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Jason Aldean rocks hard on new CD

Country music openly parades its hard-rock influences these days, and no one flaunts that aggressive edge more than Jason Aldean. The grunge-metal stomp Aldean puts into his songs has made him one of Nashville’s few big-selling acts on an independent record label.

The title of his third album, “Wide Open,” suggests he’s not about to throttle his rock edge. The songs “Crazy Town” and the title cut rock like Guns N’ Roses or Motley Crue, but with a fiddle and a swampy beat. Aldean’s big, dramatic voice sounds best with a fast-thumping tune pushing him into overdrive.

But, surprisingly, the best songs on “Wide Open” find Aldean taking time to reflect. He’s not the most nuanced of ballad singers, but as with many rockers who soar through a power ballad, there’s a sense of drama and dynamics in how Aldean sings the tender emotions expressed in “Don’t Give Up On Me” and “Fast.”

Aldean occasionally slips into modern-country cliches, as in the stereotypical redneck traits listed in “She’s Country,” which wastes a solid, countrified AC/DC arrangement on predictable lyrics. Aldean is right to add crunching chords to country; he just needs to stay as ahead of the curve in his lyrics as he does in his rocking arrangements.


Jason Aldean

“Wide Open” (Broken Bow)

Genre: country rock

Grade: B

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This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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