Jason Aldean – “She’s Country”
Jason 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.
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