. Releasing THAT as a single would have been gutsy, but truly classic. This will be a hit. It will also be overplayed all summer.

  23. Kevin John CoyneNo Gravatar

    SamB wrote:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Brad Paisley is just one big smirk, both lyrical and otherwise.

    This gets my vote for comment of the year.

  24. KatieRNo Gravatar

    Okay, completely OT, but i thought I was going crazy just now hearing two babies babble at one another, checking every tab I have open to see nothing (and i have open literally abt 40 of them); come to CU to see, yes, babbling babies, haha. Can I just say I’m glad to find out I wasn’t losing it?

  25. KatieRNo Gravatar

    and just in case anyone’s confused by the above statement, I should have added, they were in an ad on the site ;)

  26. DustinNo Gravatar

    I totally disagree! This song is AMAZING! I cannot stop listening to it! Both of their voices match perfectly and this song is sooooo true and real. Sometimes the simplist lyrics are the most powerful!

  27. JoJoNo Gravatar

    I agree with Dustin!

    Here is another awesome Carrie duet! w/Randy Travis on his new album. “Is It Still Over.”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-sexe13b2c

  28. SDNo Gravatar

    The oversinging on the latter half of the song makes me cringe; there is absolutely no subtlety in this song, but maybe that’s what they were going for.

  29. Well, as a songwriter, I love the song. I probably agree that the instrumentation was a bit much for such a great song idea.

    But that is what I really liked….it’s a GREAT song idea. We always try to find a different way to say what’s been said a million times.

    The songwriters, on this one, nailed it….imo!!

  30. RowdyRedNo Gravatar

    As a longtime Brad Paisley fan, I’m homesick for the days when his taste in guitar licks was much more diverse and, imo, clever. For some reason I’m thinking of an album cut called “You Have That Effect On Me,” from his second album, “Part II.” It was a bluesy, jazzy riff that perfectly complemented the laid-back-but-goofy mood set by the lyrics.

    Lately, since his coronation as the reigning country guitar god, it’s much less eclectic and tasty; it’s usually a loud display of prowess that interrupts the songs (many songs) without actually enhancing them. Brad seems to have given himself a tin ear.

    But by far the worst thing about this single is the rising crescendo effect, beginning about halfway through the song and never letting up. Brad’s never been in better voice, but the arrangement is all about the wall of noise. Carrie, as is becoming her norm, oversings harshly starting with her third or fourth line. I haven’t seen who the producer or arranger are on this, but they missed the point. The lyrics, and the regret they express, are totally overwhelmed by the sheer volume.

    And I LOVE Brad Paisley. I’m just not feeling this one at all.

  31. GalPalNo Gravatar

    This is a typical review from Country Universe. They have chemistry and the song is great…but wait…had it been Taylor Swift singing, well then it would have been a hit. Replace the battery in your hearing aid-these two CAN SING AND CARRY A TUNE! Grow up-

  32. Seriously? Seriously? You’re telling us to grow up after being immaturely beligerent and telling us to replace the battery in our hearing aid? Oh, the hypocrisy.

  33. DanNo Gravatar

    Plus you think it would automatically be a positive review if it were Taylor Swift singing? Have you ever actually read anything on this site?

  34. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    ^ I love cool Dans.

  35. TomNo Gravatar

    …carrie’s “…remind meeeee!!!!” sounds to me rather like a good reason to not even bother about flat batteries in all kinds of acoustical devices.

  36. GalPalNo Gravatar

    Love this song! They are great friends and they truly did justice to this song. Congrats to you both-sorry Dan you are so wrong on this one.

  37. Matt MetskerNo Gravatar

    Instead of singing with Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley would have been better off doing a duet with Frank Sinatra (like Martina McBride’s duet with Elvis), that is a parody of “I Did it My Way” and addresses his feelings about his alma mater.

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