Jason Aldean's 10 Best Songs: Critic's Picks

Jason Aldean
Joseph Llanes

“I never want to back myself into a corner,” says Aldean, photographed Aug. 22, 2016 at Urban Cowboy in Nashville.

Over the past dozen years or so, the music of Jason Aldean has served as a critical piece of the soundtrack of country music fan’s lives. Whether it be in times of loss or happiness, parties or crying sessions, the reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year has put together an impressive catalog of hit after hit since he was introduced to audiences with “Hicktown” in 2005.

In compiling a list of the ten best Jason Aldean songs, we tried to present some of the best of both worlds. There are some ballads of heartbreak and romance, some songs that evoke nostalgia for a simpler time, and a few of those up-tempo rockers that have become a huge part of his set list…..

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10. Jason Alden - "Tonight Looks Good On You"

The thrill of being with the one you love on one of those special nights where there is magic in the air was the vibe of this single from Old Boots, New Dirt that topped the chart in August 2015.

9. Jason Alden - "She’s Country"

The lead single from his Wide Open disc, this Danny Myrick / Bridgette Tatum composition took a look at the virtues of the opposite sex in rural locations all across the nation, scoring points for at least geography. Some might call it cliche-ridden, but try telling that to the tens of thousands of fans who sing it back to Aldean each night – of both genders.

8. Jason Alden - "1994" 

Quite possibly the most fun song of Aldean’s career, this 2013 top ten hit shone the light on the career and hit catalog of 1990s hitmaker Joe Diffie, with references to “Third Rock From The Sun,” “So Help Me Girl,” and “John Deere Green.” The video was also a highlight, with fellow artists Lady AntebellumDierks Bentley, and Thomas Rhett – one of the writers of the song – all joining in the retro-active fun.

7. Jason Alden - "Why"

Aldean turned to John Rich for this emotional ballad, which earned the singer his first number one hit in the late spring of 2006. Vicky McGehee and Rodney Clawson also contributed to this regret-filled number about a man lamenting on how he treated his one-time lover, after it was too late.

6. Jason Alden - "Any Ol' Barstool”

Deric Ruttan and Josh Thompson contributed the most recent chart-topper to the Aldean catalog. It comes as one gets the idea that the singer is moving his music away from some of the “Bro-Country” themes that he was so successful with early on. This one is as close to straight-ahead Country as Aldean has veered as of late, making for one of the format’s best single releases as of late.

5. Jason Alden - "Tattoos On This Town"

One recurring theme that has popped up in Jason Aldean songs since the beginning of his career is a sense of nostalgia for days gone by. In this track, you can tell that he is definitely thinking about the sights and sounds he heard growing up in Macon, Georgia. One’s past – for better or worse – leaves a mark on you, and Aldean’s vocal performance on this single from My Kinda Party remains one of his best.

4. Jason Alden - “My Kinda Party”

One of two songs on this list with Brantley Gilbert’s name listed as a writer, there is nothing too fancy lyrically about this one. Basically, it’s celebrating having come to the end of long work week, and celebrating around a bonfire with the one you love. And, there is nothing wrong with a little bit of fun every now and then.

3. Jason Alden - "The Truth"

You record a song from the pen of Brett James and Ashley Monroe, and chances are pretty good you’re going to be singing it for a while. The magic of this song is how the “Truth” keeps changing as the song goes along, with the singer at first not wanting everyone to know what went wrong in the relationship, and then by song’s end, realizing that he is still in love with the subject. Aldean handled the song with the right touch of emotion and irony, and the result was a Jason Aldean song that still stands tall today among his hit records.

2. Jason Alden - “Dirt Road Anthem”

Ask a critic, and they may tell you that this is among the key moments of the “bro-country” movement. We’ll let you decide if that is so, and (if so) what that means, but having spent several days in Jefferson, Georgia – the town in which Brantley Gilbert was inspired to write this song with Colt Ford, it’s very much a real way of life to a lot of folks. By far the biggest hit of Aldean’s career, this one continues to be a “cell-phone” moment at shows, because simply put, it’s real.

1. Jason Alden - “Don’t You Wanna Stay” (with Kelly Clarkson)

If you were to look up the definition of the term “power ballad,” chances are you would see this Jason Aldean song with one of the queens of Pop Music. The performance featured both singers at their peak performance level, while raising the stakes to an emotional crescendo by the end of the song. A ballad that one doesn’t get tired of hearing – and that’s not something you see everyday.