Jason Aldean | Georgia Review
by Bea Willis
Jason Aldean has returned with his follow-up to last November’s Macon, the first part of his musical homage to his home, city, and state. The second part is titled Georgia; Aldean proudly says, “The place you grow up has a big influence on who you become, and it’s no different for me – especially musically. My small hometown of Macon was very important to my musical background. Growing up in an environment where country music, southern rock, blues, and R&B intersected, it was natural for me to mix the different sounds in my own way. ‘Georgia’ picks up right there.” The album contains fifteen selections and is a mix of studio (10 songs) and live (5 songs) recordings. Aldean explains, “We’ve always tried to do more songs rather than fewer. This album is no different. We decided to include some live recordings that we’ve had in stock for some time. After nine albums and 16 years of recording, I hope people can see that I wanted to make this tenth album fun and different from anything we’ve done before.”
“Whiskey Me Away” is the opening track and sets the mood for the project. Aldean’s charming Southern style is in full force as he sings with conviction. The weeping pedal steel leads us to the memorable chorus. The songwriting is solidly in the contemporary country view, and the song has extremely entertaining lyrics. A beautiful guitar solo leads us to the break-down and ending chorus. A great start to the album; this one is a keeper.
As enjoyable as many songs on the project are, some moments are filler. One of those less enjoyable moments is “Burnin’ It Down.” The live recording does capture Aldean’s live singing beautifully, and he sounds technically on, but the mix and backing sounds are just ok. With an electro-pop hi-hat rhythm, it is not anything that adds to the song, and especially in a live setting, mix it up and play something more ‘musical.’ The song never builds any energy and is very repetitive in its lyrics. The crowd enjoyed it, though, and had no problem singing the lyrics.
Georgia is an enjoyable second addition to Aldean’s “home tribute albums.” There are multiple keeps, and the rest depends on your affinity towards Aldean’s catalog in general. Country music fans know what they like, and Aldean has proven he knows how to take their pulse and keep his music relevant. “I think we all hope that people are still listening to our music years down the road,” says Aldean. “But I’ve never done anything with the intention of that happening. I want to go out, make music my way, and never be put in a box, just be allowed to experiment and be an artist.” Georgia proves he is a man of his word.’
Release Date: April 8, 2022
Label: Broken Bow Records