Friday, March 23, 2012

Brad Paisley - "Oh Yeah, You're Gone"

Of all the many reasons that music critic Robert Christgau is a national treasure and a constant must-read, he's responsible for getting me over my bias against Brad Paisley. Sure, the guy seemed likeable enough, but isn't all modern mainstream country just, y'know, terrible? Not at all -- and how shallow of me to think that in the first place. Specifically, it was Christgau's long piece on Paisley's American Saturday Night from 2009 that turned me around. The album made my Top 10 that year, and it's a record I enjoy every chance I get to hear it -- even if I don't like the fishing and drinking songs as much as Christgau does.

One song in particular that gets me is "Oh Yeah, You're Gone." On its surface, it's a simple breakup song: The narrator tries his best to go through his daily routine, which he now has to do alone. But every time I hear the track, I think, "But what if she didn't break up with him? What if she died?" It gives a sad song an extra level of poignancy because you could interpret the lyrics that way. I'll let you be the judge...