I don’t beat around the bush with my thoughts, so I’m going to state this right up front about Aldean. The majority of the music he’s released in recent years has been downright horrible. From the horrific hick hop of “Dirt Road Anthem” to the laughable “1994” this guy just hasn’t been cutting it in my book. In fact the last song Aldean released as a single that I liked listening to was “The Truth.” To top it all off Aldean has been in the news the last couple of years for cheating on his ex-wife with mistress and soon to be new wife, ex-American Idol contestant Brittany Kerr. In addition Aldean said in a recent interview with Billboard that he thinks the bro country label is “ridiculous,” probably because this kind of music has made him tons of money. Speaking of bro country I’m going to tell you before I even begin to review his new album Old Boots, New Dirt that it is present on this album and it isn’t pretty. Before we get to the bad part of the album though let’s take a look at what Aldean did right on his new album.
The Best Songs on the Album
There are actually a few decent songs on this album. “Tryin’ To Love Me” is a song about a man recalling a past relationship with a woman who wanted to love him, but he pushed her away. He’s now realizing what she was trying to do and that he screwed up. This song actually has some depth and the lyrics paint a picture in the listener’s head. A good song? Color me shocked. It does have an annoying R&B beat though at the beginning and end of the song. Aldean surprises with another decent song with “Too Fast.” It’s about a man struggling with his alcohol and living life too fast. It’s a rock country song with a good beat. Aldean’s vocals sound well on this song and proves when he isn’t singing bro country that he can tell a story with his songs.
The best song on the album and the highpoint of Old Boots, New Dirt is “Don’t Change Gone.” The song is about a man getting over a breakup and he’s coping with it by changing small things in his daily routine like listening to a different radio station and taking a different route to town. Despite these small changes he realizes she’s gone and she isn’t coming back. This lyrics in this song are actually pretty great and show some emotion. This is the kind of song I want to hear from Aldean every time, but we live in a country music world where we can’t have nice things all of the time from mainstream country music. These type of songs are an anomaly that remain album cuts and never make it to radio hardly. Speaking of radio friendly songs…
The Worst Songs on the Album
One of the worst songs in country music this year, “Burnin’ It Down,” has already been covered and if you want to see my verbal beat down of that horrible song, click here. Unfortunately this song is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bad songs on this album. It opens up with “Just Gettin’ Started,” a song that has bro country tropes peppered throughout it. It’s a song about Aldean driving around with a girl and trying to have sex with her. The lyrics are shallow and cliché and the vibe of this song is similar to “Burnin’ It Down.” An electronic pop beat starts off “Sweet Little Somethin’.” If you heard Aldean’s “My Kind of Party” from a few years ago, this is just a faster paced version of it. Aldean of course uses sexist phrases to describe females in the song. This is just another vapid party song.
“Laid Back” is another bro country sing-a-long with beer drinking and driving around in the backwoods. Once again it’s another boring pop country song with kindergarten level lyrics. Aldean breaks out the sexual innuendos again on “Gonna Know We Were Here.” There’s a lyric that mentions “make a few marks, leave a few stains.” This doubles as a reference to driving around in a car and sex because I’m pretty sure cars don’t leave stains. Ugh. This song feels like a trashy Brantley Gilbert song, which really sums up this entire album. Aldean becomes Gilbert and behind the overproduced instrumentation are shallow and boring lyrics.
Despite all of these bad songs, there was one song that stood out amongst this pile of crap that is the most bro country song on the album and that song is “Tonight Looks Good On You.” It’s basically another, slightly less creepy version of “Burnin’ It Down.” The good news is Aldean doesn’t mention getting naked in this song. The bad news is bro country godfather Dallas Davidson helped write this song, so that should give you a pretty good idea of what the lyrics are like in this song. Stay classy Dallas!
The Rest of The Album
“Show You Off” is about a guy showing his girl off to all of his friends. There’s name-dropping of all the major truck brands. It’s your typical pop country sound on radio today. This song tries to be classy about a guy being proud of his girlfriend, but it doesn’t feel this way. Aldean sings about his truck on “If My Truck Could Talk” (shocker). It isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, despite a river bank rearing it’s head in the chorus’ lyrics. This is a nostalgia song in the same vein as Kenny Chesney’s “If This Bus Could Talk.” I guess mainstream country stars really love their vehicles. But that’s none of my business.
The album’s title track is about a man moving to a new town to get away from the end of a relationship and his past. The lyrics are laundry list, but at least the theme of this song has some substance. It’s mostly country with some pop elements thrown in. “Old Boots, New Dirt” isn’t bad, but it could’ve been even better. “I Took It With Me” is about a man leaving his town and taking the town’s attitude with him. He’s leaving the small town, yet he romanticized how great it is and how he’ll carry it with him. Basically it’s another song about how great small towns are. How creative! The instrumentation on this song isn’t bad and is actually kind of catchy.
“Miss That Girl” is another heartbreak song where the man realizes what he lost when he lost his ex-girlfriend. It’s similar to “Tryin’ To Love Me” earlier in the album, except the lyrics aren’t quite as good and different people wrote the song. It’s decent. The album mercifully comes to an end with “Two Night Town.” This song tries to be a deep, heartbreak song and instead it just puts me asleep. Aldean can only rehash this theme so many times on the album before I start tuning out. This song is forgettable and I won’t remember it a week from now. At least there’s no goofy R&B beat in this song.
Aldean does what he has been doing the last few years with his albums. There’s a few good album cuts and the rest is just plain terrible. I know one thing I’m certain of: I’m sick and tired of listening to mainstream country music albums because they all sound the same. Just overall mediocre albums that are trying to appeal to their demographics, record labels and the people who eat this type of music right up without even blinking. That’s why I hate these mainstream country albums. They aren’t written towards people who appreciate quality music. The good news is there isn’t any more mainstream cou…wait there’s a Florida Georgia Line album coming out next week. Then Little Big Town and Sam Hunt. Ahhhhhh!
Would I recommend Jason Aldean’s Old Boots, New Dirt? Let me answer this question with another question. Do you like rehashed crap and wallet chains? If you answered yes, then this album is right up your alley. If you answered no, stay far away from this album.