Jason Aldean – “She’s Country”

Pierce Greenberg | November 21st, 2008

Jason Aldean - SheJason Aldean has earned his keep in country music by embracing rock-infused hillbilly anthems like “Hicktown” and “Johnny Cash.” So there’s nothing particularly unexpected about his latest release, “She’s Country,” a song which ardently follows that theme.

It’s also no surprise, in that sense, that “She’s Country” reeks of dumbed-down lyrics and amped-up, rock-based production.

Aldean’s latest is clearly a shot at mass appeal (rather than artistic achievement), and if history repeats itself, it’s a shot that is likely to hit the bull’s eye. After all, “She’s Country” addresses the obvious, repeated stereotypes that factor in perfectly with the contemporary Nashville “hit formula.”

A girl in cowboy boots? Check. She drives a pick-up? Check. Plenty of geographic shout-outs? Check.

And by the way, what is up with all those state references? Aldean references mamajama’s from Alabama, party-all-nighters from South Carolina, Georgia peaches, honeys from Kentucky, and of course those princesses from Kansas. (Princesses? Did Taylor Swift co-write this?)

What do all these fine ladies have in common? “She’s country/from her cowboy boots to her down home roots/She’s country/from the songs she plays to the prayers she prays.” Oh. Right.

Throw those lines on top of unnecessarily loud production layered with electric guitars, mix in a fast-talking, rap-like pace, and you’ve got yourself a bona fide hit.

“Hicktown” omitted, Aldean has released a few decent numbers like “Why,” “Laughed Until We Cried,” and “Relentless.” But “She’s Country” is simply a step backwards. Instead of taking the plunge into headier, more mature material, here Aldean just regresses back into mindless filler.

“She’s Country” is a prime example of a capable country artist falling once again into the lull of mainstream country radio. In 2008, several artists (notably Jamey Johnson and Ashton Shepherd) will be remembered for bucking the trend and making traditional country music sound fresh. Aldean, however, finishes up the year on a forgettable note.

Thumbs Down

  1. Kristi
    November 21, 2008 at 10:09 am

    I think this review is way too harsh. It’s a fun song-true to Jason Aldean’s person. There’s nothing wrong with going back to what you made you every now and then (I would love for Kenny Chesney to go back to what made him!) without it being considered a regression. He has great talent as an entertainer and singer. Songs like this are why people love Jason Aldean. He has clearly proved he’s capable of something different with tracks like “Back in this Cigarette” “Grown Woman” & “Do You Wish It Was Me” -all of which I wish he would release. “She’s Country”-like Amarillo Sky and Hicktown will become house band staples, and maybe it’s not “complicated” enough but having every house band from Kansas to Nashville playing your song proves it’s a song worthy of Jason Aldean’s brand.

  2. Jason
    November 21, 2008 at 10:26 am

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say Shphard “will be remembered”. Se hasn’t drawn that much attension. Don’t get me wrong, I think she’s great and I hope she does make her mark, but her album hardly drew much attension less than a wek after it came out and neither of her singles have hit the top ten or driven enough popularity to shine like Johnson’s material.

    I do agree with Kristi on this one though, the reviews a little harsh…

  3. songwriter1
    November 21, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Nashvillers tells songwriters to be imaginative and to stay away from cliches ( those same people are the ones writing these songs) It infuriates me

  4. Guy
    November 21, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Jason Aldean is a pretender anyway.

    If he releases a bad song, that’s good for Country music as a whole; because it may mean the end of his record deals — and we won’t have to hear from him again.

  5. Guy
    November 21, 2008 at 10:34 am

    You’re right, Songwriter1.

    Quite often, the established and “hot” songwriters in Nashville violate their own rules by writing cliche’d stuff that gets cut and played.

    There’s nothing like the smoke and mirrors of the music business.

  6. Paula_W
    November 21, 2008 at 10:42 am

    I dont think it’s a horribly bad song; I do however think its just like about a hundred other songs out there right now.

    The lyrics have been done to death, but I do like the overall sound and energy of the song. This will definitely be a “crank it up loud” while driving down the road in your pick up truck song, and will also be played at countless backyard beer parties. My son (23) loves this song.

    I wont change the station when it comes on, but I wont seek it out either. And, as a whole, I do like Jason Aldeen.

  7. Craig R.
    November 21, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Jason Aldean is another one of the boys(Luke Bryan, Chuck Wicks, Rodney Atkins, Jake Owen)who is really selling an image and not music. It matters not that he can’t really sing or that his songs relate to the lowest common denominator of feeling and thinking. What is important is that he reflects a sexy,good ole boy image that teenage girls can find dangerous and raw (although these guys couldn’t get raw if the ghost of Waylon was guiding them.)He has never made a video that is about the song, just a video that is about his look.
    Jason Aldean-to my way of thinking- can’t really sing. He can shout and make his voice sound rough-but that does not move me. I often wonder how many of these guys would last without CMT and GAC because they all sound alike. But then again his audience isn’t looking for a real singer- they are looking for a person they can feel a connection with – the song is just the bridge.

  8. Guy
    November 21, 2008 at 11:13 am

    Hopefully, Jason Aldean’s 15 minutes are about up.

    But look at Kenny Chesney. He deserved no more than 15 minutes and he’s past 15 YEARS!!

    Crazy business …

  9. Guy
    November 21, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    But how do short, average-looking guys like Aldean and Chesney end up being “sexy” somehow?

  10. Todd
    November 21, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    I like Jason a lot but I really don’t care for this song at all. Like others have said it’s way too similar to the other songs out right now (i.e. “Country Man”, “Country Boy”).I’m usually a sucker for life in a smalltown type songs but at this point the sheer number out on radio became overkill and they lost there appeal to me. I also found it hard to hear the lyrics over the overly loud instrumental arraingement, which didn’t help my opinion of the song any. I wish Jason continued success, I just hope this single isn’t foreshadowing the quality of his next album!

  11. Pierce
    November 21, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    Being too harsh? I thought I was being easy on him… there’s no way I’m going to give a thumbs up to an over-produced, cliche romp.. sorry guys!

    I think I share a hybrid of Craig and Todd’s opinions. Aldean might not have the best voice in country music, but he is capable at times. I once saw him do a cover of Keith Whitley’s “It’s Not Over” with Tracy Lawrence, and it was pretty darn good!

  12. Drew
    November 21, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Sounds like a mix of “Hicktown” and “Johnny Cash”, which were the lowpoints of his career so far if you ask me. I wish he’d release more stuff like “Why”.

  13. Guy
    November 21, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    There just HAS be stronger artists to sign and better songs to record than this. (Just HAS to be …)

  14. scooter
    November 21, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    I want to give this guy a chance, but there is nothing he does that really impresses me. A lot of his stuff I don’t hate, I just don’t want to listen to it again.

  15. Guy
    November 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    I feel your pain, Scooter. But that’s the heart of the matter. If an artist has nothing to offer that either excites you or impresses you that he / she is unique or very talented in some way … then as a listener we are kind of cheated; then left to wonder if it’s “just us” or not that doesn’t “get it” (and to wonder how such an artist is signed in the first place).

    That’s what the Aldeans and the Chesneys – no matter how successful or popular they might be – do to us.

  16. Rick
    November 21, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I agree with you folks who find John Rich Jr., er I mean Jason Aldean to be more about image than substance. The fact John Rich has mentored and written songs for Jason explains a lot of this. Jason does okay on the slower, more contemplative songs but I can’t stand his music when he rocks out, like on this number. I give it a double thumbs down.

  17. Jaime
    November 21, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    I agree with the article completely–I like some of Aldean’s stuff, but this is just dreck. Dreck that we’ll be hearing a lot on the radio!

  18. Karlie
    November 22, 2008 at 8:37 pm

    This will definitely be a concert song that gets everyone who’s the least bit tipsy to raise their beers and sing along. I’m all for songs that speak to country roots. But these kinds of songs’ gross generalizations never sit well with me. I’m from a small agricultural town and I wish these songs would reflect the complexities of the people that really live in Kansas/Carolina/etc., like “Amarillo Sky” did. I wish songs would just be country, instead of talking about how country everything is. And yes, I know I’m asking too much.

    And Kristi–Kenny Chesney has already “gone back to his roots” with “Back Where I Come From.” And at least it was personalized-ish to his own experiences. But I doubt he goes back there again.

  19. Kristi
    November 23, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    Karlie-“Back Where I Come From” was on one of Kenny’s earlier cd’s-he’s released a thousand island songs since then-my point is that I wish he would put something new out along the lines of “Back Where I Come From” or some of his other more country songs. It’s cool to reinvent yourself every now and then but fans also want to hear some of what got you to the big dance too.

    Jason Aldean is in no way similar to Luke Bryan or any of those others. His music has way more rock and electric guitar in it than anyone else out right now which makes him unique…his fan base is not made up of teenage girls-check out a concert.

    For those of you who think Jason’s music is too cliche, or simple, or nothing but smoke and mirrors, I am sure there’s some great indie artist playing on one of those XM channels that no one listens to…it’s a business folks, you gotta play what fans want to hear.

    The 1990’s called and they want Allen Jackson and Brooks and Dunn to come back.

    Rock on Jason.

  20. alicia
    November 24, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Personally I love Jason Aldean and I love this song. This review sucks. And actually about 99.9% of the reviews I have read on this site suck. All they do is trash the singer or the song. Do any of you like music? and as for Craig R. What planet are you from? Jason along with Luke Bryan, Chuck Wicks, Jake Owen and all those other great singers you listed, have amazing songs. I think they all have great voices. And I really wish you people would stop trashing these songs. The singers are only trying their best in order to PLEASE YOU! Give them a break…and actually listen to their songs. They might not always be meaningful, some are just meant to be listened to when your having a good time and just want to listen to something silly or fun, but they are still GREAT SONGS!

  21. RanMan
    November 26, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    For anyone who doesn’t like Jason Aldean, or thinks he can’t sing go to one of his concerts and you will have a totally different opinion. He is one of the few artists that i know of that sounds even better live than he does on his CD’s…Listen to him play Asphalt Cowboy live with just him and his acoustic guitar..It sounds amazing! Plus he does some amazing cover songs…such as Jet Airliner by the Steve Miller Band…I will forever buy any CD he puts out.

  22. RanMan
    November 26, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    And for the person that says Jason Aldean doesn’t sing anything that has substance then go buy his albums and listen to songs like “back in that cigarette”, “Do you wish it was me”, “Grown Woman”, “good to go” and “asphalt cowboy” and then come back when you actually know something about Jason Aldeans music…It doesn’t always have to be teardrop country, sometimes it can just be a feelgood rockin song…HE can do both!

  23. IMILLER
    November 28, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    ..in complete agreement there with ya Ranman..
    ..as they say dont judge a book by it’s cover if that’s what these critic here are doing.
    ..ur saying Jason has no core/substance..then ur def missing out…do see one of his shows and guarantee u’ll want to see more..he sounds great live and recorded…his voice and sound is more unique/disctinct than most of what is out there..what u see is what u get.. and u get a whole lot…his choice of songs/lyrics are meaningful and full of substance and range from the deep emotional side to the lighthearted feelgood song with sometimes a rock side to it..he is versatile whch is a credit to his artistry ..

  24. Mayor Jobob
    December 1, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    He wasted his chances with that last album. There were so many good songs on that album but he decided to release crap. I Can’t believe he didn’t try “I Break everything I touch” or “Grown Woman”.
    He’s living off his upbeat stuff with this song. Let’s see how Rodney Atkin’s latest single does!

  25. BOB
    December 3, 2008 at 8:01 am

    YOU PEOPLE HAVE NO CLUE WHAT YOUR TALKING ABOUT

  26. Chris N.
    December 3, 2008 at 9:39 am

    All caps: still the best convincer of all.

  27. Laura
    December 3, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    Jason Aldean is an awesome singer and puts his own style into his music. “She’s Country” is just one more to add to the great hits he has already put out. I am from a small town and let me just say I could really crank this up in the truck with the windows down (wait I already do).

  28. Mel
    December 8, 2008 at 8:18 am

    I love Jason Aldean but I do agree that there were so many great songs from his last album that should have been released especially “I Break Everything I Touch”, “Grown Woman”, and “Do You Wish It Was Me.” Yes “She’s Country” might not be the best song of his career but it is a feel good happy song to get you jammin. I have seen him twice in concert now and it is two of the best concerts that I have ever seen, he sounds GREAT live!!

  29. TYLER
    December 11, 2008 at 10:14 am

    i think this song is the best song jason has sang.jason really knows how to get down with the aggressive country vibe

  30. timothy
    January 17, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    i think you are all crazy Jason is a bad ass singer .i don’t see you guys making music so how can u sit there and talk crap!!!it takes talent to do what he does!!! well Jason keep up the good work love the music

  31. Collin
    January 22, 2009 at 12:59 am

    I wish there were a “thumb sideways” option. I don’t think the lyrics are anything that special, but the tune is catchy and I actually like the song. It’s a great song to turn up while driving with friends, though not quite as good as “International Harvester.”

  32. Adam
    January 25, 2009 at 9:00 am

    It’s not a bas song, I like it, but Jason Aldean is no country boy, sorry anybody who wears earings just don’t fit, call me a backwards hick I don’t care, I do like his music.

  33. Adam
    January 25, 2009 at 9:01 am

    i spelled bad wrong did’t I.

  34. Stacey
    January 25, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    I’m sorry isn’t music made to be listened to and enjoyed. I get that there are times for it to speak to people and to make statements. With all the things that are going on in this world wouldn’t it just be nice to for I don’t know 3 or 4 minutes relax and forget about the crap we all have to deal with and either dream we are that Hot Country Girl or that we’re with Her. Not every single thing that they make or sing has to or needs to Be a statement. Life is way to short to not just sit back close your eyes and remember or dream of that Georgia peach. Maybe that is what the reviewer needs to do… I hope Jason and all the others keep making music that I get to ESCAPE to!

  35. Barry Mazor
    January 26, 2009 at 11:06 am

    There’s always been somebody available to say there’s no point looking for substance in country music, even on commenting on it articulately, or on any sort of pop music for that matter, jthat we should all ust relax, asking why other people bother to look for “statements”–which always seems to mean “content.”

    There is a response to that sort of remark though: Just because some of us can describe things doesn’t mean that we’re only thinking, not responding. And there IS nothing wrong with not wanting to talk about such stuff in detail. But if you feel that way–just don’t.

  36. Boots
    February 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Couldnt disagree more. Obviously this critic is not from the county and should stick to critiquing soft rock. An artist is there to give the masses what they want with their own twist and feel. Try critiquing the demographic that enjoys the music. Then you may have a clue as to how to review country music.

  37. Juli
    February 4, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles all have successful country radio stations and not all of their listeners could possibly be transplants from “the country,” so it seems as though geographic location would not preclude one from listening to, enjoying, being knowledgeable about, or critiquing various genres of location-specific music such as country, bluegrass, early hip hop, or punk.

  38. Hollerin' Ben
    February 4, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Not that this is really what the argument is about, but California is actually a pretty country place. once you’re more than 2o miles inland there’s tons of agriculture, there’s lots of town with horse culture out here (Burbank has a whole part of town with horse trails, etc), Western Wear stores are all over the place, and plenty of dive bars are cowboy type joints with honky tonk on the jukebox.

    just sayin, California = way country man.

  39. Pierce
    February 4, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Agreed, Juli.

    I don’t believe an artists’ responsibility is to “give the masses what they want with their own twist and feel.”

    Good country music, in my opinion, echoes the sentiments of the common man in a simple way. Complexity through simplicity – that’s country music to me.

    “Amarillo Sky” was a decent example of that… “She’s Country”, not so much.

  40. Juli
    February 4, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    I must have been experiencing temporary amnesia because I forgot that California was home to one of the best things to happen to country music: the Bakersfield sound. Indeed, California = country. Well, the parts of California that aren’t home to Paris Hilton and Kobe Bryant, anyway.

  41. Rick
    February 4, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    The Bakersfield Sound these days has given way to mariachi as the dust bowl era Okie immigrants have given way to a different type of farm labor immigrant. California not only gave rise to the Bakersfield Sound but Los Angeles was also a base for western swing artists such as Hank Penny, Spade Cooley, and Tex Williams after WWII. What remains of California’s once vibrant and innovative country music scene these days is a mere shadow of its former glory. Thankfully Texas has two stepped in and taken up the slack.

  42. Matt
    March 18, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    That was the dumbest thing ive ever heard.She’s country is the best song anyone ever recorded.Songs are not for making a statement, they are so people will have somethin to enjoy.The upbeat guitar jammin along with the amazing lyrics make this a great song that will be remembered for years to come.

  43. Garrett
    March 18, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    That was best song ever,and you gave it a thumbs down.I say you deserve a thumbs down,you dumbo.

  44. Karlie Justus
    March 18, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    “She’s country is the best song anyone ever recorded.”

    You’re right, this totally puts “He Stopped Loving Her Today” to shame.

  45. Chris N.
    March 18, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Clearly, “Your Cheatin’ Heart” was garbage compared to “She’s Country.”

  46. Marsha
    March 23, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    I don’t understand why people don’t like “She’s Country” It is a great sound and Jason is a great singer and I would love to tell them people who don’t like song to stick it where the sun don’t shine….

  47. shorty
    March 25, 2009 at 7:38 am

    How come everyone here has nothing nice to say? I mean come on.. Everyone has their own thoughts about it all but still you should at least be conciderate and not post these things on the internet. If you dont like a song then thats fine, dont like it or listen to it then. Because the song dont want you to listen to it.. I bet yall on here are Adults too and your doing childish things like this.. Grow up and keep your thoughts to yourselves.. I bet you tell your kids that and you dont even do it yourself.

  48. shorty
    March 25, 2009 at 7:38 am

    She’s Country is a great song.. Like it or not thats your problem.

  49. Chris N.
    March 25, 2009 at 9:47 am

    “Because the song dont want you to listen to it.”

    I didn’t realize the song had an opinion.

  50. Lance
    March 30, 2009 at 9:12 am

    The reason no one on here has anything good to say is because these comments are put here by failing songwriters who can’t accept the fact that a simple song done by the right singer makes a hit. Or, failed muscicians who have nothing better to do than run down someone who got there shot and are making the most of it. This song may not be the song of the year or be some deep meaning that pulls at your heart. However, this song is absolutely perfect to be in the truck with the windows down singing at the top of your lungs. And someone put that Jason Aldean is a pretender. You’re an idiot. The guy can sing, both upbeat and ballads. He puts on one heck of a show and both freshmen and sophmore albums can be listened to end to end, over and over again. I have news for you, he’s gonna be around for awhile and will have several number ones to come.

  51. ASHLEY PAIGE
    March 31, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    FIRST THANG FIRST…I LOVE THE SONG!ITS ME. IM JUST A SMALL TOWN FARM CHICK. THE HECK WITH ALL THE BAD COMMENTS ITS A GOOD SONG WITH A GREAT SINGER. SHOOT I DONT KNOW WHO COULD SING IT ANY BETTER. I GIVE PROPS TO THE PEOPLE WHO WROTE SHE’S COUNRTY. BUT HEY THATS MY OPINION AND OPINIONS ARE LIKE ASSES EVERYONE HAS ONE!!

  52. Ed
    April 7, 2009 at 10:32 am

    This review was written by a moron who thinks too highly of themselves. Mainstream = bad… There’s a reason it’s mainstream. A MAJORITY of people like it. What that means is this review was overruled by the many individual reviews of the listeners who choose for themselves what they want to hear. Like it or not, appealing to the majority is a business decision. It pays the bills. Appealing to people like the author of this review is bad business. You’ll get a pat on the back from a nobody who thinks they ARE somebody but the fans who pay your bills won’t give a flip about the song. Play the songs the fans want to hear, not the ones the “elite” say they should hear.

  53. J.R. Journey
    April 7, 2009 at 10:53 am

    “Play the songs the fans want to hear, not the ones the “elite” say they should hear.”

    I totally agree, Ed. But I think you’ve got it backwards as far as who ‘the elite’ is.

  54. Dan Da Mighty Man
    September 18, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    I agree with Ed, and the CAPS QUEEN Ashley Paige, the first poster Kristi, and others. The tune is catchy – can’t stop humming. Just got it for my g/f’s b-day cuz she loves it. Now I gotta get her some damned cowboy boots. I like the cliché. Jason left out the muddin’ and the freckles on the chicks but I will still learn this one on my guitar and play it for anyone who’ll listen. Smile, brother Pierce. There’s a time and place for Amarillo Sky. Cut my boy some slack because there’s folk that get picked up with high energy. So it ain’t a “step backwards” and I aint being “lulled” when it’s time to get down in Hicktown. Go listen to Coltrane and Miles Davis if you wanna be eclectic. Aldean will give you something to feel soon enough.

  55. foyboy
    September 27, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    WHAT???? She’s country is a great song. Now I ain’t saying Jason is a Garth Brooks, but he has somethin. He features a good strong voice, and the song is in my list of favs. The chicks love it. No one said he is a Rembrandt of the Country music world, but Country, is a good one! Like Just a Swingin or Indian Outlaw…it is a fan fav…don’t try to figure it out Just pop a top and listen to it.

  56. Stormy
    September 28, 2009 at 6:42 am

    How drunk do I have to be to like it?

  57. aleasha
    December 12, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    I agree with foyboy but i think jason aldean is amazing and i have his wide open cd and i think that every song on that cd is grait but jason aldean is also my favorite country singer besides tim mcgraw i think that foyboy has a point abot jasons strong voice too i also think tim mcgraw david nail and that guy in tht new band steel magnolia have strong and very nice voices.

  58. aleasha
    December 12, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    I dont agree with guy thogh i have heard alot of jasons songs and i dont think that he is a pretender i acctually think that when he did heavan with brian adams that he should have done it without brian but he also did good on even if i wanted to the truth dont give up on me big green tractor and why i dont get what you mean when you say jason is a pretender anyway that doessnt make any since to me at all.

  59. Ashley
    February 9, 2010 at 1:44 am

    jason i love your music the song keep the girl and the truth are my favorite yet keep it up

  60. Jeff
    February 19, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    This song is a pile of dung. The same old retarded BS that appeals to negative stereotypes.

  61. B Rabbit
    May 11, 2011 at 7:28 am

    i love this song, it gets me pumped for horse shows, i just need the meaning to the song……

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