Single Review: Brad Paisley, “The Mona Lisa”

Brad Paisley The Mona LisaNow this is how you write a love song!

Brad Paisley’s had a lot of hit love songs over the years, many of which I’ve found irritating because they are either blithely condescending (“To the world, you’re nothing, but to me, you’re the world!”) or downright insulting (“I love the little moments where you do something stupid!”)

On “The Mona Lisa”, he opts for humility instead, and knocks it out of the park.   He compares his own purpose in life to being the frame that holds the Mona Lisa, serving as nothing but the backdrop for the jaw-droppingly awesome lady he just feels lucky to have.   Couple that with an incredibly fresh production, which showcases his guitar prowess and a remarkably alive vocal performance, and you’ve got one of his greatest singles to date.

Written by Chris DuBois and Brad Paisley

Grade: A




  1. It came on the radio sandwhiched between two backroad-tailgate songs and at first, I thought it was just the contrast that made it stand out. Few more listens later, I can confirm Nope, it really is a great song. And I bet it kills at concerts, too.

  2. I am sorry. I am still angry and saddened by “Accidental Racist”. I think that song showcased a great lack of depth for Paisley. I think ” Mona Lisa” is ok. Alot more music than really great lyrics. He shouldn’t be praised because he finally saw his wife in a more becoming light. Although he is a great guitarist, his musical insights show too small a growth as an adult. I expected by now that Paisley would be discussing his adulthood with a great deal more depth,wit,and understanding. Cheering on the woman he loves doesn’t really do that for me. But I am biased. It will take more for to even think of him in the same way again. And that saddens me because I have always liked him from the start, and thought he could be our Roger Miller.

  3. I just really enjoy this because it is pretty evident Paisley wrote from a place of gratitude and humility upon penning this.

    I’ll admit the production is a bit loud and cluttered, but in a way that is to be expected with “Wheelhouse” marking Paisley’s debut as a producer, so it’s a more minor gripe. I’d give this a strong B+ to weak A-.

  4. At the end of each verse of “The World” there is a very important line that reads “When you don’t feel important, baby”, that suggests that the girl believes/ feels or has a problem with all that is mentioned in the verse prior to the line. That line specifically is why the song is not condescending as you believe. He is saying when she believes these things all he can say in response is, maybe to all those people you are just another girl, but to me you are the world. To put it another way, he doesn’t know what she is to those other people, maybe she is just another girl to them but that doesn’t matter because to him she is everything.

    You also clearly miss the point in “Little Moments”. The point is, that even when she is imperfect, does something stupid or makes a mistake, he still loves her. To put it in another way, he loves her even though she isn’t perfect and it’s because she always tries to do her best for him. He also admits that he kind of enjoys those moments because they make his life interesting.

    It seems so obvious what those songs are saying that your criticisms of the songs come off as hatred rather than legitimate.

  5. Thank you Leeann. Great interview. Reading it I thought ” Why aren’t you(Paisley) smarter about this issue?”, but I could ask that question about a great many artists. At least he tried to understand the problems with the song. But I am still saddened, but less angry.

  6. Jason raises a good point, especially considering that LL Cool J co-wrote the song. I imagine it mostly has to do with Paisley being the “face” of the song, so to speak, with it appearing on his album with him as the more prominent collaborator.

    Though personally, I tend to think LL Cool J’s portion of the song (which he wrote) is every bit as bad as Paisley’s. “If you won’t judge my gold chains, I’ll forget the iron chains”? Really?

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