Review Summary: Musically speaking, Night Train is gnarled, dumb and ugly. As for Aldean himself, boring to the point of tears.
Country music isn’t exactly known for differentiation or progression. Of course artists in the genre want nothing more than to stick to their roots and play what they know, because neither them or their target audience wants to be challenged or see change in a major aspect of their culture that has for the most part gone unaltered. They just want to have a good time with music that proudly represents the things the south and its people are all about.
Though, mainstream music’s current focus and interest on country music originated from artists such as Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood introducing heavily pop oriented elements into the country sound, making the country music that garners the most attention arguably cleaner, softer, and more polished than ever before.
It appears as though with his newly gained famed, Jason Aldean seeks to reinstill mainstream country with the grit, grime, and dirt that the genre has lost to a new generation of country artists that favor polished and clean production. His latest offering, Night Train
is an album that makes an attempt to strike a balance between the raw sound of the most stripped down classic country, and the accessible backroads anthems of present-day country, and just fails miserably in all areas.
This is simple music all around, with very little thought behind it, and the sleek processed-for-radio vibes these songs give off end up watering down and castrating any sense of raw and organic atmosphere that Aldean was trying to achieve, and the somewhat raw elements he does bring to the table just sully these party-purposed tracks and makes them quite muddy and unattractive. Each side only negatively affects the other.
Aside from Night Train
’s predictable redundancy, and topical matter obviously uninspired and lacking in substance, the single most unappealing trait of the album is Aldean himself. To say that he lacks emotional value in his vocal performance would be an understatement, Aldean is nearly robotic in his delivery, often times letting the twang in his accent serve as the front for his personality instead of displaying emotions at all. Aldean is exhaustingly boring, monotone, and devoid of any excitement whatsoever as he pretty much just talks his way through every song on Night Train
. This collection of wannabe country arena anthems covers every cliche theme in the book of traditional country subject matter, Aldean sounding unenthusiastic and dull with each one of them.
This is boneheaded music that will only please the country die-hards and the fans who don’t bother to set their standards or expectations all that high, only looking for and desiring nothing more than another repetition of the common country formula they expect to receive, even if it’s in a state as poor as it is on Night Train