Music / Jason Aldean
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". His subsequent albums have seen almost all of their singles top the charts, including "The Only Way I Know", a Massive Multiplayer Crossover
with Luke Bryan
and Eric Church
, plus the electropop "Burnin' It Down", written by Florida Georgia Line
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.
- Jason Aldean (2005)
- Relentless (2007)
- Wide Open (2009)
- My Kinda Party (2010)
- Night Train (2012)
- Old Boots, New Dirt (2014)
- They Don't Know (2016)
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".
- And "The Only Way I Know".
- Fake-Out Fade-Out: Usually done in concert with "Hicktown". The album version does it as well, but the single edit cuts it off.
- Fan Flattering: Done in "Lights Come On":
Here's a little something to thank y'all for showing up Aldean and the boys
about to blow it up
- Flyover Country: Referenced 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.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Big Green Tractor, with lyrics like "I can take you for a ride on my big green tractor / We can go slow or make it go faster..." / "Climb up in my lap and drive if you want to…" and "Oh yeah yeah / We can go to town / Or we can go another round / On my big green tractor" could be about driving a tractor, or it could be a Double Entendre.
- Intercourse with You: "Burnin' It Down" is a make-out ballad.
- 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" was generally praised by critics for feeling a lot like an '80s hair metal power ballad.
- Product Placement:
- "Hicktown" is full of it: Ford Bronco, White Rain hair spray, Pall Mall cigarettes, Amoco gas stationsnote , and Kraco speakers.
- "Take a Little Ride" originally contained the line "Grab a little Shiner Bock". Only a few days after the single's release, Aldean had signed an endorsement deal with Coors, so his label reissued the song with the lyric changed to "Grab a couple Rocky tops" and asked that stations play that version instead.
- Record Producer: He has been exclusively produced by Michael Knox, who has very few credits otherwise. Also, his road band doubles as the production team New Voice Entertainment, who have produced for labelmates Thompson Square and Parmalee (and for David Fanning, a member of said road band who has released a couple singles of his own).
- 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.