Jason Aldean: ‘Highway Desperado’ – Album Review

Jason Aldean shares his new album, Highway Desperado, out now, November 3rd, on all streaming platforms. Listen to the new music below.

Fresh off his remarkable 28th number-one radio single, the polarizing yet popular “Try That In A Small Town,” the reigning ACM Artist of the Decade adds to his already impressive resume with another full-length project. Aldean shared the inspiration for the album’s title came from his latest sold-out headlining tour that just ended last weekend. 

“I think when I look back on it, I built my career early on my live show, and have been on the road touring since I was 18 years old. For us, touring is our favorite part,” Aldean confessed in a recent press release. “Getting on the bus and going town to town and playing our shows and doing our thing and seeing the fans…the title for the tour and album was really inspired from that.” 

That inspiration is exhibited immediately in the project’s opening song, “Tough Crowd.” The phrase, “tough crowd,” typically describes a disengaged audience, but the writers flip it into a favorable attribute. Aldean highlights the veterans and blue collar 9-to-5ers in the audience, giving them credit for partying hard at the show even after working hard all day. The track is filled with crowd cheers to give it that real, live concert feel.

The next song, “Let Your Boys Be Country,” is a PSA to all the moms out there to, like the title says, let their boys be country—let them hunt, drive trucks, fall in love with the girl next door, and be proud of where they’re from. 

Alcohol-aided heartbreak is a prominent theme throughout the record, expressed on tracks such as “I Knew You’d Come Around,” “Whiskey Drink  and “From This Beer On.” In the former, the singer got to the bar early to get a head start on his buzz, because he had a feeling his ex would show up and wreck his good time later that night. The upbeat melody contradicts the somber subject matter, creating a unique and interesting sound. In “Whiskey Drink,” the singer is begging his substances to drown out his feelings and regret. In the latter, the singer pledges to himself that her leaving won’t affect his good time, and from this beer on, it’s all good vibes.

Love is represented in a positive light on the album as well. In the soothing “Rather Watch You,” the singer is in front of the most beautiful and scenic view imaginable, but all he can focus on is the woman next to him—a cute sentiment emphasizing the effect of true love.  The title of the snap-track, “I’m Over You,” suggests the singer has officially moved on from his ex, but instead, he’s over her being just his girlfriend.

“I’m over you not leaving your car parked out in the yard // Not stealing my t-shirts every night // I’m over your boots not next to my boots // I’m over my whiskey not next to your wine // My life could use some forever, and your name could use some new letters // You’ve had yours your whole life // I’m over you not having mine”

Aldean, whose last contribution to song lyrics was on “Keep the Girl” from his third album, Wide Open, has three cuts on this record in “Breakup Breakdown,” Hungover In A Hotel,” and the concluding title track. The former is a rocking tune that features the singer in the middle of an emotional breakdown caused from his former relationship. In the title track, the singer reflects on his lifestyle and the high he gets from being out on the road. He admits he has no intention of changing his ways. The song ends with a 75 second guitar solo.

“Every cowboy knows you can’t hang your hat in just one place // You’re a highway desperado”

In an industry that is constantly evolving, Jason Aldean continues to follow the same musical formula. Yet he continues to enthrall listeners and remains one of country music’s most popular figures—a true testament to his vocal talent, his team of writers and producers, and his showmanship on stage. Not many country artists have been at their peak as long as Aldean, and whether you appreciate his candid attitude, you must acknowledge the impact and the joy he’s had on our beloved genre.

Highway Desperado Tracklist:

  1. Tough Crowd – Kurt Allison, Marv Green, Tully Kennedy, Kelley Lovelace, Neil Thrasher
  2. Let Your Boys Be Country – Jaron Boyer, Allison Veltz Cruz, Micah Wilshire
  3. Knew You’d Come Around – Kurt Allison, Ben Hayslip, Tully Kennedy, John Morgan
  4. Hungover In A Hotel – Jason Aldean, Kurt Allison, Tully Kennedy, David Lee Murphy, Neil Thrasher
  5. Try That In A Small Town – Kurt Allison, Tully Kennedy, Kelley Lovelace, Neil Thrasher
  6. Whiskey Drink – Kurt Allison, Jonathan Edwards, Tully Kennedy, John Morgan
  7. Whose Rearview – Kurt Allison, Tully Kennedy, John Morgan, Lydia Vaughn
  8. I’m Over You – Josh Phillips, Michael Tyler, Micah Wilshire
  9. Rather Watch You – Jessi Alexander, Kurt Allison, Tully Kennedy, Kelley Lovelace, Neil Thrasher
  10. Breakup Breakdown – Jason Aldean, Kurt Allison, Tully Kennedy, John Morgan, Lydia Vaughan
  11. Get Away From You – Kurt Allison, Tully Kennedy, John Morgan, Lydia Vaughn
  12. Changing Bars – Kurt Allison, Jonathan Edwards, Tully Kennedy, John Morgan
  13. From This Beer On – Kurt Allison, Jonathan Edwards, Tully Kennedy, John Morgan
  14. Highway Desperado – Jason Aldean, Kurt Allison, Jonathan Edwards, Tully Kennedy, John Morgan

Country Swag Picks:

  1. Tough Crowd
  2. Breakup Breakdown
  3. Whose Rearview
  4. I’m Over You

Jason Aldean’s new album, ‘Highway Desperado’ is out now on all streaming platforms.

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Highway Desperado is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.