Jason Aldean, the singer who has always ignored conventional country boundaries, who distinguished himself from the pack of peers such as Luke Bryan and Eric Church by releasing a duet with Kelly Clarkson on “Don’t You Wanna Stay” and the country-rap “Dirt Road Anthem“, has launched a brand new album. Out October 16, Night Train is his fifth album.
The good news for his fans is that the singer who loves taking risks in his careers was very cautious about this album. He wanted to have the best and since he’s the guy who hates staying in the ‘maybe’, he charged his producer, Michael Knock, to go through about 5,400 songs for this record. The producer said to a famous music magazine that his job was to make sure “the quality of songs he picks from are where they need to be.” In other words, his fans get the best tracks.
However, if you’re to plug Aldean from the background of his music style, if you’re to strip him from al his fame and make this album his debut effort, Night Train might not impress you that much. But since he’s a very successful singer, more famous than his peers, his album is the best. And who would dare to criticize all the clichés that fill his new songs, which, by the way, are not his creation? Let’s take the track “I Don’t Do Lonely Well”: it’s a sad ballad about being lonesome, but thanks to his popularity, it’s better than other people’s sad ballads with the same theme. “Black Tears” is a song about strippers and it’s better than other singers’ it’s-okay-that-you’re-a-stripper-honey songs.
Even so, the touch of fame doesn’t affect the whole album. Aldean, despite all his efforts of selection, missed one song: “Wheels Rollin’,” a road anthem with a thematic resemblance to Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page” is not so great. It’s a song about life on the road, isolation, and sacrifices, but it lacks that something that would make you listen it again and again.
“1994″ though is amazing. Aldean turned the song into an ode to then-country-star Joe Diffie, but it’s a funky hick-hop blockbuster, a unique combination of rock, country and hip-hop, a fun track that is supposed to remind those who know about Diffie the greatness of the music in the ’90s. “The Only Way I Know” features Luke Bryan and Eric Church and it’s a “cool moment on the record, us doing our thing” as Aldean described it. It’s a special song that has the chemistry of these three artists.
The album has other highlights too. “When She Says Baby” for example, is a hooky, mid-tempo description of a contemporary romance, “Feel That Again” reminds us of the ’70s rock bands like Kansas or Journey, and the opening track “This Nothin’ Town” is a song that inspired him from the first moment he heard it and it’s a thumping mid-tempo with driven by guitar riffs.
“Night Train”, the song that gives the title of the album, is a mid-tempo ballad about the perfect place for romance. “It’s ear candy, but it also talks about things that 99% of people either have done or are currently doing right now. If you’ve ever been in a relationship, in love with somebody, gone out and, hell, even if you just parked on a road somewhere and looked at the stars, you’ve done something like that,” said Aldean about this song.
Other songs to check: “Talk,” “Take A Little Ride,” “Staring At The Sun.”
Jason Aldean - Night Train Album Cover
Jason Aldean - Night Train Track Listing
1. “This Nothin’ Town” - 3:11
2. “When She Says Baby” - 2:51
3. “Feel That Again” - 3:21
4. “Wheels Rollin’” - 4:41
5. “Talk” - 3:50
6. “The Only Way I Know” (with Luke Bryan and Eric Church) - 3:14
7. “Take a Little Ride” - 3:09
8. “I Don’t Do Lonely Well” - 3:25
9. “Night Train” - 3:52
10. “1994″ - 4:03
11. “Staring at the Sun” - 3:16
12. “Drink One for Me” - 3:07
13. “Black Tears” - 4:16
14. “Walking Away” - 3:37
15. “Water Tower” - 3:41
Released October 16, 2012
Label Broken Bow
Producer Michael Knox