And so obviously he’s got a new single coming out now, but leaving this behind just would not feel right…
David Raposa: Given the sneak peek offered by the comments on the OTHER notable country single about the wonders of H2O (wherefore art thou, Insane Clown Posse?), I’ve a feeling my fellow ‘Boxers are going to be more magnanimous about this tune than me. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t strike me as the wistful song about days gone by that Paisley wants it to be, though it begins that way. However, what starts off in Dad’s kiddie pool ends up at a wet T-shirt contest and/or a game of Truth or Dare with the Girl Next Door that turns into a little skinny dip faster than you can say, “Dear Penthouse.” And maybe the detour into Brahville, where beer is beer and men are men and women are window dressing, wouldn’t bug me so much if Paisley and pals weren’t selling this shit like straight-up wholesome summertime fun for the whole family. Or maybe I’m reading too much into a song co-written by a 38-year-old father of two that focuses more on the fleeting indiscretions of youth than the thoughts of a grown man passing his “love affair” with water onto his own children.
Rebecca Toennessen: Aww, I really like this. The steady honkytonk guitar, plucky banjo and silly, self-aware lyrics. When the fiddle comes in, I had to do a little dance around the room. I love the idea of grabbing someone you wanna see ina bathing suit and driving out til the map turns blue. Just the right side of country-rock cheese.
Martin Skidmore: I’m not sure we need a song in praise of water, really — this is mostly obvious stuff, and I really could do without wet t-shirt contests as a reason to love water. The playing is tedious mid-tempo country rock, but his singing is entirely pleasant. Apart from that one moment that made me cringe, it’s sort of okay.
Alfred Soto: I love the sheer weirdness of this track: a song whose stress falls on water, a nostalgia piece that’s funny and true while avoiding any trace of ick. To the boys in Dinosaur Pile-Up: please note Paisley’s brawny guitar solo. If American Saturday Night had included sixteen more of these, it’d be the greatest album in history.
Anthony Easton: Brad Paisley is better than this — the lyrics are hackneyed, and the guitar, while having a bit more of the picking than other bands, is bland.
Chuck Eddy: I’m certainly sympathetic to ex-Brad-fan George Smith’s conclusion (mainly based on the “Welcome To The Future” video, I think) that Paisley’s embrace of newly global-corporate-marketed electronic communication-entertainment gadgets is hardly populist in a country fast forfeiting its middle class, thus making it impossible for most people (and presumably, most country fans) to afford such luxuries. But damn does the guy ever stumble on some excellent jangling melodies lately anyway. And this song’s personalization of one of the four classical elements via one dude’s frequently sexy evolving love affair thereof borders on the mythic (or might, if I was Greil Marcus). Only complaint: By far the two best punchlines — “dad’s hot air” and “big old wuss,” both worthy of Chuck Berry — are frontloaded.
Michaelangelo Matos: “All you need this time of year/Is a pair of shades and an ice-cold beer.” So yeah, it’s a single for reasons of expediency. Still very good, though; I look forward to his continuing in this vein with the other elements.