Who Needs Pictures
There are no frills on Brad Paisley’s debut, which is precisely what makes it great; Who Needs Pictures is a resolutely basic record. Utilizing the naturalistic sound of his backing band, Paisley’s debut almost sounds like it could have been recorded live. There's an easygoing air about the singer, and in contrast to the bombast of ‘90s country, his debut moves along at an effortless, weightless pace. “Me Neither,” “Don’t Breathe,” and “It Never Woulda Worked Out Anyway” are sly and sweet, the work of a man who knows how to flirt without ever losing his manners. In a twist on the country song about family values, “Who Needs Pictures” is an ode to the importance of step-parents — a song that might be corny if Paisley didn’t sing it with such a sincere sense of personal experience. To top it off he includes a whip-cracking instrumental called “The Nervous Breakdown.” Though instrumental showcases used to be common on country albums, they are now almost extinct; that Paisley still values instrumental prowess tells you everything you need to know about the man’s musical tastes and integrity.