It's much more difficult to follow a smash hit album than a sophomore slump... even if you're as hot as Jason Aldean (and hot, he is). The added pressure may have robbed this album of some sparkle. But if four or five of these songs hit #1 - and it could happen, the hits are here - does that mean this is an undeniable great country album?
Night Train has plenty of small town songs, love gained and lost songs, and he sings them all well. He already has a top hit with Take a Little Ride, which was the first single released. Another potential top hit is the first track This Nothin' Town where he defends life in a small town. He sings about one of those small town escapes in the title track Night Train. He and his lover ride out to the outskirts to listen to the sound of the train roll through town. They, of course, arrive there by truck.
Another sure single is I Don't Do Lonely Well. He sings of the heartache when there's nothing to distract him from the hurt that still haunts him. And then there's Talk... he woos his lady on the hood of his Ford. "I don’t wanna talk anymore / I know enough about you that all I wanna do is / Find out a little bit more / I don’t wanna waste that moon and the heat on the hood of this Ford / I don’t wanna talk anymore." Another potential hit single.
A standout track for me features a few familiar voices with Luke Bryan and Eric Church joining in on The Only Way I Know. It's a rowdy, beer raisin' good time... a cranked-up new anthem. "That's the only way I know / Don't stop till everything's gone / Straight ahead never turn around / Don't back up, don't back down."
My favorite song is probably Drink One For Me about remembering the good ol' days and missing home. It reminds me of See You When I See You from My Kinda Party. "Drink one for the ones you can't be with / the ones we'll always miss / for times like this...."
With 15 songs on the album, it's about 3 or 4 songs too long. If one could be cut, I would have chosen 1994, an ode to Joe Diffie, where he uses the country artist's last name as a verb, "Hey Joe, come on and teach us how to diffie." Say what? That line will either make you laugh or drive you crazy.
As a whole, it hardly slips off track. It's a confident album from a superstar who has a firm grasp of what works for him. Fans of Jason Aldean (like me) are going to love it.