Jason Aldean, ‘Fly Over States’ – Song Review
Jason Aldean trades a paint roller for a fine-tipped brush on his new single ‘Fly Over States.’ This fifth release from his ‘My Kinda Party’ album is the least radio-ready, but for some it may be the most meaningful.
The fact that ‘Fly Over States’ initially sounds like Aldean’s 2007 hit ‘Laughed Until We Cried’ is more a result of his emerging spoken-word style on ballads than any sort of similarity in the song structure. He’s a capable — but not gifted — vocalist who successfully improvises with honesty and a willingness to reveal his emotional vulnerabilities. This song is a love letter to states that are often mislabeled as “boring.”
“Just a bunch of square cornfields and wheat farms / Man, it all looks the same / Miles and miles of back roads and highways / Connecting little towns with funny names / Who’d want to live down there, in the middle of nowhere,” Aldean sings in the second verse. He’s describing a conversation between two well-off travelers who’ve never given America’s heartland a chance.
Pay close attention to Wendell Mobley and Michael Dulaney’s lyrics — the same pair helped Neil Thrasher write ‘Tattoos on This Town.’ By the end of their song, some may want to hop a freight train and ride it all the way across the country. Their descriptions are that vivid and convincing, but resist that urge. If ‘Water for Elephants’ taught us anything, it’s that hopping freight trains inevitably leads to a job training a pachyderm who speaks Polish. No “watercolor painted sky” is worth that.
“They’ve never drove through Indiana / Met the man who plowed that earth, planted that seed, busted his ass for you and me / Or caught a harvest moon in Kansas / They’d understand why God made those fly over states,” Aldean explains during a chorus. The final two verses come alive with majesty and the warmth of an Oklahoma sunset.
Aldean hasn’t released many songs like this, choosing instead to share the rowdy, but easily digestible, country-rock anthems and a few heavy love songs. It’s doubtful he’ll offer more like ‘Fly Over States’ in the future, as the song is not likely to climb charts or sell singles as quickly as hits like ‘My Kinda Party.’ There will still be a large audience that just doesn’t get it, but those who do (especially those who live it) may find a new favorite song.
Listen to Jason Aldean’s ‘Fly Over States’