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STARific Review: Jason Aldean - Jason Aldean

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Jason Aldean introduced fans to "Hicktown," an impressive debut single that earned him a Top 20 hit. But, that is only a preview for what is to come of a very promising career, as can be seen after listening to his self-titled album. Jason manages to do what is rarely accomplished on a debut album – he showcases his unique country music style but this album also captures an undeniable energy that can be found in his live performances as well as his talent for smart songwriting.

With its grooving introduction and the song's lively nature, it didn't take long for the spirit of HICKTOWN to catch on; in fact, it spread like a wildfire across the radio airwaves, and the fun video only enhanced an already infectious song! (Make note that the tune was written by Vicky McGehee, John Rich, and Big Kenny Alphin – the latter two make up the sizzling duo Big & Rich). AMARILLO SKY is a tribute to the hardworking, blue-collar way of life; making not bones complaining about the daily grind, the man in the song has just one prayer: "Please don't let my dream run dry." One of the most effective ballads on this album is WHY, an emotional-draining tune that contemplates the complexities of an equally challenging relationship. Jason's voice has an evident aggressive edge when singing upbeat tunes, but that doesn’t mean he can't pull off sensitive ballads; in fact, he does so very well! Case in point is EVEN IF I WANTED TO. In the song (one of three that Jason co-wrote) begs for a second chance at love – albeit all too late – after reviewing mistakes made the first time around. So, what's there to do except go crying the LONESOME USA blues! In true honky-tonk style, a broken heart finds grounds for healing amidst wailing fiddles and screaming guitars. Long before signing with Broken Bow Records, Jason had heard and loved ASPHALT COWBOY, a song which also appears on Blake Shelton's The Dreamer album. When Blake didn't release it as a single, Jason snatched the opportunity to include it on his own album. The main character in I'M JUST A MAN doesn't claim to be perfect in every way and asks for understanding from the woman he loves. YOU'RE THE LOVE I WANNA BE IN is a marvelous expression of love; all the sentiments of the song surface from an inner yearning for that special someone to become closer than being just a friend. In GOOD TO GO, numerous blessings get accounted for. When you think you're life is heading for the rocks, it serves well to remember everything you're fortunate to have been given instead of dwelling on all the things you don't have. I BELIEVE IN GHOSTS finds a broken man not willing to accept the fact that the door to a once flourishing relationship has closed. SHE LOVED ME unearths the realization that even though some things aren't meant to last, those turning points are the stepping stones for better things yet to come.

Jason's appropriately self-titled album allows fans a window where they can see a little piece of who he is, both musically as a singer and also as an introspective songwriter. If this album is any indication, Jason has what it takes to become a prominent mainstay in country music!

CD INFO:

Jason Aldean
Jason Aldean
Broken Bow Records
Released July 26, 2005

Jason Aldean

TRACK LISTING:

1. Hicktown
2. Amarillo Sky
3. Why
4. Even If I Wanted To
5. Lonesome USA
6. Asphalt Cowboy
7. I'm Just a Man
8. You're the Love I Wanna Be In
9. Good to Go
10. I Believe in Ghosts
11. She Loved Me



Reviewed by: Estella Pan

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