Last year Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party was the best-selling country album. Today, Jason releases the follow-up to that album, the 15-track Night Train.

A varied release, Jason continues the race with himself and describes the LP in his own words.

“I feel really great about the songs we recorded for this album. There are some surprises on there that might raise a few eyebrows, and there’s also some more traditional stuff too,” he said. “I don’t like being put in a box, and I think with every record, we’ve had a lot of variety… Night Train is no different. I got to do a cool uptempo song with Luke [Bryan] and Eric [Church], who’ve both been out with me over the last two years. I love collaborations like that, and I think the fans dig it when artists get together…it keeps it interesting.”

And that it does. Jason’s new album is a journey through the familiar and the unexpected. While album opener “This Nothin’ Town” recalls his earlier work with memorable guitar riffs and his assertive vocals, it’s tracks like the epic “Wheels Rollin’” and the eyebrow-raising “1994” that showcase his continued growth as an artist. Unafraid to try something new, Jason’s Night Train is a breath of fresh air.

Night Train kicks things off with arena-friendly “This Nothin’ Town” before segueing into the high-energy track “When She Says Baby.” With their sing-along choruses and killer guitar riffs, it’s easy to envision both tracks in a live setting. Meanwhile, “Feel That Again” continues with a gritty guitar intro while showcasing Jason’s more sensitive side.

“Wheels Rollin’” is the pinnacle of Night Train. During his recent Live On Letterman performance, Jason told the audience of his desire to have a song that detailed life on the road, like Bon Jovi’s “Dead or Alive” or Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page.”

“I think it’s going to be a really cool song on this new album,” he said. “It talks about being on the road, being an artist and some of the things that go on and how your life is.”

The anthemic track marks a turning point on the LP and is a glimpse at Jason’s career climb. Having recently celebrated his first sold-out stadium show, “Wheels Rollin'” is as autobiographical as they come, and the track describes the transformation Jason’s undergone to become a true country superstar.

Additional surprises on Night Train include “The Only Way I Know.” Featuring Luke Bryan and Eric Church, it’s a fun and at times intriguing track, as Jason shows off his rap-style vocals a la “Dirt Road Anthem.” Even Luke and Eric give it a whirl. With foot-stomping rhythms and wavering pedal steel, the three of them continue the party.

Jason prolongs the rapping game on “1994” with his tribute to Joe Diffie. Mingling country and hip-hop, it’s a barn-burner that once again showcases his ability to dip into various genres and have a little fun.

A solid release, Jason keeps listeners on their toes and leaves plenty of room for the unexpected on Night Train, urging us all to press that repeat button.

-Annie Reuter, CBS Local


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