Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood have become two of the most popular and successful artists in country music. Brad continues to be one of the most popular male vocalists (he has several CMA and ACM Male Vocalist trophies to his credit) while Carrie has proved that she is one of the most gifted and talented vocalists (Proof here) country music has ever seen. So theoretically a collaboration between the two should be nothing short of spectacular. So why doesn’t “Remind Me” live up to those expectations?
I don’t think the problem rests in the song’s lyrics. The words depict the story of a husband and wife who are trying to rekindle the flame in the bedroom. “Remember the airport dropping me off, we were kissing goodbye and we couldn’t stop I felt bad that you missed your flight but it meant we had one more night…remind me,” the couple sings as they beg one another to remind them of the love they use make. Lines about “making out” im public and being told by other people to “go get a room” also depict the image of how in love and unafraid to show it the couple used to be. Lyrically, this is the best song to come off This Is Country Music.
The vocal performances Brad and Carrie deliver are some of the best we’ve heard from them. Carrie once again delivers a fantastic vocal that allows her to show off her tender side then at the song’s end she shows off her amazing higher register as she belts out some big notes. Brad, not wanting to be overshadowed by Carrie, also delivers one of his finest vocal performances. He breaks away from his comfort zone at the end of the song which finds him wailing and belting out some high notes right along with Carrie. Together their voices blend nicely and Brad does a great job at providing the lower harmony notes to match Carrie’s higher key. So the problem doesn’t lie within the vocal performances.
I think the song’s Achilles heel is its production. I’ve mentioned before that some artists and producers believe that the best method of evoking emotion is by using an escalating, loud, booming production. Here, it doesn’t work. The production is quiet and tone downed during the first few verses of the song. By the song’s bridge all you hear is the blaring guitar from Paisley, drums, and all kinds of vocal runs and wails from the two singers that make for an overwhelming sound that is a bit too much. The production on this song is rather surprising considering the production from the album’s previous singles have been fantastic. Had the production stuck to the understated production of “This Is Country Music” (or even the pair’s first duet, “Oh Love”) then the song could’ve had major potential to become one of Brad’s best artistic moments.
This song is no doubt going to hit number one considering Brad and Carrie’s track record at country radio has been superb (between them they have over 30 number one hits). But, the expectations were set high for this song and it, unfortunately, fell flat of those expectations.