By Aaron Wagner
Jason Aldean released his ninth studio album, properly titled 9, this past weekend.
As one of the kings of country music during the last decade Aldean knows who he is and the type of music he wants to make. He has a good supporting crew when it comes to songwriting and production that know him best and know how to amplify Aldean’s strengths.
9 has a whopping 16 songs. That’s a lot. Aldean super fans will love it as he sings about things like former flames, small town life, and drinking to get over someone. However, with 16 songs it’s hard not to repeat some of the same messages and sounds. There are plenty of great options for singles such as “Champagne Town” and “Camouflage Hat” but again, with 16 songs…good luck making predictions on which ones you’ll hear on radio.
The country-rock style is who Jason Aldean and you get that with each and every song on 9. There’s not a song that stands out as different sounding, which is perfectly fine, but I’d love to hear him stretch himself on a song or two in the future. For instance, if you compare Luke Combs album there is a variety of songs that jump out to you that you don’t find on here. Again, that’s perfectly fine. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. It’s more so my curiosity that would love to hear him push the envelope.
He kicks off the album with your typical Jason Aldean mid-tempo rock sounding song in “Tattoos and Tequila.” He then moves on to dealing with heartbreak blaming himself for the girl leaving in “Blame It On You” and not being able to get a former love out of his head with “Some Things You Don’t Forget.”
As mentioned earlier, “Champagne Town” is one of the best ones on the album as he uses whiskey and champagne as metaphors to two different types of people. I love it. He keeps the alcohol related tunes coming with “Came Here to Drink” which is a song about drinking just for the sake of drinking. He’s not drinking because of hard day of work or a breakup.
One of the main reasons Jason Aldean fans love him is how relatable he is to those that live in small towns and this album as plenty of those songs to turn up loud. “Keeping It Small Town” is one that’s actually written by Morgan Wallen and is an ode to sticking true to your roots. “Camouflage Hat,” written by Jameson Rogers also shouts out the small towns mentioning distinguishable traits of small town folks.
We’re partial to any song that mentions the phrase “raised on” and “Dirt We Were Raised On” is a great anthem for those living the backwoods life that truly grew up on the land. Plus, when it’s written by Rhett Akins it’s a must listen.
“Got What I Got” has Aldean confessing his love and admitting he has become a better person since meeting her but then “I Don’t Drink Anymore” is a complete 180 to what he would’ve done if he stayed on the path he was heading.
“We Back” is his current single sitting in the teens on country radio charts.
“Cowboy Killer” has him singing about a girl who has power over him but then flips to “One for the Road” that pictures him drinking the night away for all the reasons she left.
While it seems like a Go Dawgs type of song from the title, “Talk About Georgia” is not so much an anthem for his home state, but a trip down memory lane to a girl he thinks about when he thinks about Georgia. Then there’s “She Likes It” which is an appreciation song for who the girl truly is, not loving big crowds but preferring the quiet backroads.
Towards the end of the album there is a song called “The Same Way.” It sounds like a Brantley Gilbert song, because he wrote it. It’s also a rebuttal to those that question someones country authenticity because they’re not from the backwoods.
And that’s what makes Aldean so likable. He’s authentically country, yet isn’t hesitant to welcome new people in to his family no matter if you’re from small town Georgia or New York City.