Georgia-born Aldean has sold more than 20 million albums and notched up 15 billion streams – despite upsetting traditionalists by mixing hard rock and rap into his earlier songs.
His latest album won’t rattle country purists though. There’s a pinch of R&B production in Ain’t Cowboy Enough and Trouble With A Heartache, but you have to wait for the live tracks for the country rock.
Jason, 45, is a relatable everyman with a keen ear for strong numbers. Stand-outs include My Weakness, a mid-tempo love song punctuated with a hauntingly gorgeous guitar hook.
“I’d be flyin’ down a dead-end road, a highway without a home, if she wasn’t my weakness,” he sings of a woman described vividly as “a hurricane rainin’ holy water” and “a sunrise summer in the darkest hour”.
The more relaxed Rock And Roll Cowboy – co-written by country stars Rhett Akins and Neil Thrasher – is about a chap who can’t overcome the “restless” in his soul.
Whiskey Me Away is a laidback ballad blessed with an enchanting refrain. Aldean’s character is killing time in a small-town bar when he’s joined by a stranger who’s “a hangover I’d like to wake up to”. It’s the sort of bar where drunks might enjoy a slow dance to a song like God Made Airplanes with its soaring guitar licks.
Jason is jilted and hitting the bottle again on The State I’m In, begging people to tell his ex that he’s moving on “better than you’ve ever seen”.
Bust-ups, bars and broken hearts feature throughout this tough but tender album – “part two” to 2021’s Macron.
And, if you’re wondering, yes, Aldean has just launched his own Bourbon brand.