Jason Aldean had an easy task when he picked a name for his fifth album. One of its 15 songs, "Night Train," perfectly embodied the tone of his career.
"The train is moving," Jason says, "and its moving at a rapid pace."
Indeed. His last project, My Kinda Party, was the top-selling country album of 2011 and the fifth-best seller across all genres for the year, catapulting him to the same category as Adele and Lady Gaga. Jasons edgy single from that disc "Dirt Road Anthem" went triple-platinum and was the best-selling ringtone across all genres for weeks on end. His duet with Kelly Clarkson, "Dont You Wanna Stay," went double-platinum and found major cross-over success on multiple radio formats. Jason also won his first two Country Music Association awards, with My Kinda Party securing the coveted Album of the Year trophy.
If his career is a runaway train, the real engine is his live show. Over the course of a single year, Jason came into his own as a concert attraction where he once crossed his fingers that he could sell out 6,000-seat venues, hes moved to stadiums now. He sold out each of the 2012 shows on his My Kinda Party Tour often in minutes at the day of on sale. He broke over 40 venue attendance records and the tour has gone on to sell an unparalleled 1.9 million tickets.
"I dont know what the turning point was," he says. "Id like to think that it was the last six years that weve ben building our following on the road by working hard and touring relentlessly. Its partly because of that, but I also know its partly because of the radio success weve had."
Night Train expressly builds on Jasons reputation for finding quality songs and for defying categorization. The album was introduced with a driving country/rocker, "Take A Little Ride," as its first single that flew out of the gate to become his highest career chart debut, and the collection goes on to cover plenty of turf. "This Nothin Town" provides a churning undercurrent for a celebration of Americas heartland communities. "Wheels Rollin" captures the concert experience with anthemic results harking back to the 80s rock bands that Jason grew up idolizing. "Staring At The Sun" incorporates an impassioned vocal on the mid-tempo love song with epic results. The quirky "1994" puts a rhythmic spin on country nostalgia. And "Black Tears" captures the distress of a stripper beaten down by humiliation, a subject rarely if ever - covered in the country genre.
The album is held together by Jasons unique voice and by his refusal to stick with one sonic or lyrical theme. Night Train takes a twisting journey, transporting the listener through a variety of emotions and distinctive instrumental sounds, adding to Jasons reputation as an unpredictable, uncontainable hard rocking country artist.