“City of Music”
Written by Ross Copperman, Lee Thomas Miller, and Brad Paisley
A love letter to the dues-paying, boots and booze selling, aspiring country music stars, “City of Music” is one of Paisley’s best-written songs to date.
Using the narrative of a football player and karaoke queen who’ve moved to Nashville to make it big, Paisley makes their relationship almost incidental, as they’re committed to their dream, not each other. They went to bed together and “woke up in a co-write,” suggesting the hookup is as much about producing new material as it is about love or lust.
I appreciate the hardcore country references that true aficiandos will recognize, like “Mother Maybelle take my hand” and “Harlan drank right where you stand.” The impact of such lines would’ve been heightened by a production that toned down the arena rock elements, but Paisley sings it all with such enthusiasm that it still feels like a genuine, heartfelt celebration of Music City.