"Online" Single by Brad Paisley from the album 5th Gear Released July 2, 2007 Format CD single, music download Genre Country Length 4:56 (album version)
3:50 (single version)
Label Arista Nashville Writer(s) Chris DuBois
Producer Frank Rogers Certification Gold (US) Brad Paisley singles chronology "Ticks"
"Letter to Me"
"Online" is a single by American country music artist Brad Paisley. It is the second single from his 2007 album 5th Gear. The single is Brad'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.
"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 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. He 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." It's not bullying-it's a form of online predatory behavior. he's not what his online character is and won't any takers be surprised. There is no sport at all in the song "Online".
The video is directed by actor Jason Alexander, who also plays the geek in the song; William Shatner and Estelle Harris play his parents. Patrick Warburton has a cameo as a car dealer 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.
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, lead 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
- Roy Agee - trombone
- Randy Box - conductor
- Chris Brooks - drums
- Jay Dawson - mellophone
- Mike Haynes - trumpet
- Sam Levine - saxophone
- Joe Murphy - tuba
Chart (2007) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100) 50 US Billboard Hot 100 39 US Country Songs (Billboard) 1
United States Gold 
- ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "5th Gear review". Allmusic. http://www.allmusic.com/album/r1069474. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
- ^ Coyne, Kevin J. (2007-07-28). "Brad Paisley - "Online"". Country Universe. http://www.countryuniverse.net/2007/06/28/review-brad-paisley-online/. Retrieved 2009-03-26.
- ^ Neal, Chris (August 13, 2007). "Brad Tops iTunes". Country Weekly 14 (17): 58.
- ^ You Tube: Brad Paisley announces "Online" video contest
- ^ YouTube: "Online" video contest winners
- ^ (2007) Album notes for 5th Gear by Brad Paisley. Arista Records (88697-09273-2).
- ^ "Brad Paisley Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Brad Paisley. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
- ^ "Brad Paisley Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Brad Paisley. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
- ^ "Brad Paisley Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Country Songs for Brad Paisley. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 6, 2011.
- ^ http://riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?table=SEARCH_RESULTS
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