Let's compare them...shall we?
First, let's take a look at Kenny Chesney. He certainly seems to sing on key most of the time (judging by performances I've seen at the CMA's, etc.), but does tend to be off key once in a while. As far as his vocals go, I certainly wouldn't say that they're outstanding and he does have a limited range. Also, there's the fact that Chesney seems to write only a few of his songs and uses songs that were written by Nashville songwriters (don't worry--that's not a bad thing). One thing about Chesney that annoys me is how many of his songs seem to sound the same. I mean, I do like some of his songs, but even the ones I like seem to sound very alike! There's also the fact that Chesney really isn't a musician and, by that, I mean he isn't an accomplished guitarist, fiddler, etc. All Chesney does is play rhythm guitar and sing.
Now, let's take a look at Brad Paisley. The only time I've really heard Paisley sing off key is when he's sick, which means Paisley tends to stay on key more than Chesney. Also, although Paisley's voice isn't outstanding, he does seem to have more vocal range than Chesney. Then, there's the fact that Paisley does write more than just a few of his songs. In fact, on Paisley's last album, AMERICAN SATURDAY NIGHT, he either wrote or co-wrote every song on the album. Of course, Paisley still does perform songs which were written by Nashville songwriters, but it honestly does take more talent to be able to write great songs and not just to perform them (it is a good thing that Chesney does write any of his songs though--many popular artists don't!). Finally, there's Paisley's musicianship--he's a true guitar virtuoso. Take Paisley's 2008 album, PLAY, as an example. Not only is that album made up of almost all instrumentals, but many of those instrumentals aren't country, which shows more versatile on Paisley's side ("Turf's Up" being surf rock, "Playing with Fire" being blues, "Les is More" being jazz and "Cliffs of Rock City" being rock). To be fair, however, most guitarists don't even learn to play as well as Paisley. Of course, due to Paisley's true musical genius as a guitarist alone, there's no way I can give this one to Kenny Chesney!
Another thing is that Paisley tends to stay more true to country music, except for when he does an non-country instrumental. Chesney, on the other hand, mainly seems to play island music. With that being said, Chesney certainly is more popular but, in all truth, popularity does not equal talent.
So, anyway--I'm giving this one to Brad Paisley. Please see the links below for just a few of the reasons why. For any of those who doubt what I said is true, the videos I've included links to will back up everything I said.
"I'm Gonna Miss Her" [live]:
"The Nervous Breakdown" [live; country instrumental]:
"She's Her Own Woman" [studio version; listen to the guitar work in this bluesy, 50's rock style country tune]:
"Cliffs of Rock City" [studio version; rock instrumental in tribute to Eric Johnson]:
"Time Warp" [studio version; jazz/country/blues instrumental]:
"No" [studio version; a great example of Paisley's songwriting]:
"Playing with Fire" [studio version; blues instrumental in tribute to Robben Ford]:
"Turf's Up" [studio verison; surf rock instrumental]:
"Throttleneck" [studio verison; country instrumental; this was the first song to win Paisley a Grammy]:
"Catch All the Fish" [studio version]:
· 10 years ago