Jason Aldean, ‘Old Boots, New Dirt’: Everything You Need to Know
Jason Aldean says ‘Old Boots, New Dirt’ is unlike any album he’s ever recorded, but there are still some similarities to previous projects. He’s used the same producer and band to record his sixth studio album, he taps many of the same songwriters and leans into many of the same themes (trucks, backroad love stories, rowdy weekends). However, there’s no denying that his 2014 album chooses the road less traveled in country music.
While R&B and hip-hop influences aren’t unheard of on modern country radio, they’re still not the norm. The drum loop heard on Aldean’s first single ‘Burnin’ It Down’ isn’t unique. Several times, his drummer takes a break — Aldean succeeds in grabbing people’s attention quickly.
Look for Jason Aldean’s ‘Old Boots, New Dirt’ on October 7.
Aldean says ‘Old Boots, New Dirt’ is about starting with a clean slate, yet fans will still find his signature country-rock sound. He’s embraced new technologies, like drum loops. “I’m pretty knowledgeable in country music,” he tells BuzzFeed, “and I’ve never once seen where it says, ‘Country music doesn’t have a drum loop.'”
“Edgy” is a good word to describe many of the tracks, but the star still finds time to pull back for more traditional fare like ‘Two Night Town.’ It’s hard to ignore the chip on this singer’s shoulder after a very public divorce and courtship with Brittany Kerr. If one is looking for a tell-all on this album, they won’t find it — not directly, anyway. The ‘Burnin’ It Down’ singer didn’t write the 18 songs.
Aldean doesn’t apologize for anything on ‘Old Boots, New Dirt,’ but especially not for his previous use of sounds that make traditional country music fans cringe. ‘Burnin’ It Down’ is sexy — almost to the point of risqué (the music video may go too far, but who’s complaining?)
R&B mixed with a little twang and Aldean’s Georgia style turned into the fastest Platinum single of 2014. On every level, this song was a hit. “I’m just doing my thing / You love it when I sing / Say it makes you feel like an angel / We about to get a little tangled up right about now / So girl let’s keep burnin’ it down,” Aldean sings. For a man who is sick of the attention his personal life has gotten, this song sure makes one wonder who he he’s thinking about as he sings.
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‘Just Gettin’ Started’ (Chris DeStefano, Rhett Akins, Ashley Gorley) – An uptempo love song that narrates a dirt road drive under the moonlight with a beautiful woman. [Listen]
‘Sweet Little Somethin” (David Lee Murphy, Ben Hayslip, Marv Green) – A fusion of modern beats with Aldean’s signature country-rock sound. “I need a sweet little somethin’ like you got / Standing there red hot, tied up little tank top / Looking like you must be straight out of the country / Honey, what I wouldn’t do for a sweet little somethin’ like you.” [Listen]
‘Tonight Looks Good on You’ (Dallas Davidson, Akins, Gorley) – A classic Aldean love song, one fans of his older material will appreciate. “Something about the way you’re smiling / Making those stars fall right on cue / I just gotta tell you baby / Tonight looks good on you” [Listen]
‘Gonna Know We Were Here’ (Brett Beavers, Brett James) – Reminiscent of ‘Tattoos on This Town,’ but louder and more aggressive. “Ain’t scared to ride this train / Make a few marks, leave a few stains / Might slam just a little too hard / Might take it just a little too far … We may not be around in 20 years / But they’re sure gonna know we were here.” [Listen]
‘Two Night Town’ (Tim Nichols, James) – The last track on the standard edition of ‘Old Boots, New Dirt’ may be the most traditional on the project. The guitar chords introduce a true country weeper, with Aldean playing every bit the troubadour. “It was women, it was sinning, it was alcohol / It was everything the Bible says will make a man fall / Man I didn’t want a little, I wanted it all … I just spent three nights in a two-night town.” [Listen]
‘Fast Lanes’ (available on Target edition) – Aldean says this song is about a guy who can’t settle down. “I’m the reason they make fast lanes / My soul don’t roll like no slow train / I hang my old hat in a new place / But it won’t hang too long,” he sings. [Listen]
Once again, Aldean’s personal life is in the news as he prepares to release new music. Two years ago, photos of his intimate moment with NBA dancer Brittany Kerr went public just before release week. This time, news of his engagement to Kerr has everyone talking about his love life.
The singer says he wishes people would quit talking about it, however. He’s become increasingly private, but Kerr has been willing to share intimate moments with her man on Instagram. “You know my name, not my story,” Aldean writes. “You’ve heard what I’ve done, not what I’ve been through.” While there are rumors that songs like ‘Don’t Change Gone’ and ‘Miss That Girl’ refer to his divorce and new relationship, any similarities seem coincidental at best.
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