I’ve never written anything related to music or an artist, and I am by no means a professional critic, but I do listen to music throughout my day and I know something is good by the amount of time I put into listening to it. What I’ve been listening to most is an album by Jason Aldean….My Kinda Party. Yes, it is country, so if you’re not a country fan at all then you’ve surely never heard of him. Or, maybe you have…Dirt Road Anthem, anybody? Definitely the biggest single off this album to date, Dirt Road Anthem mixes Aldean’s country background with a little bit of hip-hop/rap/pop (whichever you prefer to call it), but nonetheless, a great song. I’ve been an Aldean fan for a few years now, but hearing this song off of his latest (ok, it was released in late 2010 so I’m a little behind) album really got me listening to his other songs.

In the past few years, I’ve found myself actually listening to the lyrics of songs and trying to understand what they really mean. Call me crazy, I know. I have no idea what triggered it, but it really has made music more enjoyable for me. Possibly my favorite song on My Kinda Party is track #5, Fly Over States. If you get a chance, listen to the song, and try to understand the words. It’s a song about what the title says, Fly Over States – Indiana, Oklahoma, etc. Farms, back roads, highways, “small towns with funny names”…it all makes perfect sense. Not many people fly to Indiana, or downstate Illinois, or Oklahoma, where farmers are “bustin’ their @$$ for you and me”. I’m not trying to sell anybody on anything, but take 3 minutes and listen to the song. It really does make sense.

The rest of the album is upbeat, partyin’ country and slower country that has meaning. This summer, I heard Aldean was coming to the Illinois State Fair…just a short drive from me. Definitely was not going to miss it…and I was not disappointed. It sometimes can be hard to put on a show at a state fair, but Aldean found a way to do it. It was obvious which songs the crowd wanted to hear, and when it was Dirt Road Anthem time, the crowd went crazy. Possibly because it’s the song that’s easiest to connect to? In short, it talks about what you did growing up (in his case, in the country). It talks about memory lane, and “reminiscing about good times”.

I know I’m not coming anywhere close to doing his music any justice, but I have to say if you like country music at all, give him a shot. Listen to the words, connect to it, and you won’t be disappointed. I guarantee it.

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Bob Inferapels partners with Cheri Nobel to write a weekly column on entertainment and recreational activities. Read all of Bob's articles in The Playground.

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