Wanna feel old?
10 years ago today, Jason Aldean dropped his album, My Kinda Party, the most commercially successful album of his career. Featuring the title track “My Kinda Party,” and Aldean’s debut into the rap world with “Dirt Road Anthem,” this album marked the unofficial launch of the Bro Country Era.
This album pretty much paved the way for an entire error… I mean era… of country music. Just a couple years later, Florida Georgia Line would go on to release “Cruise” and firmly cement the early 2010s as the “Dark Ages” of country music.
Many may remember My Kinda Party for the two big singles and the duet with Kelly Clarkson, but there are definitely some redeeming qualities to this project. And ultimately, I think it is the most frustrating part about Aldean. Some of his deep cuts, and even the early stuff like “Cowboy Lady,” are actually pretty damn good.
So in no particular order, let’s look at five of the better from tracks from classic 2010s album.
“Ain’t Ready To Quit”
Co-written by Thomas Rhett (before the started trying to be Bruno Mars) “Ain’t Ready To Quit” might be one of the strongest song on the entire album.
Alright, let’s get some steel going in this song (hallelujah). It’s not a generic song, but it still has relatable qualities outside of drinking in the back of a truck. More importantly, it hits home for tons of country music fans in middle America, giving a voice to people who are often overlooked in places like Indiana, Nebraska, Kansas, etc…
“Texas Was You”
With this one, Aldean kept it simple for the most part. If you’re noticing a theme I’m sucker for steel and we get plenty in this song. The song also tells a story about how Texas reminds the singer of a girl that he lost, contrasting that with the memories of other states. Something of substance from Jason Aldean? Sign me up.
“If She Could See Me Now”
Emotional songs aren’t usually connected with Aldean but with this tune, he paints the picture of how he messed up and if the girl in the song can see him now she’ll see how much it pains him.
“Church Pew or Barstool”
This song is the poor man’s version of Kacey Musgraves’ “Merry Go Round.” It essentially has the same message, Kacey just tells the story a lot better. Still, I like the effort here from Aldean. When he slows it down to take a more raw, authentic approach, he’s infinitely better.
Overall, this album is going to be remembered for launching a very forgetful era of country music, but here on its 10th birthday, let’s take a second to look back and appreciate the songs that Jason Aldean actually put somewhat of an effort into.
Where it’s bad (looking at you “Dirt Road Anthem”), it’s really bad. But where it was good, it reminds us of the Jason Aldean we saw on album like Relentless, Wide Open and his debut self-titled record.
And if you don’t think “Amarillo Sky” still slaps, you’re just wrong.
“Amarillo Sky” still slaps.
— Whiskey Riff (@WhiskeyRiff) April 11, 2020
Now if only we could get back there…