"Online" is a song co-written and performed by American country music artist Brad Paisley. It was released in July 2007 as the second single from the album 5th Gear. The single is Paisley's ninth overall Number One single on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, as well as his fifth consecutive Number One. In addition, the song's music video won a Video of the Year award for Paisley at the 2007 Country Music Association awards. Paisley wrote this song with Kelley Lovelace and Chris DuBois.
|Single by Brad Paisley|
|from the album 5th Gear|
|Released||July 2, 2007|
|Format||CD single, music download|
4:56 (album version) |
3:50 (single version)
|Brad Paisley singles chronology|
"Online" is a moderate up-tempo song whose lyrics satirize the online world, specifically MySpace. Here, the song's protagonist is a geek who lives at home with his parents, holds a job at the local Pizza Pitt pizzeria, and claims limited success in the dating world. Actually "five-foot-three and overweight", a fan of science fiction, and a mild asthmatic, the main character has an account on MySpace. There, he assumes a much more desirable personality: "Online, I'm out in Hollywood / I'm six-foot-five and I look damn good / I drive a Maserati / I'm a black-belt in karate / And I love a good glass of wine". Later in the song, he claims to live in Malibu, California, have a sexy, finely sculptured body, and pose for Calvin Klein Inc. and GQ. The fictitious alternate personalities make the geek claim that he is "so much cooler online". The album version of the song ends with a marching band playing the melody of the chorus, a reference to an earlier line where the protagonist claims to play tuba in a marching band.
Kevin J. Coyne of Country Universe gave the song an F rating. He considered the song a form of bullying because of the contrast between Paisley's superstar status and the unpopularity of the character in the song. Coyne added, "[W]hat Brad is doing here isn’t comedy. It’s sport." Allmusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine described the song more favorably in his review of 5th Gear, saying, "[It's] an obvious joke that comes just a bit too close to bullying, but he saves himself with his smarts — not just verbal[…] but musical, as he ends it with a marching band that delivers an aural punchline set up by the words."
The music video is directed by actor Jason Alexander, who also plays the geek in the song's music video; William Shatner and Estelle Harris play his parents. Patrick Warburton has a cameo as a car dealer, Shane West has a cameo as a photographer, and Maureen McCormick is featured as the geek's next door neighbor. The marching band from Brentwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee (who also perform at the end of the album version) makes an appearance at the end, and country music artists Taylor Swift and Kellie Pickler appear as Paisley's backup dancers. The concert portions of the video were shot at the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, Washington, during Brad Paisley's tour, during which Swift and Pickler served as opening acts. The Matrix digital rain can be seen falling on the screen behind the band's performance.
In one part of the video, the geek's parents get into an argument over the father creating a MySpace online profile for himself. The mother intends to, in turn, create one for herself, after becoming infatuated with Paisley after seeing him performing the song. "And he can sing!", she says to the father. "I can't sing?" the father inquires. "No!" she snaps back. The father then acts hurt, a tongue-in-cheek reference to William Shatner's own long-mocked music career. Later on, during the final scene of the music video, the mother tells Paisley "marching band music makes me...hot", to which Paisley stares at the camera in horror.
Shatner and Alexander also appeared in the video for Paisley's 2003 song "Celebrity." At one point in the "Online" video, the character played by Paisley and Alexander is seen watching the music video for "Celebrity" on a computer. Also, Paisley's previous number 1 hit, "Ticks" is heard playing at a party in the first few seconds of the "Online" video.
Brad Paisley held a contest allowing all the computer nerds and "cyber geeks" to direct their own videos for "Online". He chose the winner on July 31. The winning videos were announced July 31 in a format copying the opening crawl from Star Wars.
Harris and Alexander previously played mother and son on Seinfeld, while Warburton was a frequent recurring character on the show.
As listed in liner notes.
- Brad Paisley - lead vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar
- Tom Baldrica - tuba
- Jim "Moose" Brown - B3 organ
- Randle Currie - steel guitar
- Eric Darken - percussion
- Kevin "Swine" Grantt - bass guitar
- Vicki Hampton - background vocals
- Wes Hightower - background vocals
- Tim Lauer - keyboards
- Ben Sesar - drums
- Carrie Underwood – background vocals
- Justin Williamson - fiddle
- Brentwood High School Marching Band, Randy Box, conductor
- Roy Agee - trombone
- Chris Brooks - drums
- Jay Dawson - mellophone
- Mike Haynes - trumpet
- Sam Levine - saxophone
- Joe Murphy - tuba
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||50|
|US Billboard Hot 100||39|
|US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)||1|
|US Country Songs (Billboard)||32|
|United States||Gold |
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "5th Gear review". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
- Coyne, Kevin J. (2007-07-28). "Brad Paisley - "Online"". Country Universe. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
- Neal, Chris (August 13, 2007). "Brad Tops iTunes". Country Weekly. 14 (17): 58.
- YouTube: Brad Paisley announces "Online" video contest
- YouTube: "Online" video contest winners
- 5th Gear (Media notes). Brad Paisley. Arista Records. 2007. 88697-09273-2.
- "Brad Paisley Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
- "Brad Paisley Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
- "Brad Paisley Chart History (Hot Country Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
- "Best of 2007: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2007. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-25. Retrieved 2010-10-07.