Friday, August 20, 2010

Jason Aldean, "My Kinda Party"/ Trailer Choir, "Shakin' That Tailgate"

It only makes sense to discuss both of these songs in one review, since they're practically the same.  It's as if somebody took one song, split it down the middle, and distributed the cliches evenly between the two halves.

From a critical perspective, Jason Aldean's "My Kinda Party" is an abominable single.  It has hardly any melody, and nearly every lyric is one that we've heard before.  It's like "She's Country, Part 2," except that now he's left his "honey-drippin' honey from the holler in Kentucky" for a "tan-legged Georgia dream" who's "rockin' them holey jeans."  Jason always seeks to give his songs an extra "edge," which all-too-often comes in the form of overcooked arena rock guitar licks.  The heavy rock and roll instrumentation cannot disguise the fact that Jason is remains a C-list vocalist.  "My Kinda Party" is unlikely to drive away Jason's current fans, and it is even less likely to win him any new fans.  But if you hated "Hicktown, " "Johnny Cash," "She's Country," and "Crazy Town, then you will despise this godawful song.  All it aims for is to be loud.

To Trailer Choir's credit, "Shakin' That Tailgate" at least manages to deliver a catchy chorus and an interesting title hook, but those are its only assets.  The lyrics are about as trite as could be expected.  But this song will no doubt aid the group in its constant endeavor to avoid being taken seriously.

Neither song sounds at all country, but I can't say I expected that in the first place. (In the case of "My Kinda Party," the apologetic steel guitar fills are found at 0:44, and then are not heard again - with "Tailgate," they are completely absent)  Both songs grope at country credibility by namechecking Hank (even though they're singing songs that make Hank have a fit in his grave).  In addition, they mention consuming adult beverages and ogling hot country girls.  But neither song takes any risks, and neither song is at all interesting.  On the contrary, both sound like a mishmash of traits from countless songs we've all heard before.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know - there's nothing wrong with a song just being a fun song.  But all "Tailgate" has is a catchy beat, and all "Party" has is Jason's signature Guitar Hero riffs.  Neither is enough to make a truly fun song that retains its appeal after repeated listens.

If you're a proud Southern rocker who enjoys the "This ain't your daddy's country" brand of country music, then have at - you'll love these songs.  But if you're one who's been complaining about the sad state of country music for the past decade, then stay far, far away - these songs probably exemplify everything you've been complaining about.



(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)

HEAR "MY KINDA PARTY" (Click "Jukebox" tab to listen)