A prominent Country Music
singer from Macon, Georgia. Jason Aldean, born Jason Aldine Williams, didn't exactly get off to a running start. Although he first hooked up with producer Michael Knox in the late 1990s, it took several failed record deals (including one with juggernaut Capitol Records) before the independent Broken Bow Records signed him in 2005.
Aldean's first album was a solid enough release, bringing him three straight top 10 hits on the country charts, including the #1 hit "Why". The album included several co-writes from Big Kenny and John Rich of Big & Rich. He had the inevitable Sophomore Slump
, but came back strong with Wide Open
. This third album produced three straight #1 hits, including "She's Country", which was the biggest country hit of 2009, and the ubiquitous "Big Green Tractor". And just to prove that he's back for good, My Kinda Party
has produced five hits, including the Kelly Clarkson
duet "Don't You Wanna Stay". Night Train
(2012) includes the single "Take a Little Ride", his fastest-climbing number 1.
Aldean is known for being more rock-influenced than his peers, which is saying a lot in a genre that is already showing a great deal of rock influence in the mainstream. Expect loud electric guitar over steel, although "The Truth" and "Big Green Tractor" show he can do a more country sound if he wants.
Tropes present in Aldean's work:
- Bowdlerize: "Johnny Cash" got hit with this. The original version has a spoken "screw you, man" after the first line, which is either played as-is, muted or replaced with "I'm outta here". Some stations also excise "Here that train comin', rollin' round the bend / The Man in Black gonna rock your ass again" from the end.
- Another example, in Colt Ford's original version of Dirt Road Anthem, he says "Man this shit is gettin old". Jason changed it to "Man that talk is gettin old"
- Country Rap: "Dirt Road Anthem". It was co-written by Colt Ford, after all.
- Taken to an all new level with "Dirt Road Anthem" Remix featuring Ludacris.
- And done again with "1994".
- Flyover Country: Discussed in "Fly Over States", in which he sings the praises of the hard workers found in said regions after hearing two businessmen talk about the stereotypes associated with it. The first verse, from the businessmen's perspective, provides the page quote.
- Massive Multiplayer Crossover: Duets between two top artists in country are rare enough, but "The Only Way I Know" has Luke Bryan and Eric Church sharing the lead.
- Performance Video: "Don't You Wanna Stay"; the video is just their performance at the Country Music Association Awards.
- Power Ballad: "Don't You Wanna Stay" plays this so straight that one critic described it as "Bryan Adams meets Heart". And it is generally considered one of his best songs.
- "Why" is also one to a lesser extent.
- Product Placement: He name-dropped Shiner Bock beer in his song "Take a Little Ride". A week after the single was released, the line was changed to "Rocky tops" because he had signed an endorsement deal with Coors, so his label sent out notes to radio stations asking them to play the "Rocky tops" version instead.
- Shout-Out: "1994" repeatedly name-drops Joe Diffie and several of his songs.
- Signature Style: Most of his songs have very loud, raw, Southern rock-influenced production. This of course has spawned legions of imitators.