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For anyone looking to brand Jason Aldean as part of a significant musical movement, good luck.
There's a lot about the singer that's become familiar during his five years as a country hitmaker, after all, he has spent more weeks at #1 on the radio charts than any other country artist in the last 12 months. But none of what he does comes out quite like anyone else. The blues-tinged licks at the end of his phrases"there's a ring of familiarity about them, but you can't really link them to another artist. The smoky guitar riffs that have become a signature"they"re built on sounds that have come before, but they don't really belong to anyone else in the country genre, either. The small-town themes that pervade many of his songs"that's all been done before, but not quite with the unwavering honesty that Aldean applies to the subject.
Since his 2005 debut with the scorching "Hicktown," the singer has set himself apart from the pack as a truly unique artist. He addresses his Georgia-born brand of country music with a singular vision, and he intends to keep it that way.
"The whole thing about being creative is coming up with new things," he says matter-of-factly in a converted barn on his Nashville-area farm. "What makes you different and more creative than the other guys is taking something to an extreme and making it better without ripping anybody else off. I think that's the key. The great ones figure it out and are constantly evolving, and that's what makes "em great.Ã¢?Â
With My Kinda Party, the Academy of Country Music's former Top New Male Vocalist further cements his uniqueness with a robust15-track project that builds on his personal past while covering new territory. The first single"the muscular title track"fit very quickly into the jacked-up portion of his concert set list, which already boasts 'she's Country," "Crazy Town" and "Johnny Cash." But there's other stylistic landscape to explore, too"his first full-fledged duet, with big-voiced pop singer Kelly Clarkson; and an almost rap segment in 'dirt Road Anthem" that suggests Aldean has listened to a little Snoop Dogg in his time.
The first single from My Kinda Party is the title track, which debuted on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart at #41. The song has become Aldean's tenth Top 10 hit on that chart. The song also debuted at #54 on the Hot 100 chart. "My Kinda Party" was written and originally recorded by southern rock singer-songwriter Brantley Gilbert for his 2009 album Modern Day Prodigal Son.
The album also includes a duet with Kelly Clarkson called "Don't You Wanna Stay", which debuted on the country charts from unsolicited airplay at #59 for the week of November 20, 2010. The song also debuted at #93 on the Hot 100 chart. Aldean and Clarkson performed this song at the 44th Annual CMA Awards on November 10, 2010.
This album also contains the country rap-themed "Dirt Road Anthem", which was previously recorded separately by both of its writers, Brantley Gilbert and Colt Ford. According to The Boot, Aldean's publicist teased about this song, suggesting Aldean listened to "a little Snoop Dogg in his time"; regarding the song, Aldean said that he did not consider "Dirt Road Anthem" a rap song.
That might come as a shock to non-country observers who think the genre belongs in its own self-imposed hay-bale "hood, but Aldean gets around musically. He was the first country artist of any significance to incorporate Guns N" Roses medleys into his live show""You"re welcome" is his simple response"and his listening history includes such diverse talents as Aerosmith, the Oak Ridge Boys and even Tupac Shakur.
Like Aldean himself, all of those acts were founded on a distinct musical identity. They each incorporated their heroes" influences into a sound that belonged to no one else. Aldean took his cues from them quite well.
"I grew up listenin" to all kinds of music"rock an