Last Tuesday (October 7th) [emuze]Jason Aldean[/emuze] dropped his new album “Old Boots, New Dirt”, his latest since 2012’s “Night Train”. The title may be a nod towards his new engagement with girlfriend (and former mistress) Brittany Kerr this past September, or more transparently, his subtle yet at the same time very apparent transition from a pure and traditional country style album; this new album is definitely a showcase of that.
Highly anticipated and more upbeat than past releases, it’s hard to ignore the fact that this new album is inevitably more pop-py, hopping aboard the thinly treaded line as of late in the pop-country genre (think [emuze]Hunter Hayes[/emuze] and [emuze]Florida Georgia Line[/emuze]). Regardless, loyal Aldean fans are open to his newer sounds, probably because as far as he may seem to stray, Aldean never deviates too far from his thick Georgia roots (god bless that accent).
If you’re not willing to commit completely, here are the top three, must-download tracks from the new album:
Sweet Little Something
The second single off Jason Aldean’s new album and probably for a good reason. This song is the perfect manifestation of the pop-country blend that “Burnin’ It Down” promised. With randomly auto-tuned words and electronic-esque background sounds mixed in with Aldean’s traditional guitar chords, it’s the perfect “feel-good, let-me-drink-whiskey” song. Though the lyrics may be a bit repetitive (Q: how many times can he plug the title of the song in to the lyrics? A: enough to make me think about where I would project my vomit if I was ever approached by someone calling me a “sweet little something”), that’s not the point. It’s the go-to party track like “The Only Way I Know” and “She’s Country” that made Aldean so well received across musical genres.
Ah, the return of the moody Aldean we’ve all been waiting for. With a musical progression similar to “Why” off of 2005’s self-titled album (bonus: arguably the best Aldean song of all time if you have even the tiniest sliver of a heart, add that to your download list, too), Aldean goes all self-deprecating (“I want to be the man that made you fall in love/I can’t undo everything I’ve done”) in a somewhat endearing way. He manages to perfect the “I suck, sorry, I still suck, let’s love each other” mantra and you can’t help but think that if that were you he was singing too, you’d let him keep singing to you all night until you decided to forgive him. With simple yet emotional lyrics like “The way it’s been ain’t how it’s gonna be/Baby, starting right now, gonna give you the best of me”, Aldean makes you believe that anyone can change if they love you enough. Nothing like a little country-music infused hope.
I Took It With Me
A nod to Georgia (“So I took it with me, that cloud of red dust rolling up
That Georgia blue sky, setting sun, straight up highway forty-one”) and cruising around in a truck, this is the track that feels the most truly Aldean. Completely country from the vocals, to the lyrics to the sound, everything is pretty on-point. The subject matter is completely aligned with “Water Tower” from 2012’s “Night Train”, but styled completely differently. Though both songs deal express a feeling of the true-ness of home and returning, “I Took It With Me” expresses it in a more upbeat way; no matter where Aldean goes, “I’d be a thousand miles away/But it’s still crystal clear/I see that picture in my mind/I keep with right here” the memory and of home is enough to sustain him. And that’s something that resonates with everyone.