Jason Aldean – “The Truth”
Songwriters: Brett James and Ashley Monroe.
Jason Aldean definitely knows what his fans want and expect—country songs about country life and country living…as long as they don’t sound too, you know, country.
Sure, you can throw in a fiddle or a steel guitar, as long as those instruments don’t take away from the drums and electric guitar. Heck, he’s the guy that managed to make Bryan Adams seem like a neo-traditionalist on an episode of CMT’s Crossroads.
To either give his fans a change of pace, or prove to his naysayers that he can sing a song about something other than tractors and rednecks, Aldean’s new single, “The Truth,” may be the most country-sounding song he’s ever released. It comes courtesy of Brett James and Ashley Monroe, and the combination of a proven hitmaker with a new country sweetheart results in a winner of a song.
It’s an interesting little character study they present, and a far cry from the swagger that Aldean showed on “Big Green Tractor.” When you’re begging your ex to cover for you to your buddies in case they ask her why you’re not around, you’ve gone several steps below rock bottom.
We don’t even find out what “the truth” is until the last few seconds of the song (not that it’s a surprise), and by the time we get there, the narrator has pretty much tossed every shred of self-respect out the window.
Aldean pulls it off with a very understated vocal. He only reaches for the big notes when he gets to the line, “If you ever loved me, please, have some mercy on me,” and, by then, you’d expect him to be on his knees belting the words out with whatever strength he’s got left–in that sense, it’s more about the emotion than the vocal gymnastics.
I’d like to think that this song is a sign that Aldean is growing up and realizing that country music means more than wearing a cowboy hat. I’d like to think he’s trading his pseudo-country rockers for actual country songs. He could help guide Nashville from acoustic pop and redneck rock back into country music. It’ll never happen, of course, so we’ll just have to enjoy these little forays into country whenever they happen to come around.
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